(no stars)/ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Starring Dwayne “The Dock” Dohnson, Jack Clack and Karen Gillano in a sequel to the 1983 comedy Jumanji Loves Star Wars that no one was asking for, if you have $10 bucks and 90 minutes to waste, go see something else. Literally anything would be a better use of your time.
Preposterous from the word go, every single plot point is telegraphed a mile away and even dumber than you feared when it finally arrives. The dialog is not even worth uttering, but when it is, you’ll wish you hadn’t heard it, or that the person next to you were one of those improv people who can make up their own words to fit the actor’s mouths.
The story, such as it is, would have us believe Dohnson (Les Yeux Sans Visage) is an Iowa Jones-type history professor, Clack the son of a sonofabitch Egyptologist, and Gillano the assassin hired by the evil Mr. Palindrome to steal the magic idol once her companions find it. See, they have this map that Clack’s father stole from the grandfather of Dohnson (even though “The Dock” is eighteen years older than “The Clack”) when they were on a picnic during the war of 1812 or something, and after centuries of feuding have decided to work together to find this magic doohickey that can glitter when the sun hits it or whatever.
The quest is interminable. Scenes that would qualify as cruel and unusual punishment in most countries become torture tests designed by Sade when they are so poorly edited, dragging out the painfully unfunny and forced banter to the point of personal violation. Whole segments written to set up terrible puns are jaggedly strung together while other plotlines are left in limbo until you forget they were even begun. No matter, you won’t care.
By the time the dreadful “climax” (read: cessation) rears its ugly head, it’s become all but impossible to enjoy the film on any level whatsoever because you don’t care about the plot or the characters and human ears can only take so much bruising before they start to fatigue. Theater owners should play a “please turn on your cellphones” announcement before spinning this turd. With mugging and editing instead of writing and acting, gaudy musical cues and unconvincing cgi, there’s literally nothing to enjoy here except the lovely Miss Gillano, but she’s not given nearly enough screentime to make it worthwhile.
Clack and Dohnson in particular are abyssymal. “The Dock” is practically unintelligible since his helicopter accident, while Clack hasn’t been funny since ’02, making their interactions hilariously abstract. Gillano is given no dialog, only a set of glares and scowls to go with her skimpy assassin outfits, presumably bought in The Flintstones Fanshop, with her communication to her superiors taking the form of Horse code. Come to think of it she does get to sigh once or twice, but that’s it.
Comedian Kevin Tart is wasted in the role of Allistair, the group’s guide, garnering the only laughs this ostensible comedy managed to provide with his “Col. Potash” impression. The upturned brim of his pith helmet alone is hysterical, but when his emotionally stunted overgrown boyscout Allistair is given seven or eight lines, Tart nails about four of them.
The Upper Congo scenery looks good enough, but seemingly all the closeups were greenscreened with garish lighting yielding unnatural skin tones, while the establishing shots look extremely grainy. Visual effects were quite shoddy: none of the jungle trolls looked real, the giant gorilla-bird was obviously a person in a shag carpet costume, and the footbath crystal or whatever the who cares was called looked like it came from the bargain bin at Joys ‘R’ Us.
Incompetently directed by Neil Young (Deadman) and scored by Elmore Birthstone, Welcome To The Jungle is the wet pair of socks you find in the parking lot at the beach, so, like those socks, leave this soggy stinker alone and be on your way. Unfortunately, kids will probably eat it up but most adults will find it abhorrent.