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  • Justin Louallen

Jungle - Written Movie Review

Jungle is a 2017 biographical / survival / drama film directed by Greg McLean and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Alex Russell, Thomas Kretschmann, and Joel Jackson. Based on the true story set in the early 1980s, Yossi Ghinsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is a thrill seeking adventurer from Israel who decides to travel to Bolivia to journey into the Amazon rainforest. Along the way, he meets a few other fellow journeymen including Marcus, Kevin, and Karl (Thomas Kretschmann). While along their journey, Yossi gets washed away after the raft he is on gets destroyed by a current, leaving him stranded by himself and having to survive in the forest. A little back story. Now, I didn't really know much about the movie until I came across a trailer for it on YouTube and then saw it listed at Redbox. I must say, I enjoyed it. Here's where I get into my pros. The performances from everyone are good, but the one for me that stood out the very best was Daniel Radcliffe. I've been a fan of Radcliffe ever since he's portrayed Harry Potter in the past and it's really great to see that he has branched out into different and mature roles lately. In this film, he gives such a wonderful and gritty performance and he goes through quite a transformation, especially in the second half. He definitely carries the film together, especially the way his character has a lot of earnestness and passion with the jungle. The cinematography was amazing too. There are sequences in this film where a character is hallucinating and flashing back to previous events and it looked absolutely beautiful. In addition, the look of the jungle is very abrasive and sets a unique atmosphere, especially when things get very serious as the film goes along. I'm not going to spoil anything, but there are some squeamish scenes that happen in this as well that felt very realistic and I highly praised it for them going into detail with it. I liked how in the story of this film, it gets very intense when everything starts to go down in the forest and it reminds me of The Revenant in how much pain and struggle a man goes through to endure on their own. It also shares similarities in terms of flashbacks and dreams that the characters in both films go through when they are out in the woods trying to survive, which I enjoyed in Jungle as well. While it's nowhere near as great as The Revenant, I could definitely see this as a double feature with that film. Now I do have a couple of cons for this movie. The first half, while I still got into it, I felt like it took a while for things to get going because besides Yossi, we didn't really know much about the other characters that were with him on his journey as they were mainly there to provide support and I didn't feel as invested with them. I also felt like the pacing was a bit slow in the beginning and dragged at times, but, it got better as the movie progressed. There is also kind of a nitpick I have where it seemed like Daniel's Israel accent slips in and out between that and his American accent he uses in different films. I found it a little off in some scenes, but, it didn't bother me too bad. Other than that, I quite liked this movie and I do recommend checking it out, especially if you like survival films like The Revenant, The Edge, and Alive. I'm going to give Jungle a 7/10. What were your thoughts on this film? Leave me a comment below and I'll see you on my next review.

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