Jungle

The (true) story begins when three white young strangers become friends when they meet each other backpacking in South America. Yossi (Daniel Radcliffe) shames Kevin (Alex Russell) and Marcus (Joel Jackson) into ditching their “touristy” plans and joining him on a jungle trek to find a lost tribe of Indians in the Bolivian wilderness led by guide/bushman Karl (Thomas Kretschmann).

Turns out, the jungle is a hard place, guys. But with testosterone and adventure pulsing in their veins, none of these boys stopped to ask “Can we?” or “Should we?”, they just argued over who was going to hold the machete. The first day is grand, and they congratulate themselves on being ever so manly, panning for gold and taking lots of pictures. But then their shoes get wet and the bugs are big and their feet hurt and the whole thing turns into a whine-fest, which is when they get two very stupid ideas: 1. to split up and 2. to build a raft. Build a raft? Has building a raft ever worked in a non-cartoon?

Anyway, long story short, Yossi (Radcliffe) gets separated from the rest and ends up wandering in the Amazonian rainforest alone, for weeks. And you may have heard that the rainforest is quite large, and um, dense with trees but also with stuff that can kill you.

Jungle is a movie determined to alienate its audience with constant gross-out scenes. And it’s hard to know whether to emphasize CONSTANT or GROSS because neither can be overstated. There might be an interesting movie in here somewhere – Harry Potter loses his mind, has a nice relaxing quick sand mud bath and voluntarily gets eaten by fire ants just to stay awake. It’s based on a true story about a guy who defied death for so long in such harrowing circumstances that a two hour movie couldn’t even cover some of Yossi Ghinsberg’s highlights, such as waking up covered in leaches, finding a swarm of termites eating the patches of skin where he’d peed on himself, and sliding down a slope only to be rectally impaled on a stick. If that’s the stuff that DIDN’T make it in, just imagine what did.

I couldn’t help but think to myself that all these man vs. nature movies are the same in that they truly are MAN versus nature. Women are smart enough to never get themselves in these predicaments. Only men are stupid enough to march into a jungle completely unprepared for its realities in inadequate shoes, with the rainy season fast approaching, and an unvetted, complete stranger for a guide. In fact, I think we should rename the genre “men getting what they deserve” and they should all end with said man getting eaten by a cougar from the bottom up so he has to watch. That’s the only kind of karma I’m interested in. Until Jungle gets this re-edit, it’s really not for me.

 

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Jungle

  1. Orca Flotta

    Hmm, not that I didnt get into my fair share of physical trubbelz and emergency situations. But it was always, ALWAYS in male company and male guidance and leadership.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Orca Flotta

      And yes, the farting corpse movie was brill and Thomas Kretschmann is sadly underutilised these days. I can hardly remember when I saw him last in any movie. :/

      Like

      Reply
  2. Robyn

    ” In fact, I think we should rename the genre “men getting what they deserve” and they should all end with said man getting eaten by a cougar from the bottom up so he has to watch. That’s the only kind of karma I’m interested in.” Laughed out loud – good one! 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  3. tubularsock

    Well Jay, not to discredit the “male mold” but Tubularsock’s first observation is that when Tubularsock sees “. . . trek to find a lost tribe of Indians . . .” the question is who exactly is “lost”?

    In Tubularsock’s vast knowledge of jungle trekking it has always been similar to going to the mall. Always be careful of your surroundings and bring whiskey.

    Tubularsock will miss this one and Tubularsock is currently “lost”. Always turn left!

    Like

    Reply
  4. D. Wallace Peach

    “I think we should rename the genre ‘men getting what they deserve’ ” Ha ha ha. I watched this with my husband, and it wasn’t as bad as some movies he chooses. But I agree that the character’s choices are head-scratching.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s