New Films: Jungle 2 Jungle

Director: John Pasquin. Starring: Tim Allen, Martin Short (PG)
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The Independent Culture
This is the latest movie outing for TV comedian Tim Allen, after his lovely debut The Santa Clause and his job as the voice of Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear. As an uptight commodities trader who treks out to the Amazon jungle to finalise a divorce with the wife who left him 13 years earlier, Allen initially struggles - stress just isn't his thing. Luckily, he's allowed to loosen up some time after discovering that he has a 13- year-old son, Mimi-Suku (Sam Huntington), whom he reluctantly takes back home with him, and who is soon eating cat-food, scaling the Statue of Liberty and doing other wacky things in accordance with the demands of the fish-out-of-water genre.

In New York, Mimi-Suku roams the streets in his face-paint and loincloth, with a bow poised in his hands, and the director gets a palpable buzz of pleasure from allowing him to fit right in without anyone batting an eyelid: that's as close as the film gets to commenting on the nature of cities. The young Sam Huntington carries many of the sight-gags single- handed, and there's some charming friction between his saucer-eyed naivety and Allen's brusque wisecracking. Older viewers may still be irritated by some odd misjudgements, like the pretentious documentary film-makers who are straight out of Last Tango in Paris, and the strategic presence of the Peter Gabriel/ Youssou N'Dour collaboration, "Shaking the Tree", on the soundtrack.