Welcome to the Jungle
Not a man likely to be confused with Robert De Niro any time soon, WWF star, The Rock, makes vague progression with this buddy action film. Brash and loud, the movie moves in chunks of formulaic action dominated hysterics, following the misadventures of Beck (Rock).
He's a bounty hunter who seems to be rather adroit at his job, able to track down just about anything. Skilled as he is, all Beck wants to do is to do is open a restaurant and settle down into a world of domestic bliss. Of course, one last big score wouldn't go astray in helping this dream become a reality, which is where Travis (Scott) comes in. He's about to nab a priceless artefact in the jungles of Brazil and asks Beck - upon capture, natch - to help him do just that. Before you can say 'implausible plot twist', Beck and Travis have teamed up to get up to all manner of comedic, vaguely fraught, fun 'n' games in the backwaters of the Amazon, as the bad guys, led by Hatcher (Walken in all his reptilian glory) are also after the loot.
Although rather stringent in its delivery, Welcome to the Jungle is not without its charms. There's a certain breathless energy to the film that makes you believe that director Peter Berg is in on the gag, throwing in a sporadic viciousness to the humour. Of course, this bawdy, boisterous approach can only cover so many cracks. This is hardly news, but The Rock is really not up to beat as an actor, and the screenwriters seem to know this - keeping things as straightforward as possible, with the stock total of his emotions barely registering beyond the banal. Walken is even more bizarre than usual, chalking up another oddly engaging character, while Scott and the luminous Dawson work well as a couple
Review by Garreth Murphy | 09:00 | Monday 22nd March 2004 | Movie Review