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The witty Nonni and the stuck-up city-boy Harry are the only ones to survive a massacre of a gang of poachers among the gamekeeper's family on his lonesome farm in the savanna. Now the ruthless murderers are after them as the only witnesses. Without a means of transportation, the only way to escape is to walk through 2000 kilometers of Kalahari desert with the help of the African bushman Xhabbo. On the months-long journey ahead they not only become good friends against their differences, but also realize that every one of them has strength and skills that are required to survive. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
The film started production with René Manzor as director. About three weeks into filming, he was fired, along with cinematographer Pal Gyulay and several other crew members, after Disney executives viewed the initial dailies. Among other things, the footage was severely out of focus; this was blamed on both Gyulay (who was described as "in over his head" and "out of his league") and the production's older set of Panavision anamorphic lenses. Executive producer Kathleen Kennedy originally asked Mikael Salomon to take over as cinematographer (she had shown him an early draft of the script, which he loved, while they were working together on Always (1989), and he asked her to remember him if there was a chance for him to shoot it). However, Steven Spielberg pushed for Salomon to be offered the job of director, knowing that he had been wanting to move from cinematography to directing for some time. After accepting, Salomon asked Juan Ruiz Anchía to be the new cinematographer, and rush-ordered a set of Panavision's newer, sharper Primo anamorphic lenses. See more »
After the dog was in the fight with the pack of hounds he had multiple wounds. In the next scenes he has none. See more »
There's only so much disneyfication one can stomach -- even with the best of intentions. This story of two teenagers and a bushman trekking 2000 km across the Kalahari when the young people survive a massacre that kills their families way exceeded my tolerance. The young man, a city slicker who appears to have never walked further than from his TV to his skateboard, endures the ordeal in hiking boots without so much as a swollen foot. The bushman happily takes a month or two off from feeding his own family to escort the duo across the desert. Of course it goes without saying that everyone remains completely chaste, nobody smells bad, and coiffures get only minimally (and artfully) messed up. Ethan Embry and Reese Witherspoon, both of whom have have continued and advanced steadily as actors up to the present, do the best they can with an impossible script. With just a wee bit of realism, this could have been a worthwhile adventure.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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