Guest Review: Welcome To the Jungle

Ok, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Welcome To the Jungle is not nearly as bad as it’s 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes would lead you to believe. The bad news is that it isn’t nearly good enough to be entirely worth watching. It’s stuck in the middle. The movie is just fine.

Welcome To the Jungle is just another case of a great concept that is not quite squandered, but it isn’t as good as it should be. The biggest problem is that it isn’t bad or good enough to be remade later.

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The actors, after realizing how boring their movie is.

Welcome To the Jungle stars Adam Brody as Chris, a low-ranking guy at an advertising agency that doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. He gets crap from coworkers and only has one real friend there. After Chris’s big idea gets successfully stolen by office jerk Phil (Rob Huebel), the company announces that everybody in the office is being flown to a remote private island to attend a retreat led by big-shot muscly tough guy Storm Rothchild (Jean-Claude Van Damme).

The next day everybody is on a the island and everything quickly descends into chaos. The pilot dies, Storm is gone, and the people are split into separate tribes. The good guys, Chris, his love interest Lisa (Megan Boone), his best friend Jared (Eric Edelstein), and his love interest Brenda (the always funny Kristen Schaal), and the idiots (literally everybody else in the movie) who are being lead by a power crazed Phil.

There are very few things I know for sure, but one of them is that Rob Huebel is a damn funny man, especially when he’s playing a total asshole. Luckily, that’s exactly what he is is this movie. Kind of like he was in I Love You, Man, he exists just to give the main character somebody to hate. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out that his character in this movie is just Tevin Downey after he found a new job in advertising.

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Jean-Claude had no idea the cameras were rolling for this part, he just got mad at an extra.

Welcome To the Jungle isn’t full of laughs, but there are a few. There are plenty of jokes, but most land with a thud. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Rob Huebel are the main source of laughs in the movie. The problem with Van Damme is that he is underutilized. He disappears too soon into the island trip, but when he resurfaces, he is pretty hilarious.

Bottom line, I think that Welcome To the Jungle is watchable, but not a necessity. The main reason to watch would be if you’re already a fan of some of the comedy people in the movie like Kristen Schaal and Rob Huebel. I can’t really say that it’s worth it to see Van Damme because he really only has about ten minutes of screen time.

You won’t be completely wasting your time with this movie, but there are plenty of better ways to spend it (like They Came Together, which conveniently enough, I reviewed right here.)

Welcome To the Jungle: C-

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