Jungle 2 Jungle | Chicago Reader

Jungle 2 Jungle

Tim Allen swaggers Ugly American-style in this gently humorous and moving story about a father (Allen) and the 13-year-old son (Sam Huntington) he didn't know he had. The boy, who's been raised in the Amazon, finagles a visit to Manhattan with his harried and distracted newfound dad. Huntington is instantly convincing in this contrived role, and his sincerity seems to rub off on the other actors. The humor is often predictable--minor characters are stereotyped only to be demeaned for easy laughs--but the movie impressively fulfills its larger purpose of making you look at your culture's conventions as such. It also gets points for treating a relationship between Huntington and his 12-year-old love interest, LeeLee Sobieski, with enough respect to let them kiss on the lips. Valerie Mahaffey, comically overearnest as Sobieski's tolerant mother, and Frankie Galasso, as her snide little brother, play the rest of the family of Martin Short--unusually charming as Allen's assistant--in scenes that could easily engender a sequel. John Pasquin directs this remake of a 1994 French movie; Bruce Evans and Raynold Gideon wrote the script.

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