Jungle George

Brendan Fraser in George of the Jungle (1997)

When a plane crashes into the jungle a young baby survives the crash, his name is George (Brendan Fraser) and is raised by a wise ape to become George of the jungle, who swings through the air on vines and crashes in to trees. 25 years later and American Ursula Stanhope (Leslie Mann) is on an expedition through the jungle accompanied by her snobby and cowardly boyfriend Lyle Van de Groot (Leslie Mann) who runs like a chicken when a lion approaches them. Fortunately George swings in and rescues Ursula, taking her to his tree top home where he lives with the talkative Wise Ape. Romance blossoms between George and Ursula and after some trouble with Lyle she takes George back to America where he struggles with a very different way of life whilst Ursula struggles with her parents wanting her to marry Lyle.

So from what I understand there was a cartoon in America during the 60s and 70s called "George of the Jungle" and so this is a 90s version of that, made by Disney who back in the 90s were in a remake vibe as they trawled old shows to be turned in to movies. Now I am a Brit and have never seen the cartoon on which this is based so can't say what they have done to it, what I can say is that no matter what your age "George of the Jungle" is both ridiculous and entertaining, well come on who can't find an elephant playing fetch and a talking ape concerned about his roses amusing.

Leslie Mann in George of the Jungle (1997)

Anyway this "George of the Jungle" is for all sense and purpose a comic take on Tarzan which elaborates on it with a touch of "Crocodile Dundee" when it comes to George leaving the jungle and heading to the city. Yet whilst that may sound quite weak it is spot on because "George of the Jungle" isn't about the storyline but all about the comedy from George swinging through the air and repeatedly into things to a capuchin monkey giving the Tarzan call when a lion appears. I could go on because from start to finish this is rich in comedy with even obvious gags surrounding George being attracted to Ursula ending up funny. What is surprising is that whilst "George of the Jungle" is aimed at a young audience the comedy is so spot on that even as an adult pretty much every gag works and in a way "George of the Jungle" becomes a guilty pleasure.

Aside from that well whilst Brendan Fraser has delivered some great dramatic performances over the years it is as George he will always be remembered because not only does he have a surprisingly good physique but he sells every moment of comedy right down to a little comic dancing. But whilst Brendan Fraser is the star there is also a great supporting cast with Leslie Mann simply playing the perfect damsel in that classic movie style and Thomas Haden Church is almost as funny as Fraser as the cowardly Lyle.

What this all boils down to is that "George of the Jungle" is daft but it is so much fun from start to finish that even as a grown up it is ridiculously enjoyable and is one of those movies which would brighten up a bad day with all of its stupidity.

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