Shot in CinemaScope with an international B-movie cast playing foreigners at the ends of their ropes in the Brazilian jungle, Amazon plays like a dualer that might have been made in the 1960s by Sam Fuller or Gordon Douglas starring Burt Reynolds or Stuart Whitman.
Opening with the nearly surreal sight of a Finnish man and his two daughters attempting to travel on the hellish Trans-Amazonian Highway to the accompaniment of some noirish narration, pic briefly flashes back to explain that banker Kari Vaananen has fled Finland with the girls upon his wife’s accidental death.
But, lo and behold, they run out of gas, as does, in an amusing scene, their would-be saviour, a bitter American bush pilot named Dan (Robert Davi). A mercenary and treasure hunter of the old school, Dan speaks of searching for gold using a debilitated bulldozer he’s found, and eventually Kari joins him in his quest.
Visually film is always stimulating but storytelling is wildly uneven, and director Mika Kaurismaki has an uncertain command of pic’s tone. Acting is okay.