Welcome to the Jungle (NR)

Comedy 95 February 7, 2014
By Ernest Hardy
When one of the principal actors in a film is a store-brand Seth Rogen actually playing a knock-off Seth Rogen type, you probably suspect that you're perched on one of the lower rungs of cinema hell. When that same film wastes the assets of the perpetually misused Adam Brody (good looks, camera presence, acting skills) and reduces the magnificent Dennis Haysbert to cracking dick jokes, you have it confirmed that said film was pushed from the bowels of cinema hell. Welcome to the Jungle, directed by Rob Meltzer from a script by Jeff Kauffmann, is satanically bad. When the head of an advertising firm (Haysbert) dispatches his underlings to a weekend camp retreat so they can bond as a team, hijinks should ensue from the clash of types, right? There's the idea-stealing alpha male jerk, the hot office chick every male craves, the token sexless Asian guy, the ditzy woman who's obsessed with some cute animal (here, it's rabbits), the annoying Seth Rogen dude, and the Eeyore-esque underdog (Brody) who has to find his balls and save the day when the whole outing collapses into a Lord of the Flies-meets-Survivor nightmare as filtered through the sensibilities of low-budget '80s teen sex flicks. The itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiniest amount of semi-kinda-passable stuff features Jean-Claude Van Damme as the ex-military type who heads up the retreat. He's not good, of course, but he brings a glimmer of charm to the whole thing as he gamely skewers his own persona.
Rob Meltzer Jean-Claude Van Damme, Adam Brody, Kristen Schaal, Megan Boone, Bianca Bree, Rob Huebel, Eric Edelstein, Brian Tester, Robert Peters, Aaron Takahashi Jeff Kauffmann


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