In this jungle adventure, a high-tech African expedition is searching the Congo for a lost diamond mine when they are set upon by ferocious creatures and savagely murdered. The avaricious Texas-electronics conglomerate that sponsored the ill-fated journey wants to know why, so they send the former fiancee of the expedition leader, scientist and former CIA agent Karen Ross, into the jungle to find out what happened. But before she can enter the country, she must have a good cover story. She ends up commandeering the expedition of a primatologist and his partner who wish to return the gorilla, Amy, whom they have been using for experiments in sign language, to her home. Amy is an excellent communicator whose signing is augmented by a special electronic glove that translates her signs into oral language. They are joined by the mysterious treasure hunter Herkermer Homolka, who believes that Amy's paintings hold the key to the location of the lost diamond mines of Solomon. Once in Africa, they encounter political upheaval and almost lose their lives en route to the deep forests. Fortunately, they are guided by the courageous mercenary Monroe Kelly. Once in the jungle they must deal with rebels, suspicious natives, a mysterious city on the side of a very active volcano, and fearsome, feral gorillas who in ancient times were trained to kill anyone that tried to enter the city. Action ensues. … More
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Critic Reviews for Congo
Feels as if the picture were edited to leave the action sequences in while removing any connecting material that might have helped them make sense.
This glib, overheated film about vicious primates delivers little suspense...
The entire tone of the book has been transformed from tension to tongue-in-cheek with dismal results.
A movie that appears to have been designed first as a future theme park, and then as a major motion-picture.
This is easily the worst filmed version of anything penned by the prolific author.
You'd be hard-pressed to come up with a movie that ticks more of the boxes for a perfect storm of So Bad It's Perfect.
It's fairly ridiculous (the apes are clearly people in suits), but it's light and brisk and fun, with a nice open-air feel.
Revel in the sheer insanity and unique humor of this cracking jungle adventure.
A second-rate jungle adventure that delivers far less than it promises.
Not the worst adventure flick that I've ever seen, but far from a great one either.
No comparison to the book, but not bad for a chuckle. Harmless fun with primate puppets.
A completely unintentional laugh riot and, in that sense, top-drawer Crichton.
Watch the opening for Bruce Campbell's death scene, and then run far away.
Ineptly written, feebly acted, clumsily directed yawner of an adventure yarn.
Not bad adventure, nothing special, but not bad
A lighthearted, good old-fashioned jungle adventure.
Not funny bad, just bad bad. The worst adaptation of a Michael Crichton book so far.
If you want to dwell on details, you won't like this film, but if you just sit back and relax and try not to be crabby, it is a lot of fun.
Audience Reviews for Congo
Wow I remember seeing this at the cinema, being released and trailers etc..it feels like eons ago!. At the time I quite liked the film but didn't think it was awesome or anything, on a rewatch I'm still quite liking the film for its good old fashioned boys own jungle adventure theme and nice character work.
I think the casting is a winner here mainly with Ernie Hudson as the smooth well spoken guide, in the old classic Hollywood silver screen sense, bordering on caddish. Alongside him is Tim Curry hamming it up quite horrendously as a Romanian philanthropist, with both characters you are never quite sure if they will turn out to be bad guys or not. Rest of the cast is a little wet but there are a few nice cameos thrown in.
Problem with this film is the dodgy looking puppet/animatronic mask work on the friendly gorillas which just doesn't quite look right. The nasty vicious grey gorillas look pretty good, spooky and scary with decent mask/makeup work, but movement for all apes concerned is obviously men in suits and just doesn't work. Looks very very cheesy, almost B-movie standards at some points, that and the obvious sets, at times the film looks awful.
Locations vary from being nice to clearly not Africa but does the job just about. The whole film is along those lines really, it does the job by the skin of its teeth. You get the thrills of an 'Indy' type adventure mixed with 'King Solomon's Mines' with everything you might expect along the way such as creepy jungles, natives, lava flows, eerie ancient ruins and statues, skulls n bones etc...a real throw back to good old fashioned daring escapades in the unknown.
It could of really sunk but just about holds its own and comes across as a fun B-movie without becoming an actual bad B-movie.
Dr. Karen Ross: Are you serving that ape a martini?
"Where You Are The Endangered Species"
Congo is another movie that was made because of the success of Jurassic Park. When Jurassic Park was such a hug success, every Michael Crichton novel had to be turned into a movie to take advantage of the market. Needless to say, this is not another Jurassic Park, but it isn't a complete failure either. It's a bad movie, don't get me wrong, but it also isn't without its fun and in the end that's all movies like Congo are trying to be.
Eight people, all with different reasons for going, go to the Congo. The film plays itself off as a Jungle Adventure and really that's all it is. It turns into a human vs. ape story near the end. The best part of the movie for me was Amy the gorilla that can talk through technology that says what she signs. She also goes on the adventure with her trainer in order to go home to where she belongs. There's a bunch of different things the movie tries to be. Ape vs. Ape. Human vs. Human. Human vs. Ape. Ape vs. Nature. Human vs. Nature. In the end, all it is, is a moderately amusing Jungle Adventure.
The special effects aren't great to look at, and the actors aren't first rate. I wouldn't say that there's a good performance in the movie, but nobody is noteworthy bad, either. I would have liked to have seen a better lead then Dylan Walsh, but he doesn't ruin the movie completely. I wouldn't suggest this, nor would I say don't watch it. It's a movie that is going to be enjoyed by some and hated by others. I was able to enjoy it to an extent, but it isn't a movie I would ever seek out to watch again. Still, I feel compelled to say that it has been blasted way more than it really deserved. I don't know if that is because it says "From the makers of Jurassic Park" and people expected a Gorilla fueled movie that was just as good or what, but it really isn't that bad of a film.
1993. Jurassic Park is the hottest movie of the year and the film's source material, a novel written by Michael Crichton, also becomes the year's hottest book. So what does Hollywood do? It purchases the rights to many other Crichton novels and for the next six years, audiences get a film adaptation of one of his works almost every twelve months, some high profile examples being Rising Sun, Disclosure, Sphere, The 13th Warrior, and Congo. Now Congo aims to do for apes what Jurassic Park did for dinosaurs. Let's just say it fails in every aspect. I'm sure the novel is much better, but this film is as disposable now as it was upon its release.
Let's start with the effects. Clearly Stan Winston was taking a day off, because I haven't seen gorillas this fake looking since the 1976 King Kong. Amy, the sort of talking gorilla looks like a walking carpet with a dollar store mask taped over her head. It's laughably awful. The killer apes look even worse.
Now on to the story. A diamond expedition goes horribly wrong and the psychotic owner of the company sends a doctor/former CIA op/ex-daughter in law to find out what happened. Accompanied by the usual cliche of characters including a mercenary, a greedy merchant, and a scientist who wants to set Amy free in the wild, this new rescue team soon discovers what happened to the team and that the same fate is in store for them. You would think that this premise would lead to a fun-filled B-movie. Nope. The movie is hopelessly boring, and really only contains two big gorilla vs human action sequences. Both of them look cheesy, horribly edited together, and possessing so many unintentionally funny moments that you wonder how any producer could have released this into the theatres expecting people to enjoy it. A flop in its time, I'm sure Congo has broken even by now, but the 4.7 imdb rating reflects that most people still don't think much of it, and frankly, neither do I.
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