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I first watched this live action Disney flick shortly after it came out
in video in 1997. It was around the time of my eleventh birthday, and I
was very pleased with the film, enough to watch it more than once. I
don't know exactly how many times I watched it, but definitely several
times. Years later, after seeing that the IMDb rating for "Jungle 2
Jungle" was low, I finally watched it again, for the first time in I
don't know how long, and like I expected, it no longer meant much to
Michael Cromwell is a commodities broker in New York. It has been years since his wife, Patricia left him, and he now has a new fiancé, but before they can marry, he must go down to the Amazon (where his first wife now lives), to make the divorce official. While there, Michael learns that he has a son, who is part of the primitive tribe that Patricia now lives with! His name is Mimi-Siku, and while Michael is stuck on the island, the boy turns thirteen, the age which he is considered a man in this tribe. Mimi is assigned by the tribe's chief to go to New York and get the fire from the Statue of Liberty, so Michael reluctantly takes his son home with him. Mimi-Siku has always lived very primitively, and has never experienced city life, so while in New York, he is bound to unintentionally cause trouble!
Watching "Jungle 2 Jungle" after my adolescent years had come and gone, I didn't find it very funny at all. I smiled a few times (mostly the parts where Richard Kempster, Michael Cromwell's co-worker, played by comedian Martin Short, throws fits) but if I ever actually laughed, it was very slight, and if I saw the gag again, I probably wouldn't laugh at all. For the most part, I kept a straight face, and found most of the movie quite simply boring. There are also some jokes that are a tad embarrassing, such as Michael Cromwell lying awake in his hammock on the island while others around him are constantly farting in their sleep, and quite a few embarrassing quotes that are supposed to be funny.
It appears that Tim Allen has starred in a lot of movies that haven't been too well received. "Jungle 2 Jungle" is one of those movies, and right now, I can understand why. Overall, this is a mediocre Disney feature in my opinion, though many consider it lower than that. After enjoying this movie when I was eleven years old, then watching it again after growing up and not thinking much of it, I would say that it's definitely for the younger folk, and for adults, there are definitely comedies of this kind (ones about someone living a primitive lifestyle somewhere in the world and coming to a city for the first time in their lives) that are much more likely to impress you.
It would be a natural assumption that since Tim Allen is the main character in this movie, and that since this movie IS supposed to be a comedy, that some of Tim Allen's lines would have at least some humorous content to them. About 90% of his lines were flat and were spoken like they were SUPPOSED to be funny, but just weren't. As for the rest of the movie, why is it that since someone is raised in the jungle, they are complete idiots? His son could speak two languages, seemed rather intelligent, and yet, he'd kill someone elses fish and eat them, steal catfood from the cat and eat it, and do other stupid things that someone with common sense wouldn't do. The things he did were more embarrasingly stupid then funny and just didn't create all that many laughs. Now if we want to look at the point of view of the movie being meaningful as far as a father/son relationship...well...ok, a big time, job oriented guy with a hot new girlfriend finds out he has a son (with his devorced wife, who is of course, really cool) and the two don't get along until then end, when they suddenly do. Like we haven't seen that story before. All in all, just not all that well done. I think the idea could have worked but it was just a poor choice of a final script. Rent if you're bored, it'll entertain you, just don't expect anything all that good.
Michael Cromwell is a successful New York stockbroker looking forward
to his marriage to a successful fashion model. However before he can do
this he must finalise the divorce from his wife, who left him about 12
years ago. Unfortunately she lives on a tropical island off the coast
of Brazil and he finds himself stuck on the island with her. If that
wasn't bad enough he learns that the pale, 12 year old member of her
tribe (Mimi-Siku) is actually his son. In order to avoid looking at the
morality of her not telling him about this life, the story then
requires Mimi-Siku to go to New York for reasons too boring to explain
and "laughter" ensues and Michael learns some lessons that we all saw
coming from a mile off.
It is rare for me not even to have the energy to type a decent plot summary for a film but for this one I make an exception. Part of the problem is the fact that the plot manages to be embarrassingly predictable from start to finish and provides nothing of value along the way. This is only made worse by the lack of laughs and the regular scenes of Mimi-Siku failing to fit in, one of the most embarrassing of which sees him dancing with his father on the street. It is a string of obvious scenarios all run together just as you'd expect and there is nothing of any interest developed along the way. There are plenty of "wild fish out of water in big city" films already kicking around and this offers no reason to add this to the list of the ones you've seen.
The cast are equally lost in the midst of all this stuff and resort to mugging and overplaying at every opportunity. Obviously Allen was going to do this anyway since this is what most of his films tend to be like. Martin Short does the same here and at least gets one, maybe two laughs as a result which is more than Allen. The clearly well-off and white Huntington is hilariously poor as the boy of the film, he doesn't convince in any part of the film and is a big part of it being embarrassing. The rest of the cast have little to do and even a turn from Stiers adds no value.
Overall a roundly poor film that takes the "wild fish out of water in city" genre, ticks as many boxes as it can, writes lots of predictable and weak scenarios and places them all within a story that is so poorly developed that you pretty much know where it is going from the very start. No laughs and no interest it might work as noisy nonsense to distract children but it has no value past that.
My opinion on Jungle 2 Jungle is not as harsh, the movie was cute. The fact that it was a remake isn't my complaint because it is really hard to find movies that haven't been remade from other foreign or alternative films. I give movies at least one chance. Tim Allen is, as usual, comedic while being a bit on the crazy side, but still funny in all the ways you would want him to be, if you like him. You are also introduced to Leelee Sobieski in her feature film debut (she had been in TV movies, but not really big movies till Jungle 2 Jungle came out). The movie in general is a great family flick, one that everyone can enjoy. I believe that is should be given at least one chance, so go out and rent this fun movie.
This movie is solid fun. It's typical Tim Allen, which means that if you like him you should enjoy the movie. He employs lots of quick wit, sarcasm, and slapstick self-deprivation. The son does a mostly believable job with the typical fish out of water story. He climbs out on the ledge of a Manhattan skyscraper and also climbs to the top of the statue of liberty to see the "fire up the sky's butt". The supporting cast puts in workman quality acting as well. The real mom (JoBeth Williams) is believable as a post 60's Peace Corp leftover and villain played by David Ogden Stiers (M*A*S*H) is terrific as a scary and quirky Russian mafia boss. It is a down the middle Disney pre-teen movie and fun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tim Allen plays an uptight New York stockbroker who ends up having to
look after the teenage son he never knew he had, and who has grown up
in the South American jungle.
The convoluted set up leads to a straightforward family movie full of simple knockabout humour. The fish out of water antics of the boy are the main substance of the film, but there are additional threads: the gradual father-son bonding, a young love story, a Russian criminal, the realisation that different values may not necessarily be worse, for instance...
This is not a sophisticated movie, but it is enjoyable for family viewing. Tim Allen anchors it well, Martin Short, Jobeth Williams and David Ogden Stiers offer sterling support, and it is good to see Sam Huntington and Leelee Sobieski in young roles.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Michael Cromwell (Tim Allen) is a wealthy commodity broker in New york
City. But after wanting to marry his girlfriend, he must divorce his
old wife living in Brazil. After traveling to Brazil he finds out that
he has a son who has been raised in an Indian tribe.
Deciding to bond with the boy, he brings back Mimi-Siku (Sam Huntington) to New York and that's were the fun begins. Nimi-Siku learns to adapt to the city, finds fun in climbing on the buildings, and living with his father calling him 'Bamboo'. it is a good family bonding film with some fine acting by Tim Allen in his one of his earliest comedy roles. Sam Huntington is very funny and mostly on accident in seeing a fish out of water story.
You'll laugh and you'll really enjoy the fun presented in this family bonding story.
Jungle 2 Jungle. Starring: Tim Allen, Sam Huntington, Leelee Sobieski, and Martin Short.
3 1/2 out of 5 Stars.
The first time I saw this movie was in the cinnima theatre. I found this
film to be surprisingly enjoyable and entertaining. It was funny and stupid
sometimes. The best quality this film has is its replay value. You can watch
it several times and not get bored with it. Also, this movie really makes
New York city look a lot friendlier than it really is (We all know New York
is a hell hole). This movie is great to watch on a rainy day when you have
nothing to do.
My Rating: 9 out of 10 or A-
A remake of the French hit, "Little Indian - Big City", "Jungle 2 Jungle" rises above the slap stick of the French original and the usual shallow Disney live action to become an enjoyable, funny and often heart-warming story, as much to do with father/son relationships as with a fish out of water. Although Tim Allen and Martin Short are their usual good selves here, Sam Huntington is the real star. An amazing young talent, he makes "Mimi-Siku" believable and endearing, someone we relate to and care about. It's Sam's performance that really lifts the film and makes it worthwhile to children and adults alike.
Tim Allen made this film at the height of his fame,and this is probably
one of his better films.
The story itself is pretty simple. Business man learns he has a son raised in the jungle and then has to adapt to the son living with him in the city.
Allen plays a similar sort of character to the one he did in 'The Santa Clause' and the film really plays to his strengths. Although he has tried to do more edgy films (Crazy on the outside, which was pretty poor) Allen has always produced his best work with Disney and with John Pasquin as director.
The film also features a not well explored relationship between Allen's character and his love interest but far more interesting is the chemistry between Allen and Martin Short. They play of each other so well that it makes you wonder what went so wrong when 9 years later they teamed up for 'The Santa Clause 3'.
Overall if you're looking for a good Tim Allen film then look no further.
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