Welcome to the Jungle

Year: 2003
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken
The one reason this movie works is because none of the characters or the plot take themselves seriously. If they did, it'd be an ultra-cheap Indiana Jones rip off without the charm. As it is, it's a pretty slick, standard Hollywood offering, but the laughs the cast and story have at themselves make it much better that it really is.

Gangster's hired muscle Beck (Rock) is sent to South American Amazon country to retrieve his boss' wayward son Travis (Scott), tracking down an ancient gold idol in the jungle.

Of course the snatch and grab goes awry when it turns out it has to happen in the territory of a menacing mining boss (Walken, in another role that proves he's mellowing from the strangeness of his early days projects), and they have to fight their way out of the grip of his desolate mining town, enormous pit and surrounding jungle as well as the band of rebels fighting him.

Lots of opportunity is taken for Odd Couple-style banter between The Rock and Scott, which is given adequate time to distract from the typically underwhelming Hollywood premise. The action is no less effective, with some highly intensive CG of bodies flying through the air during some blistering fight scenes and a surprising amount of violence for a comedy.

William Scott is going to suffer the unfortunate curse of Stifler's shadow for a long time, any other role he plays just seems like a less weasely version of American Pie's profane but lovable goofball. The big surprise (again) is The Rock, who brings an unexpected amount of charisma, presence and eagerness to his role. As an actor, he's better than some of the professional actors working in movies today, let alone one of the armies of ex wrestlers/sportsmen/models etc.

Also of note is the many shots and clips in the trailer that never appeared in the movie - more than I've ever noticed before.

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