A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled in a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.
Simon Templar (The Saint), is a thief for hire, whose latest job to steal the secret process for cold fusion puts him at odds with a traitor bent on toppling the Russian government, as well as the woman who holds its secret.
A megalomaniacal C.E.O. sends his son into the dangerous African Congo on a quest for a source of diamonds large enough and pure enough to function as powerful laser communications transmitters (or is it laser weapons?). When contact is lost with his son and the team, his sometime daughter-in-law is sent after them. She is a former C.I.A. operative and, accompanied by gee-whiz gadgetry and a few eccentric characters (including a mercenary, a researcher with a talking gorilla, and a nutty Indiana-Jones-type looking for King Solomon's Mines), sets out to rescue her former fiancé. What they all discover is that often what we most want turns out to be the source of our downfall.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
After the mega-success of Spielberg's Jurassic Park in 1993, I imagine that producers were all over author Michael Crichton's back catalogue in search of another potential box-office hit; featuring untamed wilderness, a cute talking gorilla, some far less appealing killer apes, a laser weapon, King Solomon's lost diamond mines, and an exploding volcano, exotic, jungle-based adventure Congo was a natural choice for the block-buster approach.
Directed by Frank Marshall, the film made a healthy profit, but the critics tore the film apart, clearly of the opinion that this heady concoction of action, horror, industrial intrigue, drama and warfare was no match for Mel Gibson in a kilt or a talking pig. But then what do critics know anyway?
This might not be a superlative piece of cinema—John Patrick Shanley's screenplay conveys no meaningful message, Frank Marshall never advances the art of film-making with his direction, and one needn't bother looking for any Oscar-worthy performances—but Congo still proves to be hugely entertaining nonsense, a whole lot of cheesy, big budget fun, with cool creature effects (the gorilla suits were by FX legend Stan Winston), impressive set design, some decent action set-pieces, a wonderfully camp performance from Tim Curry as Romanian treasure seeker Herkermer Homolka, a neat cameo from Bruce Campbell, lovely Laura Linney and her delightful dimples, and some truly manky monkeys (OK, so technically they're apes, but for the purpose of alliteration, they're monkeys!). And that's got 'entertaining' stamped all over it as far as I am concerned.
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