George of the Jungle (1997)

Film: George of the Jungle
Release: 1997, theatrical

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Thomas Haden Church, John Cleese
Directed by: Sam Weisman
IMDB page: Link opens in a new window

Description: The adventurous Ursula Stanhope has her safari interrupted by her snooty upper-class fiancé. When the couple is attacked by a lion, Ursula is saved by the legendary "white ape", a man who grew up in the jungle. Hijinks unfolds.

Hans' thoughts:

This is one of those movies that were popular amongst kids when it came out but really doesn't hold up from the perspective of an adult. I was 7 at the time and I remember thinking this was one of the funniest movies I've seen. Constantly quoting it and talking about it with my friends for weeks afterwards. Then we kinda forgot about it. Rewatching it in adulthood, I can see why. Starting from the top, this movie relies heavily on the likability of Brendan Fraser. Sure, Brendan Fraser is a charismatic guy but in this one he's just laying the stupid on way too thick. This movie is filled with sub-par dialogue, badly timed slapstick and a quickly tiring running gag of the main character not looking where he's going and swinging straight into an obstacle head first. One of the points of the movie that could be funny is John Cleese as the talking ape, unfortunately he's either not taking the role seriously or the writers just didn't give him anything to work with. This movie also has a lot of really bad live-animal puppeteering. Going as far as dubbing monkey sounds over an actual monkey for the sake of a joke that ultimately falls flat. While the plot is certainly original, as in an interesting parody of Tarzan - king of the jungle it just doesn't work from a comedic perspective. I realize that comedy is subjective yes, but the timing of the jokes in this one is just too far off to work. I know I'm not being very nice but please let this movie stay buried, I know I will.

Project Wonderful 3