Monday, June 21, 2010

Shitty Movie Review - "Congo"

I don't read too many books on account of my being impatient, but I did read "Congo" when I was in high school. It wasn't a great book, but it was an engaging read and I enjoyed it, so naturally I looked forward to seeing the movie. I had read and subsequently watched "Jurassic Park," and was severely disappointed, so I had my reservations about "Congo," but these were quickly blown away once the movie picked up speed. After all, who wouldn't find a movie about a talking gorilla, a Romanian treasure hunter, and a telecommunications officer going to the Congo to find home, King's Solomon's mines, and a fiance/diamond respectively only to be ambushed by killer gray apes (hereafter referred to as "grapes") engaging?

One of the main characters in the novel was a female gorilla named Amy who was trained to communicate using sign language. There was no problem relaying her communications through the written word, but that wouldn't translate so easily to the silver screen where the producers wanted to avoid subtitles. So enter the power glove, a device used to electronically interpret Amy's signing into vocalized speech. The device turned an otherwise interesting portion of the novel into something amazing. Amy (voiced by Shayna Fox) steals the movie whenever she's on screen, with lines like, "Amy ... good ... gorilla. She's quite intelligent, perhaps more so than the other characters, and has an incredibly varied vocabulary. In fact, here's a list of all the vocabulary she uses during the movie.

go away

Not to be outdone by Amy the gorilla is Tim Curry, as Romanian treasure hunter Herkermer Homolka. In what is yet another of his classic characters, Curry continues to defy acting as an art. He again masterfully crafts a foreign accent, Romanian/Irish this time. Like Amy, he, too, steals every scene he is in, so much so that poor Laura Linney and Dylan Walsh can't even compete.

There are several stunning set pieces in the film, but none as spectacular as the climax, which I will try not to spoil. Let's just say it involves lots of people in grape suits flying through the air while lasers, lava, and fireballs are all over the place. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it is.

If none of this is enough to coax you into watching it, then I should mention there's a wee bit of Joe Don Baker, a smidgen of Bruce Campbell, and decent helping of the guy with the Howie Mandel hair from "True Lies." The good one, not the terrorist one. Oh, and Winston Zedmore doing a British accent the whole time.

My shitty movie rating: 9 turds out of 10. Flying/frying apes!

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