“If you have a good sense of humor and don’t expect too much from Welcome to the Jungle, then you should find enough humor in this comedy to keep you chuckling and entertained.”

Welcome to the Jungle is director Rob Meltzer’s third movie but only his first in fifteen-years. Meltzer’s first two weren’t exactly what you would call success stories, and this one isn’t looking to be any different. Welcome to the Jungle boasts a decent cast, with the likes of Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Enemies Closer), Rob Huebel (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Dennis Haysbert (Wreck-It Ralph), but the story, penned by first-time writer, Jeff Kauffmann, was too formuliac and lacking in genuine humor to keep me entertained.

It contained a few funny moments that would please young teenagers, thanks to loads of toilet humor, where normally placid office workers would continually talk about shitting and speaking about their genitalia, but if you’re expecting anything more sophisticated than that you’ll be rather disappointed. Welcome to the Jungle is kinda like Lord of the Flies with a poor attempt at Monty Python-like craziness, only missing the mark by several miles.

Welcome to the Jungle
Directed by
Rob Meltzer
Adam Brody, Kristen Schaal, Megan Boone, Jean-Claude Van Damme
Release Date
7 February 2014
Ed’s Grade: C

The office boss (Haysbert) is sending the staff by airplane on a two-day team-building, survival weekend exorcise in the jungle, led by ex-soldier Storm Rothchild (JCVD), but when they arrive things start to go wrong. The elderly pilot dies and Storm is attacked by a tiger, and during the struggle falls off a cliff and is presumed dead. The obnoxious Phil (Huebel) decides that he should now be in charge, even though he knows nothing about survival, and is more interested in having orgies and partaking in hallucinogenic leaves than getting off the island.

Chris (Brody) used to be a scout and ends up with a small group following him, including the woman he has a crush on, Lisa (Megan Boone), and together they try to get a radio working to attempt to contact someone for help. In order to fix the radio they’ve found in a shack they need the broken one from the plane but it’s being guarded by Phil’s “minions,” and Phil is now being treated as a god, calling himself “The Lawgiver.” Phil even has a giant statue made of himself as he’s drunk with power and doesn’t want to be rescued, doing all he can to prevent Chris from getting the radio working. Storm reappears badly injured, but together Chris’ small team take on Phil’s hallucinating followers who are armed with spears.

Adam Brody did a decent job but his character didn’t provide much in the way of humor. Rob Huebel’s Phil was occasionally funny and he looked as though he had fun playing the megalomaniacal Phil. Kristen Schaal as Brenda was one of the funnier ones, and the actress did a good job with her material, and even Van Damme did his part, as his character Storm was really a phony, as he was just an ordinary guy who wished he could be just like the characters Van Damme would normally play.

If you have a good sense of humor and don’t expect too much from Welcome to the Jungle, then you should find enough humor in this comedy to keep you chuckling and entertained. I like a bit more from my comedies and found this barely passable, however I did crack a smile or two but not a lot else.

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer