STARRING: Dylan Walsh, Laura Linney, Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry, Grant Heslov, Joe Don Baker, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Amy, James Karen, Mary Ellen Trainor, Stuart Pankin

1995, 105 minutes, Directed by: Frank Marshall

Description: Adaptation of a Michael Crichton novel about an expedition into deep, dark Africa that runs into an unknown race of killer apes.

Our heroes in Congo are being interrogated by troops who have captured them in some obscure central African country. "Who are they? What are they doing there?" their interrogator wants to know. One of the characters shakes his head disbelievingly, uttering "this is pure Kafka, man!"

"Who is Kafka? Who is Kafka?" the interrogator demands to know.

And that is about the only intentionally funny scene in Congo. Don't take me wrong however: Congo is a very funny movie, although I somehow suspect that the movie doesn't try to be intentionally funny.

Then again, maybe not, because it's very unlikely if the movie's screenwriters wrote lines like "two more porters deserted during the night" (that portent of doom employed in many a Tarzan movie) while keeping a straight face.

Or Tim Curry's horribly fake Romanian accent, the prospect of finding King Solomon's Mines in the jungle, a talking gorilla, an Indiana Jones ending, porters singing California Dreaming, and countless more.

Let's be frank: this movie, along with The Ghost and the Darkness (which I also recently saw on video) are amazingly retro. They belong to the old 1950s genre of the jungle movie. Any moment I was expecting Johnny Weissmuller to come swinging through the jungle.

If you have a highly developed sense of the absurd and an appreciation for movie clichés then you'll find Congo a hoot. (Yes, it's worthy of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 treatment.) If not, then you're well advised to stay away.


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