Bullet Points: Congo
I remember getting very excited when Congo came out in 1995. The thought of the jungle expedition with machine guns going against a bunch of gorillas hit all the right nerves for me. So it pains me to say that for all these years since its release I have felt a certain disdain for the film that had me so excited as a child. The question is, does Congo play any better to me as an adult? Read on to see.
Synopsis: A business woman tags along with an expedition on its way to the Congo in order to search for the missing members of her communications company who were searching for whole butt load of diamonds. Tucked deep inside the dangerous jungle, the diamonds hold their own deadly secrets that threaten to wipe out the team.
Research: I found out first-hand that the best way to enjoy Congo is to spend the day watching Jack Hanna and Wild Kratts. All the majestic animals of Africa lose their fizz when they’re trying to maul you to death.
Poor Bruce: Campbell originally auditioned for the lead male role but got his small role as the reason for the expedition instead. It was probably more suited for him anyways. He is way too charismatic to have played the doctor.
Curry Man: Tim Curry reminds me of Steve Buscemi. He plays weird roles in every movie he’s in because he has such a strange look. I don’t know if it’s the eyes or that Grinch-like smile but he’s easily one of the creepiest looking dudes on film.
Dat Accent Tho: Congo has a number of what I would consider “stars” but the film really does feel like a B or C movie. The accents from Ernie Hudon and Tim Curry are straight doo doo, and the whole King Kong feel of the movie doesn’t help it much either.
Creature Feature: Despite its shortcomings, Congo has some amazing creature designs for a movie made in 1995. Of course the legendary Stan Winston is involved. Bringing him in is the best way to class up any film.
Stop your monkeying around and read these Bullet Points!
- Ernie Hudson stated that playing Captain Munro Kelly is his favorite character to date.
- Singer Jimmy Buffett played the pilot of the plane.
- Hugh Grant and Robin Wright both turned down roles in the movie. I can only assume that they were going to play African indigenous tribesmen.
- Amy the gorilla was played by singer/dancer/yoga teacher Misty Ross. Misty is only 4’9″ tall.
The Verdict: Congo isn’t as bad as I remember it being. Maybe it’s because I love me some Ernie Hudson or maybe it’s because I have some 90’s nostalgia going on but I had a good time watching it all these years later. Most of the characters lack any creativity and the whole laser diamond device macguffin was terribly silly but still cool enough to warrant a team to search them out. I don’t understand the need to have the evil greedy corporation, it didn’t add anything to the movie for me. I would have rather seen the survivors make off with cargo pockets full of diamonds. If you’re into the kinds of 90’s movies that don’t require a lot of thought, or you really dig a good gorilla flick, you’ll be more than happy watching Congo.