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.
"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.
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.
The special affects in this movie are down right god awful. They are basically just people dressing in gorilla suits! No CGI, no animatronics, nothing! At least Baby Geniuses tried.And do I even have to get started on the albino gorrilas?
The acting was horrible. Not one of the actors did a good job. Not even Ernie Hudson. And I LOVE Ernie Hudson. But the worst acting clearly belongs to Tim Curry, who's over the top preformance as the irratating Romanian whatever is enough to kill half of your brain cells. And that accent? Down right TORTURE!!!
I didn;t get the whole "tickle amy" thing with the Gorilla. I just found it uncomfortable, and kind of disturbing.
Don't be fooled by the trailer. There is almost no action, and the only fighting scene comes at the end and it isn;t even good. It lasts 2 seconds, and has some of the worst fight choreography you will EVER see.
This is a horrible movie. It had potential to be a 50% movie, but now they would be happy with just that. Very VERY bad!
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no go
U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy,
Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the CONGO!
Killer Apes, Belgian Crepes, Gorillas stormin' Africa
Curry's Dead, Crushed in head, this movie sucks i'm going to bed.
I thought "Congo" was a pretty good movie although parts of it are predictable. I was real impressed with some of the special effects toward the end of the movie. Luckily, it should be interesting enough to keep you from getting bored while watching it, so I recommend giving it a try. NOTE: This was my Amazon review from the year 2000. It seemed like all the rage for some reason to compare Congo to Jurassic Park back when it was new, which is unfair. Congo's not as good no, but worth owning and watching from time to time.
The story did seem really condensed (which is expected in a book adaptation) and although there were a number of recognizable actors in this, the acting is nothing to cheer about. The only exception is the performance of Tim Curry. He was probably the best part of the movie in my opinion.
If you are in the mood for a safari movie with a few action scenes, then go ahead and take a chance with this. Otherwise you aren't missing anything special.