Reviewed by: Michael C. Bach
Starring: Jamie Williams, Billy Campbell, Roddy McDowall, David Paul Francis, Gulshan Grover / Director: Dee McLachlan / Released by: TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment
This successfully outdoes Disney’s 1994 “Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.” That’s not saying much.
Officially titled “Rudyard Kipling’s Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo,” this movie stinks, anyway its titled. Roddy McDowall does a good job in his small part as the eccentric King Murphy and “The Rocketeer”’s Bill Campbell is more than adequate as a circus scout, but even their combined acting talents can’t help the TERRIBLE script.
The jokes aren’t funny and there are many incongruities. For starters, this ill-conceived production shows a panther breathing steam next to three humans who aren’t (huh?). A 50 pound kid drags a 195 pound man by a rope. An overweight guide falls over a dozen times but when he won’t help find Mowgli, the other guide is upset (as if he needed his help). On the positive side, I felt that the animals were nice despite the low-budget. (I am a big fan of wild beasts.)
There isn’t much (bad) language, and while I didn’t want (to see) killing, they unrealistically avoided it. There is no nudity or gore. Unfortunately, the best thing about this were the trailers before it. Rent if you really like Bill Campbell or Rudyard Kipling. Otherwise, use the time you’ll save to begin work on a movie script of your own. There’s a good chance you’ll outdo this one!