Writer: Justin Monjo (Screenplay) Yossi Ghinsberg (Book)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell, Joel Jackson, Lily Sullivan, Joel Jackson
Plot: A group of friends join a guide for a trek into the Bolivian jungle, searching for an Indian village. The men soon realize that the jungle is a difficult place to be.
Tagline – Nature Has Only One Law – Survival
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Brutal Adventure Story
Story: Jungle starts as we follow Israeli young men Yossi Ghinsberg (Radcliffe) as he spends a planned year travelling, finding himself in Bolivia meeting Marcus (Jackson) and Kevin (Russell) two fellow travellers. When they meet guide Karl (Kretschmann) he offers to guide them through the jungle, which the three accept as an experience they couldn’t refuse.
When Marcus becomes injured and unable to walk, the group must find another way out of the jungle, which involve heading down the river on a raft. This causes the group to split up with Karl taking Marcus back by foot, while Yossi and Kevin head off further into the jungle. Once the friends hit some strong rapids, the two becomes separate and now Yossi is alone in the jungle.
Thoughts on Jungle
Characters – Yossi is the Israeli backpacker that in Bolivia heads off into the jungle with newly found friends, when he gets separated we follow his epic battle to survive the wilderness in the harsh environment where he must learn to survive. Kevin is the American photographer that joins on the adventure through the jungle hoping to get some breath-taking shots, he does get them but does find himself alone once he gets split up from the rest of the group. Karl is the guide that knows he way through the jungle, he takes the injured Marcus back to safety leaving the other two to fend for themselves.
Performances – Daniel Radcliffe is fantastic in this leading role, he continues to push himself away from the Harry Potter films with another challenging role which pushed to the limits. We have a good supporting cast who all perform well, but they don’t get much time to be anything but good.
Story – The story follows Yossi incredible story of survival when he got lost in the Bolivian jungle. It starts out as an innocent trip in the jungle, but soon turns into a nightmare, this is based on the book by Yossi, so, well you know how it is going to end, but seeing what he goes through is hellacious to say the least. If you want to see a story of one man’s desperate battle to survive then this one will be for you to enjoy.
Action/Adventure – The action adventure side of the film shows just how much Yossi must do to survive the situation he finds himself in and just what he must do to survive.
Settings – The film is set in the jungle, which makes perfect sense, we get to see just how real the experience would have been for Yossi, we even get the moments of beauty he was searching for.
Special Effects – We have a mix of effects here, the practical ones that Radcliffe goes through, but the strange vision sequences don’t seem to click well enough.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that has a brilliant performance from Radcliffe who goes through a hell of a lot. It does feel slightly long in places though.
Overall: Radcliffe Shines.