The first time I heard about this film coming out, my hype was built up to the max. I’m a fan of Eli and a fan of senseless gore. However, as the years went on, I knew it was going to be a steaming pile of disappointing shit. And you know what? I wasn’t wrong.
This film follows a group of college students, who are young and dumb and looking to do something to change the world just to say “I did that.” So they take a trip to a Peruvian rainforest to save an indigenous tribe from foresters destroying their home. Then, cliche after cliche happens, all the kids die, some in a plane crash, some eaten by the tribe, because, of course, they’re cannibals (groundbreaking, right?) and there’s a sole survivor who goes back to tell her story and give the audience a hint at a possible sequel which really shouldn’t happen. Shall we begin?
From the start, the dialogue is almost as bad as Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 (although I adore RZ’s H2). The constant discourse between all the students that means nothing and goes nowhere almost put me to sleep in the first fifteen minutes. The one thing these pointless conversations do trudge up is perhaps the one and only ongoing theme that matters at all in the film: entitlement. These rich kids going to some kind of ivy league school wanting to be involved in activism are literally the worst. They’re too rich, never wanting for anything, to have the slightest real motivation for what they’re about to do. They do it just for bragging rights. This is why the phone cameras become so important. To show the world that you are doing something merely for self-publicity.
In the film, there isn’t enough development of the club they’re in, the activism they want to pursue and for what cause they stand for. They all get on a plane and travel to a place they’ve never been, just going off the word of the club president, and winging it. They know they are also going to be faced with men with guns, yet they still go. Guns vs Smartphones isn’t going to turn out well. They all just follow each other off a bridge.
Now that the theme is out of the way, another thing I noticed was that this whole film is one giant cliche. I made up a game for it: while you’re watching, pause it every 30 minutes and try to guess what will happen next. Here’s a hint, base your guess on something that has already happened in every other movie where kids travel to a foreign place by plane. I bet you all of your guesses will be right on the money! You think that when they try to leave the wilderness completely unharmed there won’t be a plane crash? Guess again! You think the tribe they encounter, whom they’re trying to save, aren’t cannibals? You clearly need to get more cultured. You think the female protagonist that the film’s plot is based around isn’t going to live? Oh please, of course she lives, what a disappointing and terrifying thought if they ALL died, am I right?
This film is an hour and forty minutes, however, you can skip the first hour and still know exactly what is going on, instead of waiting an hour for any kind of action. Some final thoughts on this portion: this movie has no room for comic relief. Let me say it again for the people in the way back.
THIS FILM HAS NO ROOM FOR COMIC RELIEF. So Eli, why oh why did you put in comic relief. Now nobody can take this film seriously at all. It’s a train wreck.
Bodies are somehow easily dismembered by the cannibals without the use of tools, which ups the fake meter. The whole thing, by the end, winds up being a ripoff of Cannibal Holocaust.
Eli, if you really wanted to make a statement on how dangerous activism can be if you don’t know what you’re doing, there should have been no survivors.
I can’t understand how they make Alejandro sexy because of his accent. It’s almost too put on so he just sounds strange and not authentic. I understand that he is the activism club leader and an upperclassman, but he looks really old, like maybe he’s 30 years old, and everyone just follows what he says because he must be the only upperclassman on campus. His performance is pitiful, and his character is practically zero dimensional. The character’s aren’t even remotely likable, and during the first hour of the film, there is somehow absolutely no character development of any of them, individually, or as a group of activists, so when they die it’s like they were never there to begin with. The only development we get with the lead protagonist is that her father is a lawyer and her mother made her a necklace and she’s rich. Also a virgin, which we never really get to know what that detail is important because nothing comes of it, apart from her being painted with white body paint. How special.
Whoever edited the opening credits – laughable. And whoever’s idea it was to add everyone’s Twitter handle during the ending credits, it’s just fucking dumb. Get over yourselves. After sitting through that load of shit, no one will want to follow you. The only thing I can say for the production and how the entire film is edited, the color is so vivid and bright, it makes it stunning to watch. All the way down to the clothes the characters wear to the color of their eyes. Now that I said something positive, get ready for a shit storm. Let’s start with the CGI and overall expensive effects that look so terribly fake its nauseating. First, one character sports bicep tattoos, and they look as though someone just drew them on with a sharpie. No one has tattoos that look that way, not even if they’re brand new. Next, the CGI of just about everything. The big cat, the ants, whatever else, just terrible. It’s embarrassing. Finally, my favorite thing, the gore. Or in this case, complete and utter lack of it. I mean, sure there’s blood and body dismemberment, and cannibalism, but it just all falls short. This is a film ABOUT a cannibalistic tribe, and instead of seeing that kind of thing in action, instead we see fake prop body parts (I’ve seen better at $10 haunted houses) not enough blood, and the camera shots cutting away before impact violence happens. If this film is rated R, AND directed by the same man who directed Hostel, I’m not convinced.
Saying that any portion of this film could be realistic is a joke in itself.
I give this a …what the fuck? Like I said, big flaming pile of disappointing shit. You get the idea.
0/0 won’t recommend.
Thanks for listening!