Documentary producer Christine Shaye (Brooke Shields) heads to Africa in search of a project for the Global Explorer television station. The project which interests her involves documentary maker John Varty and his assistant Elmon Mhlongo who for the last 12 years have been following a leopard and now her two cubs. But things don't go smoothly as they have to deal with hunters, dodgy gamekeepers, death as well as an executive back in America opposed to the project.
"Running Wild" is also known as "Born Wild" and it is plainly obvious that this is a movie which wants to entertain the same sort of audience who enjoyed "Born Free". And in fairness "Running Wild" achieves this but it also wants to entertain those who enjoyed "Gorillas in the Mist" but doesn't quite get it right. The end result is a movie which due to the natural beauty keeps you watching and highlights various issues of to do with conservation but then struggles when it comes to delivering the story.
What this really means is that "Running Wild" will dazzle you with the cinematography and it has some truly beautiful shots of Africa and its wildlife. You also won't mind the equally beautiful Brooke Shields often in the frame at the same time especially those which feature the rising and setting sun. And when we get introduced to the two leopard cubs you won't be able to stop yourself from going mushy as they are ridiculously cute and every time the camera focuses on them they make you melt.
But as I said "Running Wild" kind of lets you down when it comes to the actual story as it tends to fill in the gaps in-between all the beautiful shots of Africa and the wildlife. The sad thing is that part of the movie is about highlighting the issues in Africa, the poaching, hunting and dangers and it makes you aware but they don't gel with the beauty side of the movie. It ends up making "Running Wild" this gentle movie which then out of know where throws something hard hitting at you such as a Rhino's horn being cut off or hunters shooting the wildlife.
What this all boils down to is that if you have enjoyed watching other movies about African wildlife there is a very good chance you will enjoy "Running Wild" with its enjoyable cinematography. But at the same time you might end up thinking how much better it could have been with a storyline which which didn't feel separate from the scenic cinematography.