Welcome to the Jungle

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Caution: If you are easily offended, dislike any kind of vulgarity or have no sense of humor, this movie is probably not for you. In my opinion, this not-rated-by-anyone-official film should be rated R, as it has adult themes, quite a bit of off-color language, drug use, sexual activity, nudity, etc. I found it to be hilarious, highly reminiscent of the 1999 movie Office Space in tone and humor, if said movie were set on a slightly less interesting version of the island from LostJean-Claude Van Damme is hysterically funny, skewering himself in pretty much every action movie ever made. I love watching big Hollywood actors totally make fun of themselves!  Rob Huebel makes your skin crawl as he owns his role as a smarmy jerk and a truly repellent human being (that’s putting it mildly, but I’m limited in the language I choose to employ), Adam Brody is charming as the “nice guy”, plus the Allstate guy (Dennis Haysbert) does a turn as a clueless CEO.

Mr. Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) sends his office employees on a team-building retreat (but wisely chooses not to join them), run by the improbably named and very deranged tough guy Storm Rothchild (Jean-Claude Van Damme).  Their destination is a deserted island in an undisclosed location, completely cutting them off from the outside world in order to heighten the experience.  What could possibly go wrong?  When things inevitably do not go as planned, leaders rise and fall, new societal structures form, promptly break down and everything devolves into a very adult version of Lord of the Flies.

The plot is imaginative and more than a little campy, but every time I thought I had figured out where the story was going, I was wrong. Is the script totally unbelievable and ridiculous, full of very raunchy and crude humor? Yes, and I enjoyed every bizarre moment of it, even when I was cringing in disgust. I especially enjoyed seeing Megan Boone, after making her acquaintance in The Blacklist. True, here she could be seen as a budget version of Olivia Wilde, but I think she did a great job as the office’s resident super hot but really nice girl. All the supporting cast were spot on as a pasquinade of office workers everywhere, each one deranged in their own special way. I couldn’t stop myself from howling with helpless laughter through most of the movie, and I dare you to give it a try.  – BETHANY

For more on this twisted film, stop by the Internet Movie Database

Doesn’t every office have one of these cookie characters who collect odd things in one variety or another?  Kristen Schaal‘s character  Brenda is obsessed with anything rabbit related.

                                The nice guy Chris (Adam Brody).  The sweater vest and the milk sign in the background perfectly sum up his character.

                                                                          Megan Boone playing office hot but nice girl Lisa.

Office meetings. Gee, this looks like so much fun!  Brenda (Kristen Schaal), Chris (Adam Brody) and Jared (Eric Edelstein).

Mr. Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), who looks perpetually bored, introducing Storm (Jean-Claude Van Damme).

                                    Storm’s pitch to the horrified office denizens.

Don’t leave us here!  It’s cruel.  It’s inhumane!

Storm never misses an opportunity to strike a pose.

      One of the aliases (François Van Varenberg) Jean-Claude Van Damme is accused of being an impersonator is actually his real name.  – source: IMDB.com trivia

Phil (Rob Huebel) and friends go totally native.

Storm confronting a tiger.  “Be not afraid, my noble jungle brother.”

          The island itself is quite pretty, but the wildlife is something else.

Things get downright steamy.  And pervy!  Note the view is illicitly seen through binoculars.

An alliance of the relatively sane.

Van Damme is surprisingly good in a comedy, although most of his performance is comprised of spoofing himself and other humor at his own expense.

This movie would have been awesome if Katy Perry swooped in to the rescue.  Alas, she doesn’t.  (Photo courtesy of Capitol Records, from Perry’s music video for her song ‘Roar’.)



Photos courtesy of The Salt Company International, Pimienta Film Company, 120dB Films, Stun Creative, Private Island Trax and Universal Pictures (unless otherwise credited in clickable form)


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