A megalomaniac C.E.O. sends his son into the dangerous African Congo on a quest for a source of diamonds large enough and pure enough to function as powerful laser communications transmitters (or is it laser weapons?). When contact is lost with his son and the team, his sometime daughter- in-law is sent after them. She is a former CIA operative and, accompanied by gee-whiz gadgetry and a few eccentric characters (including a mercenary, a researcher with a talking gorilla, and a a nutty Indiana-Jones-type looking for King Solomon's Mines), sets out to rescue her former fiancé. What they all discover is that often what we most want turns out to be the source of our downfall. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Director Frank Marshall originally intended to use the computer work pioneered on Jurassic Park (1993) for the gorillas, but opted for models as the computers weren't capable of reproducing hair. See more »
Dr Peter Elliot's bruise to his forehead disappears. See more »
The idea is great, the book was a good read, and the film ought to have been great as well. I was disappointed, but I still have a soft spot for this story. They expected Congo to be the next King Kong and there were a good deal of toys, action figures, books, stickers, etc. to sell to the expected hordes of fans. The fans did not materialize and the action figures are an easy buy on the internet.
The legend of the city of Zinj is a phenomenal idea to work with for a film. Evolved apes is a sure seller. But this movie did not deliver. There were so many missed opportunities and examples of poor writing. For me the ape researcher on the expedition is a bit goofy to be credible. And he is one of the central characters! We are not given much to believe his knowledge or utility to the expedition or to Amy for that matter. This spoils that character. I liked the African actors in the film and was willing to go along with the hunter and his somewhat distracting phony English accent. But somehow, the film did not deliver what it could easily have delivered: action plus thought-provoking story about animal intelligence.
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