Jungle Fever (1991)
The romance between black architect Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) and his white office temp Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) is the subject of director Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, a statement on interracial love and its effects on the society at large.
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Jungle Fever
Lee tackles the subject of interracial romance from the unavoidable vantage point that, while things today are more open, they are also considerably more volatile and complex.
There are so many voices you may think you're swimming through a maelstrom, but thanks to Lee it's all superbly orchestrated.
Instead of showing how prejudice seeps into the private intimacies of daily life, the film turns its attention to the other characters.
Jungle Fever is not to be underestimated or ignored.
Brilliant when it examines the people who surround his feverish couple, but uncertain when it comes to the lovers themselves.
A thematic follow up to Do the Right Thing, this is a powerful melodrama about the fatal and fateful effects of interracial romance.
Lee brings a shotgun to a knife fight, but his visual energy is undeniably effective, spraying the screen with venom and appalling realities, with most of the feature locked in confessional mode.
Includes a number of memorable set pieces, most notably a visit to a crack den which, accompanied by the epic sound of Stevie Wonder's "Living In The City," is simply unforgettable.
It's uneven, but its best moments -- such as Samuel L Jackson's performance -- are amongst Lee's finest achievements on film.
Though Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra perform well, the script provides no deeper motivations or meanings for their relationship. Situations around them prove more interesting and dynamic.
Spike Lee's blunt and flippant look at forbidden interracial romance set against an urban backdrop of ethnic cynicism. Nobody knows how to examine the hostility of race relations in the movies so effectively such as the brash Lee. Jungle Fever is confront
Lee is one of the most important American filmmakers of the past two decades, and the challenges, sincerity, humanity and fierceness of his work are all on display in Jungle Fever.
A smart, very assured film about interracial relations but also about racial misconceptions in general.
Spike Lee's disturbing film about the racial, gender, class, and social tensions in urban America.
Lee's mosaic has some masterful background details but a gaping hole at the center.
I believe that Lee has some interesting things to say about it, but he gets too weighted down by the dubiousness of it all.
Lee is never content to show one side of the picture and he attempts to address issues that he's not even convinced he's on the wrong side of.
Audience Reviews for Jungle Fever
What we have here is Spike Lee's thematic sequel to Do The Right Thing. While ultimately an exploration of inner city life for different cultural, economic, and racial groups, the main focus is on the consequences, repercussions, and attitudes towards interracial relationships.
The film has noble ambitions and aims, but a lot of the strength is undermined primarily by some surprisingly untimely music cues from Stevie Wonder and a really bloated, meandering run time.
I liked how the film explored the issue of mixed dating from different viewpoints, but I found it odd how it neglects to really capture the situation from the perspective of the two main parties: a well to do black architect, and his working class Italian secretary. Aside from mixed dating, the film does take a more general look at big city life, with special attention paid to crack addiction.
The film is extremely well shot, with some well used camera moves (including a ripping long take), and, despite being flawed, does offer a great amount of substance and food for thought. It also contains some terrific performances from a notable ensemble cast, which includes names like Wesley Snipes, Anna Sciorra, Anthony Quinn, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, John Turturro, and briefer appearances from Brad Dourif, Tim Robbins, Queen Latifah, Halle Berry (this being the debut for those latter two), as well as a breakout turn from Samuel L. Jackson as the crackhead Gator.
All in all, the film is kind of a mess, but it does have its moments, so yeah, give it a go.
This was made before I started sighing during Spike Lee movies. I thought the performances here were fabulous.More
For some reason I don't seem to ever watch a Spike Lee film in one sitting. The only ones I did were Do the Right Thing and Clockers. I did two sittings for this one, it's not a bad thing, but I just feel a lack of concentration when he does extended intimate portraits on his characters. Anyways, this 'joint' didn't feel like it dragged on, nor did it feel too short but I felt by the end of it that the central theme was slightly forgotten about. I think that's because all the supporting characters (especially Samuel L Jackson) are just so much more interesting than the central two.More
I'll admit to not realising racism was still so prominent in the 90's, but I didn't grow up in New York. Anyway, Snipes cheats on his wife with a white woman (technically she's Italian, there aren't actually any "white" people in this film), and the rest of the film is simply an exploration of peoples attitudes towards mixed-dating. And it all goes over the top: instead of simply accepting that Snipes cheated because he felt an attraction, his wife reckons he cheated because of some hereditary nonsense. The camerawork is excellent as are Samuel L Jackson and John Turturro. The score is fucking terrible - I know Stevie Wonder is a talented musician but something went wrong. If they'd managed to chuck in a plot somewhere this could be really good. As it is, I spent most of the film recalling that bit in MP's Holy Grail where everyone shouts "Get on with it!"More
Discuss Jungle Fever on our Movie forum!