Welcome to the Jungle (2013) Movie Review

welcome to the jungle posterWelcome to the Jungle

  • Rating – Unrated
  • April 2013
  • Director – Rob Meltzer
  • Adam Brody – Chris
  • Rob Huebel – Phil
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme – Storm
  • Megan Boone – Lisa
  • Juan Defendini – Javier

 

Welcome to Big Mamma’s Nature’s House

This is not to be confused with 2007 horror movie Welcome to the Jungle. So Welcome to the Jungle is a 2013 comedy, which stars Adam Brody (Think Like a Man Too) and is directed by Rob Meltzer. This is Meltzer’s first full feature film as a director. I must admit when I saw this trailer, I was “meh”, but at the same time, who doesn’t want to see Van Damme in a comedy. *crickets* Anybody? Well, I do and luckily it came on Netflix streaming. Side note, Van Damme’s daughter Bianca Bree, has a small role in this film. Currently a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. 25%, who cares. Van Damme is in a comedy…intentionally.

phil the god

Javier Would Feed a lot of People

Chris (Adam Brody) works for a toilet packaging firm and is coming up a big sales pitch. Before he could pitch his idea, rival Phil (Rob Huebel) steal his idea and lands the big client. Not only that he gets pushed around by Phil, but he likes new girl Lisa (Megan Boone), which he acts very nervous around.

The big boss, Mr. Crawford (Dennis Haysbert) decides that his employees lack the work ethics according to his standards, so he sends them off to a team building retreat in the jungle with Storm Rothchild (Jean Claude Van Damme). Now Storm is an ex-marine who wears camo shorts, black tank top, and shades to the meeting, so you know he’s a bad mother. Of course, once on this lone island their elderly pilot dies. Stranded on the island, can the employees survive? Will Phil get the best of Chris? Will Chris become confident in himself and make his move on Lisa?

troy does not want violin lessons
Not Every Kid Needs to Have Violin Lessons

Welcome to the Jungle tries to be a commentary on the corporate office environment by introducing the common annoying aspects of it. Crazy pet lady, some douche that steals your thunder, and your big boss that seems a little off his rocker, but doesn’t quite nail it like Office Space. It’s just introduces to the same stereotypes we’ve seen before. Even the douche’s assistant that just follows blindly. This time it’s an Asian guy. Then it switches to a Lord of the Flies meet Tropic Thunder kind of deal. It takes the idea of Lord of the Flies and just turns it into a farce comedy.

The problem is that it’s not funny. We’ve seen these character stereotypes before so nothing fresh comes out of it. Including the jokes. You know the punchline before they setup the joke. You know Chris is going get in goofy situations like being pushed into a area where the girls are changing with binoculars in his hand, but ends up getting confidence and winning the girl in the end. The pet lady in this case; rabbit lady who uses clean language, ends up having a potty mouth. They do have a wild card in Storm. Even then some of the jokes that are setup are still predictable and he was underused.

The cast did a good job what they had to work with. It’s the script and recycled characters stereotypes. Believe it or not, Van Damme did shine in his role layering the cheese on thick, but I didn’t care the direction of where his character went. Still Van Damme went on. You know something is wrong when a minor character is more interesting the main one. An honorable mention goes to Aaron Takashi, as Phil’s assistant Troy. Not given a lot to do, but he still got a chuckle here and there from his physical comedy.

storm kicking phil
Nothing Will Bite Your Pussy

Would I recommend Welcome to the Jungle? Nope. If Van Damme is in another comedy would I check it out? Hell ya, I wish there was more of him in the film and just kept his character the way he was. I didn’t mind it went from satire comedy to bat crazy version of Lord of the Flies, it was just not funny. Meltzer and the actors did a decent job, they just had a recycled script from other forgetful comedies. It’s a pass. If you’re curious, watch the trailer below and move on. No, they don’t have the Guns N’ Roses song anywhere in this film even though it’s titled Welcome to the Jungle.

Random Info I got from this File:
  • Asians boys don’t want violin lessons
  • Always bring binoculars during a jungle retreat
  • A cartoon Koala bear can be mistaken as an Australian Devil Bear
Other Files to check:
  • Office Space
  • Tropic Thunder
  • JCVD
  • Extract
File Status: 4 out of 10
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Roach
Roach
Graphic designer by day, and movie blogger whenever I can. Been watching films in the 80s and never lost the love for it. Started Movie Case Files in 2012, and kept writing random reviews ever since. Besides movies, I like watching UFC, collecting retro video games, spending time with the wife, and bacon.

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