Last year we made a hard decision that the classic Michael Crichton adaptation Congo was a must do for an episode and now we have reached the point where its time for such shenanigans. It's lasers, gorillas and greed and everything you want.
The novel Congo, written of course, by Michael Crichton in 1980, made a startling number of accurate predictions about future technology. When it came time make the movie, some 15 years later, those behind other Hollywood brain trust decisions, would include only two main technologies for the film version. These would most assuredly be the least intellectually palatable devices; the monkey talk box and, the by 1995 scientifically proven to be implausible laser gun. Another fabulous decision by the film-making team would be putting some hair on a brown trash can and making the declaration that it is a talking ape named Amy.
Frank Marshal made his third directorial effort with Congo, the previous two films being the box office hit Arachnophobia and the critical success Alive. Despite his established track record and more than impressive production credits as the other half of Amblin Entertainment, he decided to make this steaming turd burger. True to form, however, the Marshal picture still killed it at the box office raking in $80 million against a $50 million dollar budget. It should also be noted that John Patrick Shanley wrote the screen play for this. Yes the same guy who auteured Joe Vs The Volcano somehow also wrote this.
Hugh Grant and Robin Wright were the studios original choices to play the two leads that would eventually fall on Dylan Walsh and a then unknown Laura Linney. The cast is rounded out by Tim Curry, Delroy Lindo, Ernie Hudson, Peter Jason, Grant Heslov, Joe Don Baker and Joe Pantoliano, among others. So Frank Marshal directing a Shanley adaptation of Crichton with a supporting cast who most all have been leads at one point? How is this not the greatest film of all time? Well you start by casting Dylan Walsh instead of Bruce Campbell for the lead, then you still include Campbell, only to kill him within seconds, add one part laser gun and garnish with a talking trash can. The mellow but not smooth, kinda shitty cameo by Jimmy Buffett probably adds 10 pounds as well. This is like building a boat, then filling the boat with water, then being actually surprised when it sinks. In contrast to everything I have said, Ernie Hudson cites Captain Munro Kelly as his favorite role. On top of everything else apparently Jerry Goldsmith and James Newton Howard both scored the film, sort of. Neither actually had time to do it so they both half-assed it, I guess.