[Screen It]


(1997) (Tim Allen, Sam Huntington) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor None Mild Minor Mild
Moderate Minor Minor None Minor
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor Minor Mild Minor Mild

Comedy: A Wall Street broker discovers that he has a son who's been raised in the Amazon jungle, and then brings the boy back to New York with him.
Michael Cromwell (TIM ALLEN) is a Wall Street commodities broker who, along with partner Richard (MARTIN SHORT), has recently bought a large amount of coffee bean certificates. As they nervously watch its market value, Michael travels to the jungles of the Amazon to find his wife, Patricia (JOBETH WILLIAMS), whom he hasn't seen in thirteen years. He wants her to sign divorce papers so that he can marry fashion designer Charlotte (LOLITA DAVIDOVICH). But Michael gets more than he bargained for when Patricia informs him that they have a son, Mimi Siku (SAM HUNTINGTON), whom Patricia has raised in the jungle. Michael eventually ends up taking Mimi back to New York only to find that Richard missed selling the coffee beans and has tried to make amends by selling the goods to the Russian mafia. As they try to deal with the Russian mafioso, Jovanovic (DAVID OGDEN STIERS), Richard must help Mimi adapt to his new surroundings while trying to keep Charlotte happy.
The six to twelve-year-old set probably will, especially if they're fans of Tim Allen (TV's "Home Improvement" and the movie "The Santa Claus").
For some mild violence and language.
  • TIM ALLEN plays a stock broker who thinks he doesn't have time for his new son, but soon changes his ways.
  • SAM HUNTINGTON plays the young native boy. Not knowing the ways of New York, he climbs out onto perilously high building ledges, shoots pigeons with his bow and arrow and fries up fish from an aquarium.


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    This remake of the 1994 French film, "Un Indien dans la ville," varies little from the original in plot, only substituting New York for Paris and the main character trading coffee beans instead of soy beans. Interestingly, the original was distributed by Buena Vista Pictures (Disney) and this remake is made by Disney. Basically a fish out of water plot, "Jungle" is unimaginative and listless most of the time. What makes the fish out of water stories so entertaining is watching the characters trying to understand, and then adapt to, their new surroundings. Think of the original "Crocodile Dundee" or "Back To The Future" movies. They were so much fun to watch due to the characters' reactions to their "foreign" land and then them putting their own spin on that. This movie leaves the young native with nothing more to do than stare at the tall buildings, occasionally climb out onto them, and have to walk on a moving sidewalk. C'mon, where's the imagination in that? He too easily accepts his new surroundings and that deflates the story's premise. Allen does another "I'm too busy for this" performance that better served him in his last film, "The Santa Claus." Here, a few of his lines and reactions are funny, but for the most part fall flat. This is just another case of a studio honcho thinking "high concept" and then not making sure that the production followed up to make a good movie. Sure, Tim Allen fans will probably like it, but many kids will get very restless in this movie that never really caters to their interests and film going needs. The movie does have the "special" bonding moments (that seem very trite and too obvious) and the obvious heart-warming ending. But none of that makes up for a dull script and lack of fun. We give this one just a 3 out of 10.
    There's not a great deal to object to in this PG rated film, but parents should note that there isn't much here to entertain younger children, and older ones will probably be bored by this production. The ending, like so many other current kids' movies, turns violent for no apparent reason (other than to get a PG rating), although the level of violence isn't too bad. In addition, there's the obligatory scene where people are heard farting, in this case it's a sleeping tribesman. There's some material that kids may imitate, but all of Mimi's actions are based on his natural reactions and habits he developed living in the jungle. Since your children might want to see this film, we suggest that you read the scene listings to determine how appropriate it is for them.

  • Several of Charlotte's fashion friends drink champagne.
  • Michael and Charlotte have wine with lunch.
  • None.
  • Michael doesn't want to bring Mimi back to New York with him, and once there, is too busy to spend time with his son.
  • After Mimi thinks it's magic that an Arab cab driver stopped when he raised his arm on the street, Michael tells him that "It's magic if he understands English."
  • Richard wants to "launder" Russian mafia money to get Michael and himself out of their coffee bean fix. Later, Michael learns that Richard forged his signature to sell the stock certificates.
  • Charlotte is self-absorbed and doesn't like the fact that Mimi has become an intrusion into her life.
  • There are several scenes involving Mimi's pet tarantula that may be tense to those who don't like big spiders.
  • Blowgun: Used by Mimi and Michael to blow tranquilizer darts into other people or animals.
  • Bow&Arrow: Used by Mimi to kill a pigeon.
  • Knife: Used by Jovanovich to try to cut off one of Richard's fingers, but it never happens.
  • Handgun: Used by one of Jovanovic's men to threaten Richard, his family, and Michael.
  • Phrases: "Moron," "Idiot," and "Screwed" and Mimi Siku's name, when translated, means "cat piss."
  • Mimi climbs up the side of a sheer cliff and later in New York climbs out onto the ledge of a high-rise and then onto the top of the Statue of Liberty.
  • During his initiation into manhood, Mimi grabs a hold of the end of a red-hot stick. Later, Michael reluctantly does the same.
  • On board an airplane, Michael is told that Mimi is urinating on the exit door, and later, Charlotte is horrified to see (we don't) and hear (we do) Mimi doing the same onto an indoor plant (Michael later explains to use the toilet).
  • Mimi thinks it's okay to eat Charlotte's cat (he doesn't), and later is seen eating wet cat food.
  • Mimi cooks the fish that he found in Richard's aquarium (but he doesn't know he is doing something wrong).
  • Michael shoots a sleeping dart that accidentally hits Charlotte's cat, and it immediately falls asleep. Michael then tries to wake up the cat and at one point tosses it to the ground to chase after a make believe mouse. The cat hits the floor with a thud, and kids may get the wrong impression about this since it's played for laughs.
  • There's a very brief scene where a jungle snake rears up at Michael, but Mimi shoots it with a sleeping dart. Very young kids may be startled by the snake.
  • There's just some minor music when Jovanovich and his men show up at Richard's house looking for their money.
  • None.
  • 2 hells, 2 damns, 1 "ass," and 6 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "God," "For God's sake," and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • Michael tells Patricia that in the tribe he wants to be called, "Man who's extremely endowed," but she tells him another native already has that title (and he's surrounded by several women).
  • Though nothing is seen, it's implied that Michael and Charlotte live, and sleep, together before being married.
  • Mimi, looking for his tarantula, pulls up the sheet and sees Charlotte sleeping underneath and says, "Nice poochie" (nice butt?).
  • Charlotte smokes in one scene.
  • A fashion woman smokes.
  • One of Jovanovich's men smokes.
  • Some guys at a fish market smoke.
  • Michael goes to the Amazon to find his wife, who left him twelve years ago, to sign divorce papers.
  • He learns that he has a son he never knew about, and Mimi asks him whether he'll stay with him from now on. Michael tells him that he can't.
  • Michael doesn't want to bring Mimi back to New York with him, and once there, is too busy to spend time with his son.
  • Mimi asks why his mother left Michael all those years ago.
  • Other cultures and how their ways are different than ours.
  • Michael (seen from the point of view of a video camera) punches the cameraman in the stomach after he becomes annoyed with being followed around by a TV crew.
  • There are a few slapstick scenes in the movie, such as when Michael falls from a hammock or shoots himself in the foot with a sleeping dart, or with Richard continually trying to break down a door by running into it. Eventually he and Michael try it together, but end up racing through a now opened door and crash through a balcony railing and fall to the ground below.
  • Mimi kills a pigeon with his bow and arrow, but he's doing so for food, and not for sport or malevolence.
  • An associate of Michael and Richard's is seen in the hospital, all banged up, presumably from Jovanovich's men beating him up.
  • Jovanovich grabs Richard by the hair while intimidating him.
  • Richard is tied to a chair, and Jovanovich pulls out a knife and threatens to cut off one or more of his fingers.
  • A big fight ensues with people jumping on top of others as Richard, his family, and Michael and Mimi fight Jovanovich and his thugs (slapstick fighting). People are shot with sleeping darts, Richard is accidentally hit over the head with a vase, and Michael has a gun pointed at him. He punches Jovanovich's thug, who then grabs Michael by the throat and chokes him. Mimi comes over and kicks the thug in the crotch, causing him to fall to the floor.
  • Michael shoots a sleeping dart that impales a fly, but also lands in his boss' back, tranquilizing him.

  • Reviewed March 1, 1997

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