Jungle (2017)

5.7/10 by 417 users

A mysterious guide escorts an enthusiastic adventurer and his friend into the Amazon jungle, but their journey turns into a terrifying ordeal as the darkest elements of human nature and the deadliest threats of the wild force them to fight for survival.

Release Date:October 20, 2017
Genres:Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Production Company:Screen Queensland, Screen Australia, Babber Films, Cutting Edge Group, Melbourne International Film Festival
Production Countries:Australia, Colombia
Director:Greg McLean
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:river, bolivia, hallucination, forest, amazon, alone, based on true story, survival, jungle, raft, drug, south america, amazon rainforest, rainforest
  • A struggle to empathise with the characters
    October 22, 2017

    This is a true story of 4 men from different parts of the world, making the stupid, seemingly pointless decision to make a long, hard trek to a 'lost' part of the Amazon jungle.

    Right off the bat, the film quickly introduces us to the 4 main characters of the film. Spending not more than a minute or two introducing us to each man and their backstories which to me is one fatal flaw of the film.

    It's hard enough to empathise with 4 white guys with no real reason to trek the amazon with little to no training and experience, no gear, no real guide and no solid reason as to why the trek should have taken place at all. The reasons behind it were so flimsy, it was very hard to get behind them in the journey.

    Instead of rooting for them, I found myself rooting for the jungle to take them out. It's like when a cat gets struck up a tree, you empathise with it and try to help it down even if its done it several times before because it knows no better. But imagine 4 grown men, getting stuck up a tree, waiting to be rescued, all you're thinking is "STOP GOING UP THERE!". That's exactly how I felt for our 4 protagonists. No real reason to go into such dangerous uncharted territory, got stuck, suffered loss and now a film to memorialise their... ill-advised, pointless and stupid journey? The fact that the film took a cursory look at the character's backstories, and showed mostly their shortcomings as human beings (impatient, unreasonable, lacking empathy for their own travelling partners) further added to the struggle I had to empathise with any of them.

    As for the performances for our main characters, I didn't find any standout roles. Daniel Radcliffe's portrayal of Yossi was the most substantial in the film but his overall performance lent itself to the whole 'annoying little man' image, making one bad and stupid decision after another, disparaging his own travel mates for things they had absolutely no control over, basically overcompensating for his tiny stature with feigned machismo.

    An alright film for background noise but nothing to shout home about. 5/10.