Strange Wilderness (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner10/04/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

Badly directed, poorly written and largely laugh-free comedy, though it earns an extra star for its commendable lack of fart gags and the soon-to-be-infamous turkey scene.

What's it all about?
Loosely based on a series of Saturday Night Live sketches, Strange Wilderness stars Steve Zahn as inept wildlife TV show producer Peter Gaulke, whose ratings have sunk to an all-time low. Under threat of cancellation, he takes his equally useless TV crew (including stoner Justin Long, recovering alcoholic Kevin Heffernan, prank-player Jonah Hill and token blonde Ashley Scott) to Ecuador in search of the legendary Bigfoot.

The Good
That said, the film earns an extra star for its commendable lack of fart gags (usually a given in this sort of thing) and for the sheer balls-to-the-wall chutzpah of its central set-piece, involving a giant turkey whose pecker gets trapped around an unfortunate cast member's, well, pecker. Similarly, there are one or two minor chuckles to be had from the wildly inaccurate voiceovers on the wildlife clips but these are few and far between.

The Bad
Steve Zahn, Justin Long, Jonah Hill and Kevin Heffernan (from the Broken Lizard troupe) are all gifted comic actors, so it's doubly disappointing that Strange Wilderness falls so horribly flat. The main problem is that the jokes and the characters simply aren't funny enough: Jonah Hill is just plain obnoxious (an electric buzzer to the balls joke is repeated at least three times), while Justin Long barely even has any lines.

Similarly, the film relies way too heavily on stoner humour, completely ignoring the lesson of the Cheech and Chong movies, namely that stoner humour is wasted on the non-wasted. It's also packed with too many scenes that either go nowhere (Robert Patrick appears in a single scene as a mythical hunter-type and then literally disappears, after flashing his mutilated genitalia) or make no sense at all.

Worth seeing?
Basically, given London's extortionate ticket prices, seeing Strange Wilderness would work out at about a fiver a chuckle, so you do the math. Disappointing.

Film Trailer

Strange Wilderness (15)
Strange Wilderness has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 15/12/2017 17:42

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