Stars: Dylan Walsh, Laura Linney, Ernie Hudson, Grant Heslov, Joe Don Baker, Tim Curry. Written by John Patrick Shanley. Directed by Frank Marshall. Rated PG-13 for violence.

It's hard to believe that the same man who wrote "Jurassic Park" also wrote the inept adventure "Congo". It won't be long before Michael Crichton's name will be a sore point rather than a selling point if films like this continue to be made from his material. Whether the director or screenwriter is more at fault for this fiasco is hard to say. What's easy to say is that the film will cause more confusion than entertainment.

An expedition sets out for the heart of Africa with several goals in mind. A primatolgist (Dylan Walsh) is on the expedition because he wants to return his gorilla pupil Amy to her original home. A communications scientist (Laura Linney) has made the journey in order to locate her missing fiance and the project he was leading. Herkermer Homolka (Tim Curry) has joined the group in search of the legendary city of Zinj which King Solomen built around a huge diamond mine. Others, including master guide Monroe Kelly (Ernie Hudson), are in it for the money. Of course, the killer apes that harass the group have an agenda of their own.

Although it gets off to a promising start, "Congo" never quite makes up its mind as to what kind of film it wants to be. Is it an adventure a la "Indiana Jones" or a beastie movie a la "Jurassic Park"? You can forget about things like character development and intelligent dialogue, the movie seems to have placed all of its chips on its special effects and action sequences. Surprisingly, even they are not very good. Hooray for Hollywood.

Review Menu | Front Page