New On Netflix: Congo

Or, Amy the Talking Gorilla and the Lost City of Zinj, to give you an idea of the Saturday matinee serial vibe of this B-movie jungle adventure based on the novel by Michael Crichton. A bunch of people from various paths of life — including an electronics expert who also happens to be ex-CIA (Laura Linney), a primatologist (Dylan Walsh), a mysterious hunter and mercenary (Ernie Hudson) and a supposedly wealthy Romanian philanthropist (Tim Curry) — head into the deepest, darkest parts of Africa in search of a hidden diamond mine, accompanied by Walsh’s super-smart lady ape whose sign language is converted into a digitized voice via a special backpack and glove (yes, it’s pretty much as creepy as it sounds); unfortunately, the mines are guarded by a race of vicious grey gorillas that don’t take kindly to intruders (or the concept and practice of human greed). Nobody loves Congo very much, which is really too bad — Frank Marshall may not be as good a director as his pal Steven Spielberg, but he’s learned a few things through osmosis over the years as Spielberg’s frequent producer and manages to deliver a flawed but entertaining old-fashioned adventure flick, complete with rogue Zairean soldiers, runaway molten lava and even a hippo attack (come on, how often do you see that?). Look for Bruce Campbell in an early-on cameo as the poor bastard who sets things in motion.

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