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Case Number 27138: Small Claims Court

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Welcome to the Jungle (Blu-ray)

Universal // 2013 // 95 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 25th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson's got fun and games.

The Charge

Unleash your inner beast!

The Case

Chris (Adam Brody, The O.C.) is trying to climb the corporate ladder. He's confident in his marketing ideas and spends most of this time daydreaming of success. But reality inevitably puts him in a hammerlock in the form of Phil (Rob Huebel, The Descendants), his borderline sociopathic supervisor and all-around dickweed.

The office environment is shaken up, when the boss sends everyone on a team-building survival trip on a desert island. Leading this excursion: former Marine Storm Rothchild (Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sudden Death), a man swimming in machismo who may just be a bit unbalanced himself.

When Rothchild mysteriously vanishes, things on the island get crazy. The formerly sheepish, stiff office personnel suddenly find themselves helpless and discombobulated and civilization deteriorates rapidly.

And that's the hook, which I'll leave for you to discover. Needless to say, the filmmakers go full-on with the Lord of the Flies dynamic, as the staffers separate into tribes, and one (I'll give you two guesses who) assumes a godlike demeanor. It's the right play for this type of comedy, and it actually works. The laughs are fairly constant with a more than a few landing with punch.

The highlights of the Welcome to the Jungle? Van Damme and Huebel. Continuing my All Van Damme March (go watch Enemies Closer immediately!), JCVD brings it as a parody of himself. From a fight with a tiger, to his nervous breakdown, Van Damme's Rothchild is a terrific comic creation and reveals a deft comedic touch from the Muscles from Brussels. Meanwhile, Huebel steals every scene he's in, aided by the dialogue he's given which is ridiculous and filled with non sequiturs. The downside? Huebel is so funny, he makes everyone else—especially our hero, Adam Brody—look lame by comparison.

The Blu-ray: a clean and colorful 2.40:1/1080p HD transfer, paired with a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. Extras include a making-of featurette, a deleted scene, and digital copies of the film.

While it may not be a flawless comedy, burdened by uninteresting protagonists (Chris repeatedly makes dopey decisions, even though he's supposed to be the straight man), a finale that loses steams, and the usual dry spells that face most modern laughers, Welcome to the Jungle remains a goofy, good time.

The Verdict

Not Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Universal
Video Formats:
• 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
• DTS 5.1 Surround (French)
• DTS 5.1 Surround (Italian)
• DTS 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• DTS 5.1 Surround (Thai)
Subtitles:
• English
• English (SDH)
• Cantonese
• Danish
• Finnish
• French
• Greek
• Icelandic
• Italian
• Korean
• Mandarin
• Norwegian
• Spanish
• Swedish
• Thai
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Blu-ray
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scene
• Featurette
• Digital Copy
• UltraViolet Download

Accomplices

• IMDb








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