So many questions are asked after watching this film, which include: why does that zebra look so bizarre and go "naah"? Or why does Sharman not age for twenty years (not even plastic surgery, if there is any in the jungle, could save her from wrinkles)? Or why does no one go out and search for Sheena and her missing parents at the beginning of the film? Or why does the background African images resemble the Great Salt Flats of Utah? Or why does that helicopter being attacked by the flamingoes resemble the scenes from Hitchcock's "The Birds"? Or why does everything explode in a ball of fury? Or what happened to the scripwriters of this film? Or why does this film have a rating of PG (Parental Guidance) when you see explosive Tanya Roberts nudity? So many questions, none of them can answered in this contrived, incoherent empty-headed joke! In her 1984 review, New York Times critic Janet Maslin said "'Sheena' is the perfect summer movie for anyone who's dissatisfied with the season's intentional comedies..." Considering it is 27 years later and there are not many good comedies this summer, it could work!
A family visiting Africa suffers an unfortunate accident leading to the death of the parents and their little girl becoming an orphan. A local tribe adopts the girl and raises her as one of their own. They quickly discover that the girl has an uncanny ability to speak and live with animals. They teach the girl to appreciate and protect the land. When some Americans discover Sheena after the magistrate of the land is murdered, life as Sheena knows it may be altered forever.
"I know the difference between a girl and a guerilla."
John Guillerman, director of King Kong (1976), King Kong Lives, Shaft in Africa, Rapture, El Condor, and Tarzan Goes to India, delivers Sheena. The storyline of this film is a blend of Tarzan, The Gods must be Crazy, and sex appeal. Tanya Roberts plays the main character and is stunningly beautiful and tries to play her role seriously but comes across awkward at times. The remaining cast delivers mediocre performances and includes Ted Wass, Donovan Scott, and Michael Shannon.
"I'm sitting on an Emmy and I can't get it out. Do you know what that means?"
"Sounds like you need a laxative."
Sheena is a film my wife grew up watching and loving. She actually saw this in theatres as a youth and remembered enjoying numerous aspects of the film. I will say Guillerman did a remarkable job depicting the importance of nature and animals, but the overall love story and premise for the film was a bit clumsy. Overall, this is an okay movie that may be worth watching once, even if it is just for Tanya Roberts, but it is not worth going out of your way to see or adding to your DVD collection.
"The healing Earth exists."