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James Le Gros,
The story of a shy boy who gets convinced by his parents to spend a few summer days in the mountains. So, he joins a group, and the vacation begins. Unfortunately, things turn out to be a little tough for our small friend.
The Naked Ape suffered from a slow start and stumbled through the majority of the script in a stop-start fashion. However, in the final act everything came together. This film assumes a level of intelligence and attention in its audience normally lacking from teen road movies and demands that you read between the lines. It is definitely worth sticking with this movie until the end although I will admit that this does take some effort at times.
Tony LaThanh and Corbin Bernsen provide definite highlights and both Josh Wise and Chelse Swain handle their lead roles with aplomb. Sean Shanks, however, did not shine as the domineering James but I felt this was more due to some clunking characterisation in the script than a fault of the actor.
Overall, The Naked Ape is a good and thoughtful film, but I came away wishing that Daniel Mellitz, on debut here as both writer and director, had given the script one final polish. That said, Mellitz has outshone a good 90% of debut directors and I await his next project with interest.
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