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Jungleground

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Nobody crosses the bridge between Uptown and Jungleground! Except the dope pushers, of course. Oh, and the cops. Well we gotta give 'em a little action every now and then, right? Oh and the Feds, hookers, delivery companies, truckers and constructions workers. Seems like everyone does actually.

What you've got here is fairly standard fair for a mid-90's DTV action movie with a few standout exceptions. Roddy is, of course, great despite his terrible dialogue in the script. The relationship between Roddy's "Jake" and his fiancé(?), Samantha, is unique in that its just a straight-up good relationship with no getting sidetracked in backstory or conflict between them. Even Samantha takes a few departures away from cliché' by supporting his copping, standing up to sexual harassment and not being a helpless damsel. The film also does one thing very well - it never loses focus. Its "get home, Jake, before they kill your love". No pauses in that goal. Even with the addition of a helpful hooker who just wants to start a new life, Jake always keeps moving forward. He doesn't stop to ponder her struggles or drop her off a a clinic and stay to check on her (in fact he drops her off with some construction workers and steals their truck) nor does Jake try to save Jungleground or its people. He just keeps moving toward Samantha.

While the over-the-top action isn't as full as we'd like with a bigger budget, what's there is fun and insane. The Ragnarockers (the gang Jake is hunted by in Jungleground) are excessive in their baddie ways resulting in blowing up entire buildings to kill one guy, putting together elaborate executions that are wasteful and destructive of their own property and never really have a clear plan on how to be bad guys. In fact, most of them are terrible at it. Indoor, open layout farm-to-table markets are about the least scary thing you could have and yet the Ragnarockers love that produce. Their entire system of evil income comes from cocaine storage for the Uptown snobs who've rejected them; not selling of it, just storage and not getting paid for it. In a critical scene, one of the Rockers (the annoying Gameshow) manages to get murdered by none other than gravity and bad decisions, leading to his brother Dragon to declare "I must have revenge!" (against who? Fetal alcohol syndrome?). The ineptitude of the Rockers is what you come for in this movie.

On the whole, it's not a standout stinker. Some may not even spot the difference between other DTVs by Dolph, Jeff Fahey or James Remar. But Jungleground does occasionally get it very right. Sadly, it doesn't do it enough.

Individual Ratings:

Over the top action:3-star
Cheesy effects:1-star
Horrendous acting:2-star
Laugh-out-loud-ability:3-star
Ridiculous stunts:3-star
Gratuitous nudity:0-star
Memorable one-liners:2-star
Nonsensical Plot:3-star

Riffability:4-star

Overall Ratings:

Good Movie Quality: 4-star
Bad Movie Quality:6-star

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Monday, 27 September 2021

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