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Welcome to the Jungle





Had "Welcome to the Jungle" been made about eight years ago, at the height of "The Blair Witch Project" mania, this fake documentary might have made a tiny splash. Instead, it's going to straight to video, which is exactly what it deserves.


Playing upon the real-life 1961 disappearance of Michael Rockefeller "? rumored to have fallen victim to cannibals "? four cocky young Americans (is there any other kind?) travel to Papau New Guinea to see if they can't track down the missing man and claim the family's $1 million reward. Good luck!


Of course, they document the whole thing via two video cameras, and their shaky footage is what comprises the movie. It's so "Blair Witch" that it contains tons of profanity and even an argument over a missing map. But unlike "Blair Witch," there's nary a scary moment in its tired blood.


Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh ("The Punisher"), the movie is improvised, as revealed in the making-of segment in the disc's extra features. The actors, however, are not good enough to come up with anything interesting and too repellent to make us care. Worst of all, it's dreadfully boring, only gaining a pulse in its final 10 minutes, but even then, it doesn't quicken.


Nice idea, but this "Jungle" is bungled.


"?Rod Lott


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