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Congo (1995)

tomatometer

7

Average Rating: 3/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 13

No consensus yet.

audience

29

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 59,890

My Rating

Movie Info

Good gorillas meet bad gorillas while human beings search for treasure in this jungle advnture saga. R.B. Travis (Joe Don Baker) is the ruthless head of Travi-Com, a telecommunications firm on the cusp of a major breakthrough in laser communications technology. However, Travis needs diamonds to finish the project, so he sends a group of men to Zaire, where he's told that a large supply of the gems can be easily found. When the men go missing, Travis sends his trusted assistant Karen Ross (Laura

Jul 27, 1999

Paramount Home Video

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (34) | DVD (4)

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.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dreadfully muddled, but mildly diverting.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This glib, overheated film about vicious primates delivers little suspense...

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The entire tone of the book has been transformed from tension to tongue-in-cheek with dismal results.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie that appears to have been designed first as a future theme park, and then as a major motion-picture.

January 1, 2000
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is easily the worst filmed version of anything penned by the prolific author.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Revel in the sheer insanity and unique humor of this cracking jungle adventure.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

A second-rate jungle adventure that delivers far less than it promises.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Not the worst adventure flick that I've ever seen, but far from a great one either.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

rubbish

May 12, 2005
Moviehole

No comparison to the book, but not bad for a chuckle. Harmless fun with primate puppets.

December 31, 2004 Full Review Source: StaciWilson.com
StaciWilson.com

A completely unintentional laugh riot and, in that sense, top-drawer Crichton.

September 17, 2004

Watch the opening for Bruce Campbell's death scene, and then run far away.

May 26, 2004
Flipside Movie Emporium

Ineptly written, feebly acted, clumsily directed yawner of an adventure yarn.

January 2, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Not bad adventure, nothing special, but not bad

December 28, 2003
About.com

A lighthearted, good old-fashioned jungle adventure.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Not funny bad, just bad bad. The worst adaptation of a Michael Crichton book so far.

April 28, 2003
KFOR Channel 4 News

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.

March 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

An anachronistic mess made of cliched characters and situations...

September 24, 2001 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

In stupidity, this movie ranks up there among the greats.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

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.
March 31, 2013
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Cheesy, bad acting, and dialogue is way too scripted. Stay away.
September 27, 2012
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

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.
July 21, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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.
March 5, 2012
MovieGeek13

Super Reviewer

    1. Transport Worker: Stop eating my sesame cake!
    – Submitted by Max R (6 months ago)
    1. Peter Elliot: I don't have a price! I'm not a pound of sugar, I'm a primatologist!
    – Submitted by Michael S (8 months ago)
    1. Dr. Karen Ross: Put 'em on the endangered species list!
    – Submitted by Tommy L (22 months ago)
    1. Herkermer Homolka: I will pay!
    – Submitted by Peter C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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