Congo

Michael Crichton's bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it's surprising the book doesn't receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn't provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect.

With:
Laura Linney Dylan Walsh Ernie Hudson Tim Curry Grant Heslov Joe Don Baker

Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect.

The story opens with an explorer, Charles Travis (Bruce Campbell), disappearing in the Congo region of Africa while seeking diamonds for the Texas-based conglomerate TraviCom.

Also working on the project is Travis’ ex-fiancee, Karen Ross (Laura Linney), who quickly takes off to find him. A former CIA operative, Ross commandeers a safari involving a primatologist (Dylan Walsh) seeking to return his mountain gorilla Amy – who can ‘speak’ using sign-language and a verbal translator – to the jungle. Joining them are Herkermer Homolka (Tim Curry), a badly accented fortune-seeker determined to find the diamond-laden lost city of Zinj, and Monroe Kelly (Ernie Hudson), a badly accented mercenary who leads the expedition.

Having decided to proceed without big-name actors, the filmmakers clearly hoped that Amy – wide-eyed and marvelously expressive as realized by Stan Winston (Jurassic Park) – emerges as the film’s star. The ape is indeed an impressive technical achievement, but in the pell-mell rush to get through the jungle, she provides only a few scenes adorable enough to justify the trip.

The human performers are left to struggle gamely, with Linney appropriately tough and Walsh doing a creditable job playing opposite the gorilla. Curry practically gags on his accent, while Hudson provides most of the pic’s best moments.

Congo

Production: Paramount. Director Frank Marshall; Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer; Screenplay John Patrick Shanley; Camera Allen Daviau; Editor Anne V. Coates; Music Jerry Goldsmith;; Art Director J. Michael Riva

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 108 MIN.

With: Laura Linney Dylan Walsh Ernie Hudson Tim Curry Grant Heslov Joe Don Baker

More Film

  • Solo A Star Wars Story

    'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Stumbles Overseas With $65 Million Launch

    Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect. The story […]

  • 'Solo': What That Surprise Cameo Means

    'Solo': What a 'Character Too Secret to Ever Name' Means for the 'Star Wars' Spinoff

    Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect. The story […]

  • Solo A Star Wars Story

    Box Office: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Looks to Edge Past $100 Million For Holiday Weekend

    Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect. The story […]

  • Rebel Wilson and Taye Diggs

    Concert Review: 'Beauty and the Beast' Gets Adoring Tribute at Hollywood Bowl

    Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect. The story […]

  • Solo a Star Wars Story Deadpool

    It's Official: Deadpool Is Now Cooler Than Han Solo

    Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect. The story […]

  • solo a star wars story

    Box Office: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Headed for Underwhelming Holiday Weekend Debut

    Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect. The story […]

  • solo a star wars story

    How the Kasdans Settled the Biggest Debate in 'Star Wars' History With 'Solo'

    Michael Crichton’s bestseller is the only ostensible star in Congo, so it’s surprising the book doesn’t receive better treatment. Dumbed down considerably, the movie is opulent and action-packed but feels like the Cliff Notes version of the novel, and doesn’t provide the thrills or suspense those who have read it will doubtless expect. The story […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content