Jungle 2 Jungle is a 1997 comedy film directed by John Pasquin, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and TF1 Films Productions, and starring Tim Allen, Martin Short, Lolita Davidovich, David Ogden Stiers, JoBeth Williams, and introducing Sam Huntington in his film debut as Mimi-Siku. It is an American remake of the 1994 French film Un indien dans la ville (also known as Little Indian, Big City). Its plot follows that of the original film fairly closely, with the biggest difference being the change in location from Paris to New York City.
|Jungle 2 Jungle|
|Directed by||John Pasquin|
|Written by||Bruce A. Evans|
|Produced by||Brian Reilly|
|Edited by||Michael A. Stevenson|
|Music by||Michael Convertino|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (United States)|
Ariane Films (France)
|Box office||$59.9 million|
Michael Cromwell is a self-absorbed commodities broker living in New York City. Wanting to marry his new fiancée, Charlotte, he needs to obtain a divorce from his first wife, Patricia, who left him some years earlier. She now lives with a semi-Westernized tribe in Canaima National Park, Venezuela. He travels there to get her signature on the divorce papers. Upon arriving, she reveals that they had a son together, who is now 13 years old and named Mimi-Siku.
Michael attempts to bond with Mimi in his brief stay with the tribe and promises to take him to New York City "when he is a man". He is also given a new name of "Baboon" as is a custom in the tribe. That night, Mimi undergoes the traditional rite of passage of the tribe, who then considers him to be a man. The tribal elder gives him a special task to bring fire from the Statue of Liberty in order to become the next chief. A reluctant Michael, realizing his promise would have to be honored sooner than he realized, brings Mimi to New York City with him.
Charlotte is less than pleased about Mimi and his primitive ways. As Michael attempts to adapt him to city life, cross-cultural misunderstandings occur when he reverts to customs considered acceptable by his tribe. On climbing the Statue of Liberty to reach the torch, he is disappointed when he sees that the flame is not real. After a brief argument with Michael, Mimi's antics have caused Charlotte to reach her breaking point.
While staying at the home of Michael's business partner Richard Kempster, Mimi falls in love with his daughter, Karen. He paints her face and gives her a new name, Ukume, as is the custom in his tribe. Richard resents Mimi's presence in his home due to his influence over Karen and because he cooked and ate his valuable prize-winning Poecilia latipinna fish. Richard freaks out when he sees Karen and Mimi together in a hammock and threatens to send her to an all-girls summer camp.
The Kempsters and Michael are targeted by Alexei Jovanovic, a Russian mobster and caviar dealer who believes that they have cheated him in a business deal. He arrives at the Kempsters' home and tortures Richard for information and is prepared to cut off his fingers. By fighting together, utilizing Mimi's hunting skills, and Mimi's pet tarantula Maitika, Michael and Mimi fight off Jovanovic and his minions.
Before returning to the Amazon jungle, Mimi is given a satellite phone by Michael so they can stay in touch. He also presents him with a Statue of Liberty cigarette lighter, which produces fire from the torch and will fulfill his quest. In return, he gives Michael a blowpipe and poisoned darts, telling him to practice and come to see him when he can hit flies.
Shortly afterward, Michael finds himself disheartened by the rat-race and realizes that his relationship with Charlotte is not working for him anymore. He attempts to kill a fly with his blowpipe on the trading floor of the New York Board of Trade. He hits it, but also his hot-tempered boss Langston who collapses asleep on the trading floor.
Michael returns to Lipo-Lipo to see Mimi and Patricia, bringing the Kempsters with him for a vacation. Karen and Mimi are reunited and it is suggested that Michael and Patricia also resume their relationship.
As the closing credits start rolling, Michael undergoes the rite of passage as Mimi did earlier.
- Tim Allen as Michael Cromwell
- Martin Short as Richard Kempster
- Lolita Davidovich as Charlotte
- David Ogden Stiers as Alexei Jovanovic
- JoBeth Williams as Dr. Patricia Cromwell
- Sam Huntington as Mimi-Siku Cromwell
- Adam LeFevre as Morrison
- Valerie Mahaffey as Jan Kempster
- Leelee Sobieski as Karen Kempster
- Luis Ávalos as Abe
- Frankie J. Galasso as Andrew Kempster
- Carole Shelley as Fiona Glockman
- Bob Dishy as George Langston
- Dominic Keating as Ian
- Rondi Reed as Sarah
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Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 19%, based on reviews from 42 critics. The site's consensus states: "Tim Allen spends Jungle 2 Jungle annoyed and put upon, mirroring audiences' reaction as they struggle through this witless family comedy."
Roger Ebert was disappointed by the film, giving it one star out of four, a small step from his original zero star rating for Little Indian, Big City. On his television program Siskel and Ebert, Ebert said Jungle 2 Jungle was not as bad as Little Indian, Big City because it was "far too mediocre to be terrible." He also described it as "lamebrained, boring, predictable, long, and slow", and added that while the French version was memorably bad, Jungle 2 Jungle was "just forgettable". Ebert's colleague Gene Siskel mildly disagreed, specifying that he felt Jungle 2 Jungle was just as bad as Little Indian, Big City. He also said he felt embarrassed for Allen and Short, as he felt they were used far better in other television programs and films. Siskel later went on to declare Jungle 2 Jungle the worst film of 1997.
At the 1997 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, the film was listed as one of 30 dishonorable mentions for Worst Picture and was noted under the Founders Award, which lamented the year's biggest studio disgraces. Referencing Siskel's pick for worst film of the year (they called it "a horrendous embarrassment for Disney"), the Stinkers stated that it had "just as many laughs as Little Indian, Big City (zero) and we're being generous" and added that Disney needed to stop remaking so many films.
The soundtrack consists of 14 songs with a total time of 50:20.
- Maxi Priest - "It Starts in the Heart" (4:44)
- Peter Gabriel/Youssou N'Dour/Shaggy - "Shaking the Tree" (5:34)
- Dana Hutson - "It's My Life" (3:29)
- Jam Nation - "Awakening" (2:52)
- Joseph Arthur - "Big City Secret" (4:37)
- The Sha-Shees - "You Can Do It" (3:53)
- Rique Pantoja - "By the Sea" (3:48)
- Totó la Momposina y Sus Tambores - "La Sombra Negra" (3:25)
- "Between Two Worlds" (2:16)
- George Acogny - "Fire Dance/Ceremony Chant" (2:25)
- Eyuphuro - "Akatswela" (4:47)
- Afro Celt Sound System - "Whirl-Y-Reel I" (3:32)
- Totó la Momposina y Sus Tambores - "Malanga" (4:06)
- "New York Jungle" (0:49)
- Disney Time (1997) On BBC1 (Spider Chase From Jungle 2 Jungle)
- ^ "Jungle 2 Jungle". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
- ^ "Jungle 2 Jungle Movie Review & Film Summary (1997)". RogerEbert.com. 2015-10-31. Archived from the original on 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2021-10-08.
- ^ Siskel & Ebert - Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) on YouTube
- ^ Siskel and Ebert, At The Movies: Worst Movies of 1997 on YouTube Retrieved April 5, 2013
- ^ "1997's Biggest Studio Disgraces". The Stinkers. Archived from the original on 10 October 1999. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
- ^ "Jungle 2 Jungle Soundtrack". moviemusic.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2020.