Congo (1995) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
165 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
It Works on a Rainy Saturday Afternoon
claudio_carvalho29 September 2015
In Congo, Charles Travis (Bruce Campbell) is testing a communication system by laser with his former fiancée Dr. Karen Ross (Laura Linney) for the TraviCom network. Charles is the son of the millionaire R.B. Travis (Joe Don Baker), who owns the TraviCom and is Karen's employer. Charles and his friend Jeffrey (Taylor Nichols) find the ruins of a lost city but are somehow killed. Meanwhile their camp is completely destroyed and then the camera is shut down by a creature. Travis discloses to Karen that his son was actually trying to find a rare blue diamond in Congo and sends her to look for him. Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Elliot (Dylan Walsh) and his assistant Richard (Grant Heslov) are testing communication with the gorilla Amy and they decide to take her back to Congo since the animal seems to miss her birthplace. However they have funding issue but the Romanian philanthropist Herkermer Homolka (Tim Curry) offers to financially assist them. In the airport, Karen provides more money and joins the expedition. In the politically unstable Africa, they meet the experienced guide Captain Munro Kelly (Ernie Hudson) that bribes Captain Wanta (Delroy Lindo) to let them go. Further, he discloses that Homolka's real intention is to find the Lost City of Zinj. Then they embark in a plane in the beginning of a dangerous adventure in Congo.

Despite the negative reviews, "Congo" is an entertaining but outdated jungle adventure movie in the style of Tarzan, with lost city, dangerous gorillas and forgotten tribe of natives. The screenplay does not develop well the relationship among Charles Travis, his apparently estranged father R.B. Travis and Dr. Karen Ross but the film works on a rainy Saturday afternoon. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Congo"
21 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Memorably quirky and juvenile; unique and underappreciated
PhilipJames198019 April 2002
Congo is the first movie on the IMDB for which I am writing a user comment. I am giving it this distinction because, although it is not the best movie I have ever seen, nor my all-time favorite movie, it is one of my personal favorites nonetheless. If I could choose only ten movies to own, or even just five, Congo would be one of them.

Because so many people dislike Congo, or are at least indifferent to it, I feel compelled to explain why I like it. I like Congo because it's different: in the seven years since I first saw it in June of 1995, I've seen countless other movies, but Congo still retains its uniqueness, I believe. Other movies have tried to duplicate Congo's juvenile sense of adventure and tongue-in-cheek humor (most notably the two Mummy movies), but none of them have surpassed Congo as one of the most gleefully preposterous and deliriously fun yarns I've ever seen.

So many people have criticized Congo in so many ways that I'm not sure which complaint I should address first. The consensus among most comments seems to be that the character of Amy, the "talking" gorilla, pretty much ruins the movie because she is annoying and unconvincing. Although I cannot deny that "Amy" is, indeed, a woman in a gorilla costume which is not quite convincing, I should also say (1) that when I first saw Congo, I thought Amy was pretty convincing, and at least acceptable; and (2) convincing gorillas in movies are rare, in my opinion. Rick Baker's work in Gorillas in the Mist and the Mighty Joe Young remake is the best I've seen; and although Amy (created by Stan Winston's team, not Baker's) is inferior to Baker's best work, she's better than some of Baker's apes in Burton's terrible Planet of the Apes remake. If I must choose between Amy, and Tim Roth in an obvious chimpanzee costume, I choose Amy.

Another common complaint is that the movie Congo is inferior to Michael Crichton's novel, upon which it was based. I read the novel in early 1995, just prior to seeing the movie, and so the book was still fresh in my mind when I saw the movie: and I thought the movie did an excellent job of conveying the essence of the book, and gave the story an offbeat style which sets the movie apart from the book. The movie also has a healthy sense of humor about itself, which Crichton's novel lacks and sorely needs.

I almost forgot the actors! Some people hate Congo simply because it lacks a Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis; nevertheless it does boast a talented and interesting cast of mostly underrated actors. Laura Linney has given good, strong performances in many movies, but I argue that her performance in Congo is still her most entertaining. Dylan Walsh gives an earnest, appealing performance as the earnest, appealing Peter Elliot, whose devotion to Amy (however laughable it is for many viewers) gives the movie some heart. Ernie Hudson gives a clever, unforgettable performance as Munro Kelly; although black, he possesses the mannered speech and condescending attitude of an authentic "great white hunter," one of the movie's best gags. Grant Heslov has little to do, but some of his delivery is terrific ("Safari? I don't even like picnics!") Tim Curry is a sheer delight in this movie, giving a campy performance as the monomaniacal Herkermer Homolka, a "Roumanian philanthropist" obviously written into the movie (the character does not exist in the novel) to correspond with Wayne Knight's character Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park. Some people are offended by Curry's performance, and believe it's offensive to Roumanians as well. Here's a tip: anyone offended by anything in Congo takes life (not to mention this movie) way too seriously, and needs to lighten up.

Many people hate Congo simply because it's cheesy. But considering the story (assorted oddballs journey to a site in the African jungle which may be the legendary mines of King Solomon), how could the movie not be cheesy? Did people really expect a movie called Congo to be realistic, believable and compelling? Surely such a movie would be even more cliched and misconceived than the one that was made. John Patrick Shanley's script may be crude and smug, but at least it's fun, and certainly a model of efficiency: Shanley trimmed the novel of subplots (such as a rival expedition, and attempts to decipher the gray gorillas' "language") which would have made the movie longer, slower and more pretentious. He added lots of pithy dialogue and made the whole affair an exercise in high camp. The result is a quintessential juvenile adventure that improves upon more bombastic and elaborate efforts like Armageddon. And Frank Marshall's straightforward, low-key direction nicely contrasts with the inherent absurdity of the storyline; a more intense and heavy-handed director would not have been a good choice to helm a movie like Congo.

Congo isn't nearly the terrible movie that many people believe it is. It isn't a movie for everybody or even a movie for most people: but it was created with a certain audience in mind, and many people are simply too serious and high-minded to belong to that audience. Congo and movies like it are cartoons for adults: if you don't like movies with colorful visuals, ridiculous plots and juvenile characters, you should not watch Congo. But if you do like movies with those characteristics, then I submit that Congo is one of the best movies of that kind that I've ever seen.
159 out of 196 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This movie is not as bad as its rating suggests
TheBryanWay8 August 2008
Congo is rarely mentioned in any discussion about film. It seems like a forgotten artifact, abandoned like King Solomon's mines, discovered only by only those who maintain some fundamental interest; what you find is going to depend on how open you keep your mind. Rest assured, those of you who would rather ignore it aren't going to be missing a diamond, but I'd say an arrowhead isn't out of the question.

I'll dispense with the metaphors: Congo is not a bad film. I watched it many times in my youth and just watched it again yesterday, and the biggest complaint I have is that the original song 'Sounds Of Africa' is awful. I won't summarize the plot or analyze the film in explicit detail, but I will say that it is briskly paced, sharply written, and features solid characterizations, or as solid as they can be in an adventure epic. As an example, Tim Curry has been dismissed too often as the comic relief when he is actually central to the plot and turns in a deliciously dense performance, above and beyond the limitations of his character. Considering the slightly campy tone, the special effects are well above what anyone could expect. Just don't come prepared to judge them based on modern standards or Jurassic Park. Personally, I find physical effects more endearing than CGI anyway.

As many reviewers have said, it's a film of a bygone era, a lost world story treated as an adventure epic. Clearly it's not Indiana Jones and the tone tends to waver a bit, but it's never boring, and if it had been adapted from the book directly, it would have been. I can't imagine someone watching the airplane SAM scene without being excited by the action, or watching the group's border crossing struggles without at least sporting a grin.

So, check your ego and check your critical faculties; this is no Citizen Kane and it doesn't pretend to be. Those that harshly criticize it, by my estimation, have a lot to learn about having a good time at the movies.
74 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Legends of the Hidden Temple" with intelligent gorillas and science
Allmanjoy1522 June 2007
OK, this movie is best watched on a rainy day or when you're pretty bored. The fake looking gorillas were obviously not very well-made, whereas the 1993 film Jurassic Park had familiarized audiences with CG dinosaurs. In fact, CGI was originally planned for the grays, but the technology had not yet been developed to the point where realistic hair could be created. While smooth skinned dinosaurs were possible, hairy apes would have looked inappropriately cartooned. Therefore, animatronics, masks and puppetry had to be utilized. So that was kind of a damper on the special effects as well as Tim Curry's bad acting. The movie could have been a lot better, but it was viewable. If you got over the gorilla puppets and Tim Curry's accent, you have a pretty decent movie. I thought the story was good. It's not Jurassic Park, but it's Michael Crichton. Congo wasn't very realistic, but neither was Jurassic Park. It was like that show "Legends of the Hidden Temple" with intelligent gorillas and science. There was action and a plot. So I could sit and watch it. I'll give it (barely) 6 stars.
33 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's B to the core, but for some reason I love it
canadasbest24 August 2005
Don't get me wrong, this is not Oscar worthy in the least, nor does it stand as a particularly entertaining popcorn flick.

I love this movie because of it's incredible cheesiness, from the talking gorilla to Tim Curry's greedy diamond chaser to the absurd diamond laser plot line. I've read Crichton's book and it's quite good, the movie however, misses a lot of the time.

That being said, I still love watching it, I can't explain it, I guess it's so bad that it's good for a laugh whenever I see it, and watching people devoured by psychopathic gorillas never gets old.

If you've got friends over, pop this one in and give it the MST3K treatment, you'll have a blast I'm sure.

Like I said, no redeeming value to be had here but if you like watching bad movies just for the heck of it, this may be one to check out.

P.S. Joe Pantoliano's cameo is golden.
62 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A B movie, that does right what so many other movies do wrong that people complain about
Benh10035 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
So I have to review this movie in defense of it.

My intro is, I seen this movie first when I was 15 on our best screen and loudest sound system in our 2nd biggest city(500k pop metro). I left the theater a little nerve-racked due to the fairly graphic ending when the hybrid gorillas were finally unleashed in broad daylight, face to face, to go on their killing rampage. I have since watched this movie again at the age of 30, minutes prior to writing this review after reading what other people thought about it. I'm on the Pro side.

Now my biggest couple of compliments of this movie is the time length. This movie is nearly 2 hours long(1:58 with credits). This gives the movie so many extra scenes of character development and the time to do small things that build the characters up to give them depth and for you to understand them all, care for some, and not care so much about others. This is one thing this movie does that a lot of others don't.

Another thing is the hybrid gorillas. There are 2 scenes with them near the end, but they're both fairly brief, trickery camera work was done on one scene with the gorilla in the temple so you couldn't make it out 100% completely(yet you obviously knew what it was) and the other was the scene with the tripod guns at night. Night. In darkness. Again, you don't get a full good view of them. They wait to unleash their furious killing rampage until the very very final end to the movie for it's climax battle-scene. Most other creature feature films give the monster away in full-blown face-to-face view much earlier than this. Again, this is helped by the movies length.

The people involved with why this movie came to be: Micheal Chriton, Kathleen Kenedy, etc. All these people had a big hand in Jurassic Park. So you know that even though the movie is B grade, it's going to get a huge kick in the ass to be a DAMN good B movie.

Due to the movie's length, this movie really is a very long expedition through the jungle of the Congo, and even prior to that there's a half a dozen scenes showing you their struggles and negotiations to get across borders. There are all types of transportation on their expedition with their own troubles in each one. There's an airplane, river rafting over rapids, calm deep water, on foot, and an escape with a hot air balloon at the end. This movie gives them the time to setup base camp like 3 or 4 different times. They meet an African tribe who found one of the scientists fellow employees. So whether or not you enjoyed the characters portrayed in this movie, they did all the right things to help give them depth and develop them fully.

Most favorite comic relief: STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE. That one line could be tacked onto any kid's video at the end with his logo for comic relief. Plus it was just hilarious.

The stars. Ernie Hudson. Dead on. Perfectly played as the intelligent safari leader. Tim Curry. Perfectly played, despite the sometimes cramped accent, as the greedy diamond hunter looking for the lost city of Zing, containing King Solomon's mines. The communication's scientist looking for her ex and a flawless diamond. Played well and another intelligent character who might not know as much about the Congo's dangers, but catches on quickly. The gorilla expert with Amy. Great chemistry there, albeit a bit PG at times. His colleague is played well as a gutless chicken with no balls at all. Garhaygar(spelling?), very well played as Monroe's obvious long-time buddy who knows the jungle pretty well as well.

The climax with the killer gorillas. Still like it to this day and sometimes often just watch that scene only when I don't want to watch the whole movie(even though I'm tempted to watch it again just cause it's such a long adventure movie). I do the same thing with Ghost. I like that movie but sometimes just watch Carl and Willy get taken to Hell(haha).

All in all, due to being dated and having some B qualities, this is a movie that got a serious A-quality kick in the pants and is highly enjoyable. You just have to sit down and be prepared to invest yourself in a movie that pushes being 2 hours long.

A very solid and proud 8 out of 10.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fun, No Matter What Critics Might Say
gavin694217 December 2015
When an expedition to the African Congo ends in disaster, a new team is assembled to find out what went wrong.

I saw this film in the theater and recall liking it. It had action, adventure, some horror elements. A great cast. Even Bruce Campbell, who I liked at the time. But watching it again now (2015) twenty years later, I didn't really remember very much, it seems, beyond the killer gorillas.

I had no recollection, for example, of just how bad the gorilla costumes were. Amy (the good gorilla) in particular looks awful. Now, I would rather have a bad suit than bad CGI. So that's good. But it still makes the movie sort of cheesy and has probably caused its stock to decline in recent years.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great Film
pfernandez374 March 2005
I don't care what anybody says. I thought it was a well thought-out storyline and the characters were awesome. Everyone had to love Herkama. He made the whole show. Besides, I've seen a lot worse be treated to Academy awards simply because of directors and the movies weren't that great.

I don't think what the creator was attempting to capture special effects buffs as much as it was telling a basic concept of greed.

If you like a good story and can grasp the concept of what it is telling you about the wisdom of Solomon then watch this movie with new insight. If not, you deserve Million Dollar Baby!
23 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's where they drink Um Bongo.
BA_Harrison29 September 2011
After the mega-success of Spielberg's Jurassic Park in 1993, I imagine that producers were all over author Michael Crichton's back catalogue in search of another potential box-office hit; featuring untamed wilderness, a cute talking gorilla, some far less appealing killer apes, a laser weapon, King Solomon's lost diamond mines, and an exploding volcano, exotic, jungle-based adventure Congo was a natural choice for the block-buster approach.

Directed by Frank Marshall, the film made a healthy profit, but the critics tore the film apart, clearly of the opinion that this heady concoction of action, horror, industrial intrigue, drama and warfare was no match for Mel Gibson in a kilt or a talking pig. But then what do critics know anyway?

This might not be a superlative piece of cinema—John Patrick Shanley's screenplay conveys no meaningful message, Frank Marshall never advances the art of film-making with his direction, and one needn't bother looking for any Oscar-worthy performances—but Congo still proves to be hugely entertaining nonsense, a whole lot of cheesy, big budget fun, with cool creature effects (the gorilla suits were by FX legend Stan Winston), impressive set design, some decent action set-pieces, a wonderfully camp performance from Tim Curry as Romanian treasure seeker Herkermer Homolka, a neat cameo from Bruce Campbell, lovely Laura Linney and her delightful dimples, and some truly manky monkeys (OK, so technically they're apes, but for the purpose of alliteration, they're monkeys!). And that's got 'entertaining' stamped all over it as far as I am concerned.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A fun, scary adventure flick
moviesleuth224 January 2008
"Congo" is a lot of fun as long as you don't take it seriously. Because they share the author of the books they are based on, it is perhaps inevitable that in any review of "Congo" the film "Jurassic Park" will come up sooner or later. Yes, "Jurassic Park" vastly surpasses "Congo" in quality, but seeing as how the former is debatedly THE best example of a summer action flick, making that statement doesn't necessarily mean that "Congo" isn't worth watching.

In fact, "Congo" is a breathtaking thriller, probably only marred by its budget which causes some of the effects to look rather cheap, and descend into the B-movie territory. That being said, director Frank Marshall still manages to not only create a film that not only succeeds as an action film, but at times the tension grows so high that it almost could be labeled as a horror flick (though I highly doubt that that was the intent).

Yet there is some justification in labeling "Congo" as a horror film (at least in part). There are definitely some moments, particularly in the latter half of the movie, that are actually quite frightening. While the killer gorillas don't necessarily "look" scary up close, the savagery in which they attack and brutally murder people is pretty scary. In addition, the gore level is pretty high, especially for a PG-13 rating. The efforts on the part of the filmmakers to avoid an R rating is at times obvious, such as in some of the more brutal gorilla attacks, the picture is fuzzy and in slow-motion (these changes are not successful, and hurt the movie). Even as it is, the levels of terror and gore are high enough to make one wonder whether the PG-13 rating is appropriate.

"Congo" is not without its flaws. As I said before, the budget constraints make some of the effects look cheap, and at times lower the film to the B-level range. Also, the film takes a little too long to begin gaining momentum, which at times cause the film to drag (though the payoff in the latter half of the movie is well worth the wait). Finally, it is quite clear that Amy is a person in a gorilla suit (which given the complexity of the character was unavoidable). The killer gorillas don't suffer from the same fate, but they don't look particularly frightening (actually, they look rather sickly, however their actions quickly quash that notion).

Frequently, acting is not a strong point for most action-adventure films, unless the characters are rather unique (as in "Pirates of the Caribbean"). However, "Congo" is an exception. It features not one, but two standout performances. Tim Curry is great as Herkermer Homolka, the jewel-obsessed "Romanian philanthropist" (you can almost see his eyes take the form of diamonds. It's a typical Tim Curry role, but he avoids overdoing it and becoming annoying (which I guess he is, but in a good way).

But perhaps the biggest surprise is Ernie Hudson as the sarcastic, and ever so slick Monroe Kelly. It's all in the delivery, and Hudson delivers his lines with enough wit and bite to make him easily the most appealing actor in the movie. Had this movie been more popular, it would be reasonable to suspect that Hudson could have been up for an Oscar, as most of the nominees of the said award win for inferior performances. Laura Linney and Dylan Walsh are adequate, but given the staple hero characters they are given, it is probably unfair to expect more than what they give. Grant Heslov plays the neurotic sidekick that he usually plays (see "True Lies"), and it is pretty welcoming.

I don't understand why this flopped at the box-office. Perhaps because it had to live up to the reputation of "Jurassic Park," which is more than can be expected of any film.
24 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Superior Story, Average Action, Great Atmosphere. All In All, A Good Creature Feature!
Elswet27 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Predictable? Perhaps a bit, but not near as much as most of the other "monster" movies I've seen. And, while John Patrick Shanley's adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel is about as bad as the adaptations of Stephen King's novels, the movie (when not held in comparison to the original literary work) is quite good. It stands alone, though it really should have been a "based on" and not an adaptational work.

Amy is a seven-year-old gorilla from the Verunga Region of the Congo, taken captive and sold to a university for study. Dr. Peter Elliot (portrayed so very well by Dylan Walsh) is the primatologist who has full charge of Amy and her development. In a "lonely impulse of delight," he has taught his ward to speak through the use of sign language and technology, but Amy is having problems.

She is experiencing nightmares, based on her past as a very young gorilla, and a deep longing to return to the jungle.

In his love of Amy, Dr. Elliot endeavors to return her to the place of her birth, with the assistance of philanthropist Herkimer Homolka (one of Tim Curry's best roles in my opinion, as a serious actor and not a character actor, he is quite believable) and the well-equipped Dr. Karen Ross (wonderfully portrayed by Laura Linney), an ex CIA agent who is now an executive with Travel-Com; a corporation in desperate need of a flawless diamond from the Congo to power its next "Cash-Cow."

(SUB-PLOT): Travel-Com's megalomaniacal CEO/CFO has sent his son and another team to the Congo to search for the diamond so desperately needed by the corporation. But when the expedition fails and Travel-Com loses contact, the psycho insists that Dr. Ross take over the Amy expedition in an attempt to discover what happened with the first team, and his son. (/SUB-PLOT)

(ALTERNATE SUB-PLOT): When they finally arrive near the last leg of their trek to the Verunga Region, they discover that Mr. Homolka has a hidden agenda; he is in search of the lost city of Zinj, and the diamond mine purported to be hidden within its walls. He compares the one artifact of which he was in possession; a ring with the single eye emblazoned upon it, with the drawings of Amy's which were published in a scientific magazine, and concludes that Amy and Amy alone has knowledge of Zinj's true location. (/ALTERNATE SUB-PLOT)

But the Congo is neither easy to get to, nor easy to navigate and their party is beset by problems.

The cinematography and photography of this movie are astounding.

The scenery is absolutely breath-taking and the direction is superb. I love this production. The story is a wonderful adventure, the acting is quite professional, the effects are top ROW and the sets and scenes are extraordinary. The character development is above reproach as by the time they reach the Congo, you KNOW the characters and care what happens to them. All in all a very wonderful adventure, and with the added "monster" factor, this makes for one excellent artistic work.

I love this movie, and watch it often.

It rates an 8.2/10 from...

the Fiend :.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I have a soft spot for this movie, but...
Mandemus27 May 2007
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.
28 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Think Indiana Jones crossed with Jurrasic Park and add a dash of Star Wars
Herbest813 June 2010
What can you say about a movie like "Congo"? Well, it's silly and underdeveloped with some pretty shabby special effects but god help me, I like it.

The plot is somewhat episodic as multiple different characters with wildly different motives converge on the Congo. One is a communications technician (played nicely by Lauara Linney) who is looking for her fiancé. Another is a Romanain nut case (played by the fabulous Tim Curry) who is looking for a mythical, lost diamond mine. And the last is a gorilla expert returning a talking gorilla back to her natural habitat. I swear, I'm NOT making this up.

The cast as a whole is OK. Linney is appealing, Curry turns in a usual fine job, and cameos from Bruce Campbell and Joe Don Baker add to the quirky atmosphere. Special mention should go to Ernie Hudson, who's roguish charm while not as polished as Harrison Ford's, makes a great Clark Gable/Indiana Jones type-explorer.

The special effects are kind of a mixed bag. The gorillas are obviously stunt-men but the hokeyness is kind of fun. The climax in the temple is also silly but still rousing. Topping all this off, the quirky Jerry Goldsmith score adds considerably to the film as a whole.

Although certainly not a classic or even 100% good, "Congo" is a cheesy, yet entertaining jungle adventure movie and is worth seeing.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This film is special to me.
tonymurphylee18 May 2006
I remember being only six years old when my older brother and his friends rented this one night. I watched it with them and now that I am seventeen years old, I feel that this was one of my most cherished memories. Of course i fell asleep near the end of it then, but it was still a really good memory, to watch CONGO with them. And now I have viewed this film fairly recently without falling asleep and have read the Michael Crichton(Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain) book. I for one find this film to be very entertaining. Of course it goes without saying that this film is not completely accurate to the book. They have added new characters and added more gory death and less technology and actual factual feeling. The creators could have made this film an interesting sci-fi adventure feature, but instead they have made a B movie. Although the film feels like the former, and did when i was six. This film has enough technology and factual feel to be interesting, but not quite believable. And yet, this for once, is not at all a bad thing. The film is pretty convoluted. It is about a primatologist and a friend who have a talking gorilla(via electronic headset) and decide to go to it's birthplace to see what its like and discover what happened to a team that went their a little while earlier to find a treasure in which Tim Curry randomly appears in a fake accent and pretends to be a companion who is searched for by a stereotypical soldier looking dude who turns out not to be a friend and, yeah. I don't really know how to exactly explain the plot, suffice to say that somehow, the gorilla named Amy and her friends, for some reason, must escape from a helicopter because they are shot at and end up in the jungle, not alone, with all of their crew mates and stuff. And from there on, they must try to avoid danger from snakes, hippos, and a wild pack of mutated monkeys that intend to eat their flesh and kill everyone. I know that this film sounds completely ridiculous and stupidly pointless, but that is really part of the fun. Usually movies are either thought provoking and interesting, or entertaining. This film is very entertaining and funny. This film also has a high body count, with a lot of characters meeting their end in gruesome ways. It takes itself seriously, but not seriously enough to make it not fun. I liked this film as a kid because it was funny and fun. It still works for me.
36 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Goofy Good Time
orangehenryviii11 March 2018
When a movie opens with a Bruce Campbell cameo as a fanny-pack-sporting explorer you know you are in for a goofy good time. Throw in Tim Curry, Joe Don Baker, a talking gorilla, a volcano, and more fake monkeys than Saturday morning TV in the 70s and it's a party. All this with a Michael Crichton plot and big budget special effects. Thank goodness Spielberg didn't get his hands on this or it may have never turned out to be such ridiculous good fun. If you are are in the mood for a so-bad-its-good/accidentally funny flick, then break out the pop corn and enjoy!
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fun but not a masterpiece
TheLittleSongbird8 February 2009
I only read a bit of the novel, the bit when the people are killed, and it is really graphic. The film is no masterpiece,it is a bit cheesy, but it does have a sense of fun, (ie. Bruce Campbell, "Stop eating my sesame cake") and not as bad as the rating suggests. The special effects are nothing special, and I didn't get why the gorillas jumped into the lava at the end. That was the most cheesy thing about Congo. The script had its ups and downs, and the direction was a bit inexperienced. But the acting was on the whole alright. Laura Linney, who is a very good actress is a strong lead. Dylan Walsh pales in comparison but has some good delivery. Ernie Hudson is the best actor in the movie, with his easy-going charm and his grin. As for Tim Curry, at first I was put off by the accent, but hey it's acting. He was like a parallel to Dennis in Jurassic Park which is better. But I liked him here,he gave a great delivery of such classic lines. Please stop criticising him, when he was actually one of the reasons why I like the movie. He didn't deserve that Razzie nomination; that should have been Grant Heslov, whose delivery was whiny and his character was poorly written. Amy starts off well, like the movie, but grates on the nerves when the movie wears on. I am terrified of the King Solomons Mine scene, it is just very graphic, having your head bashed in like that. I know it's pretend but it felt real.The scenery was splendid, the cinematography was excellent and Jerry Goldsmith's music was good. In conclusion, a fairly watchable movie, if you don't mind too much cheese, and shouldn't be compared to Jurassic Park, the only thing they have in common were that they were written by the same author. 6/10 Bethany Cox
18 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Slightly above average
Die Hard-319 October 1998
Warning: Spoilers
It is a fairly mindless piece of work, not as good as the novel, but this film isn't too bad. The monkey scenes are good, as is the plot which is: Working for a company mining diamonds out of Congo, Karen Ross, whose previous team had been killed, goes to the Congo with Peter Elliott, who has trained a gorilla to talk using sign language, who is planning to release her. Special-effects aren't great, but I enjoyed it. I don't really understand why the gorillas were simply jumping into lava at the end. It only rates a 5 out of 10 on my ratings.
17 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Stop eating my sesame cake!!!
filip5419 November 2002
I don't know why, but I just LOVE this movie!! I remember watching on TV numerous of times a couple of years ago. Now I accidentally found it on Hot Price and just couldn't resist. I still LOVE IT!!! It is funny as hell, some interesting acting(often bad, but that funny bad) like Tim Curry. Favourite scene has got to be when they meet Eric Lindo(that's his name, right) in the jungle and Herkemel starts eating his sesame cake. Right out hilarious!

Recommended to everyone!!

10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Chasing Amy
spookyrat116 September 2018
I'm happy to play odd man out amongst the many reviewers here who disliked this film, as I, like Roger Ebert apparently, have always found Congo to be entertaining and quite thrilling in the same way as were the big screen jungle adventures of the early 1950's and TV series, such as Jungle Jim.

Adapted quite closely from the best selling book by Michael Crichton, but wisely, never taking itself anywhere near as seriously, Congo is a fun ride, mixing lost cities, buried treasure, volcanoes, earthquakes, African civil wars, satellite technology, lasers, predatory animals and a talking gorilla into one heady, trip. It's tongue is planted very firmly, front and centre in it's cinematic cheek, for which many of the critics and reviewers here, IMO, don't appear to give it sufficient credit. This is very much an adventure comedy, best referenced when the largely African cast join chorally and quite unexpectedly in the singing of California Dreaming, as they paddle rafts down a river.

This is the film that introduced me to (the very attractive in a natural way) Laura Linney, playing the smart, independent, resilient scientist Karen Ross. It also gave Ernie Hudson what he later described as his favourite role, allowing him to finally and genuinely, share centre stage in a movie (rather than token black support actor) playing Captain Munro Kelly (think of an African - American Stewart Grainger) utilising a delightfully functional mid-Atlantic accent. Mention must be made of the Amy gorilla character, who truly convinces us she is a flesh and blood creature, through being allowed (unlike many of the human characters) to play it pretty much straight, whilst still having some early comic highlights with her primate scientist/trainer played by Dylan Walsh.

This 1995 production still looks the goods, with suitably exotic location scenes mainly shot in Costa Rica with only some of the concluding special effects looking a little clunky by today's more refined standards.

Finally watch out for the visually spectacular parachuting scenes and the humorous events leading up to it and an uncredited cameo from the always reliable Delroy Lindo playing a money-hungry militia leader.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great B-Movie fun!
ABS-1323 October 2001
The effects are cheesy, the acting is cartoonish and so is the script. But I LOVE this movie for what it is. FUN!! Bruce Campbell has a spectacular cameo, Ernie Hudson and Delroy Lindo have great supporting roles and Tim Curry is hilarious as Herkermer Homolka.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An okay flick...
bullions2723 October 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Congo is another multi-milion dollar adaptation of Crichton's works. Like Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Sphere, etc, the film raped the book of its true meaning and essence. I'll make this short and to the point. The scenery is beautiful. The actors, well it's the best they can do. The script? Try congesting hundreds of pages into an hour and half movie. You get a mess in the end but how neat of a mess is what counts and Congo falls somewhere below that. There were some silly moments, like why did the killer gorillas decide to jump into the lava? And Amy, raised by humans, surrounded by humans, yet can intimidate dozens of killer apes around her? What sort of twist of common sense is that? Which brings me to this. If there was an annoying character in every movie, Amy ranks of one here. You see Amy is this naive little female ape who can talk with a special backpack and harness strapped to her. Neat idea, but it gets annoying after awhile hearing her talk. Congo is worthwhile to see, and not deplorable, but certainly not a memorable film either.
17 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
amityranch15 March 2006
I, personally think Congo was an excellent movie. Yes, there was a lot of unbelievable and unrealistic stuff in it, but it was entertaining! Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry And Joe Don Baker All made excellent performances. The music was great as was the scenery. The movie is entertaining and easy to watch. I think every dollar spent making it, showed up in the picture. Congrats to all, especially Marshall & Kennedy! It's east to pick apart a movie but often people don't realize all the work that goes into it. The scenery is especially nice and enjoyable. Ernie Hudson played Monroe Kelly well and believable. Joe Don Baker played a CEO real well too. The Traivs-com headquarters was cool too.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Congo is a great adventure!
Movie Nuttball27 December 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Minor Spoilers Congo is such a good movie.I love the tagline Where you are the endangered species!Such a great beatutiful movie with fantastic music by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith and Congo has a great cast aswell including Bruce Campbell,Joe Don Baker,Tim Curry,Ernie Hudson,Dylan Walsh,Laura Linney,Delroy Lindo,Peter Jason and many others!I really don`t know why people don`t like this movie.It has action,great stars,great visuals,and so much more! I love Congo!
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A B-movie with a budget
bowmanblue22 November 2014
'Congo' never tries to be anything other than a B-movie. The plot is kind of simple. The characters are pretty stereotypical and the dialogue is hardly Shakespeare. In fact, when films are talked about, Congo is always forgotten. It wasn't received that well at its time of release, yet all that doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad film.

Yes, it's kind of cheesy, but it's also kind of fun. It's an adventure that follows a group of scientists as they attempt to return a friendly gorilla to her natural habitat (in the Congo, would you believe?). Unfortunately, things don't go their way and they have to contend with everything from corrupt local soldiers to angry hippos and killer gorillas.

It's one of those adventure movies that could - loosely - be put in the same category as the Indiana Jones movies. Don't get me wrong... it's nowhere near as good as Indy's outings, but, if you're looking for a fun movie that rolls along with plenty of action, then give this a go.

I would say that the only major drawback came from the marketing. If you watch the trailers for it or read the write-up, all it talks about is how the team encounters hostile gorillas. That's the film's selling point. However, the said gorillas don't actually make an appearance until the last twenty-five minutes or so, so, by then, you may be wondering where they are.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent B-movie!
columbo12312 January 2004
This movie must be appreciated for what it is- an excellent B-movie with a great cast that chews the scenery and spits out preposterous dialogue. The Cast has all of the credentials. Tim Currey, Ernie Hudson, Delroy Lindo, Laura Linney, and Joe Pantoliano are all capable of fine dramatic work. That isn't what is called for here. Bruce Campbell and Joe Don Baker set the tone for this campy-action-comedy. This is a good excuse for good actors to flex thier overacting muscles.

Lots of fun
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed