REVIEW: Welcome To The Jungle (2014) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Welcome To The Jungle (2014)

Runtime: 95 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Not much Van Damme, not much humor

This is only Jean Claude Van Damme’s third foray into comedy.  The first was Knock Off (1998) and the second was JCVD (2008), if you want to count those.  Given that his career spans 30 years, that’s one comedy every decade.  Like Stallone, Van Damme has a bad track record with this stuff, with the exception of JCVD which was a good movie and a good comedy.  Welcome To The Jungle?  It’s not a good movie and it’s not a good comedy.  Even with Van Damme in it, it’s a chore to watch.

A company facing financial difficulty sends its employees off to an exotic tropical island for a team building exercise led by a deranged former military man (Van Damme, playing ‘Storm Rothchild’) who specializes in discipline.  Those not performing well at the event may face losing their jobs.  You gotta wonder, how does a company with financial troubles afford to send it’s entire roster off on a such an excursion?  Answer is, this movie turns from mellow comedy to surrealism very quickly.  Shit surrealism, the type that doesn’t know when to stop pushing the boundary.  Welcome To The Jungle is weird, awkward and unfunny and not unlike those newer Simpsons episodes which fail as hard as they try.

In 90 minutes I did not laugh once.  That was just me.  Maybe you will – if you find gross out turd jokes funny.  Only Van Damme elicits the occasional smile.  But then there’s the problem of Van Damme being in only half the movie – which is generous considering his scenes are cleverly edited sparsely into the second half.  It’s another one of those times where a DTV movie ventures close to false advertisement.  Why is Van Damme front and centre of all promotional material when he’s in a support role?  The rest of the time you’re stuck with clichés and F-list actors with bad comedic timing and even worse dialogue.  Aside from Van Damme, the only other positive is the shooting location – the movie doesn’t look DTV, but even then the director makes mediocre use of such resources.

While Van Damme is having fun, the thing is, Welcome To The Jungle is a long-ass 90 minutes.  View at own risk.

Rating: 5/10