Another schlocky direct-to-video action feature, JUNGLEGROUND borrows freely from the much-copied THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.
In a 1990s urban no-man's-land, vigilante ruler Odin (J.R. Bourne) and warlord Dragon (Pete Williams) promise their disciples a drug-free turf that's equally hostile to both dealers and cops. When veteran detective Jake Cornel (Roddy Piper) participates in a routine coke sting, a zealous fed,
Neilson (Nicholas Campbell), precipitates a shoot-out that causes the death of several law enforcers and the capture of Jake by the youthful minions of Odin.
Gloating with power, Odin grants Jake the waning nighttime hours to reach his uptown station in one piece; if he fails, his sculptor girlfriend Samantha (Torri Higginson) will be slain by Odin's twin assassins (Raf and Yan Feldman). Circumnavigating a maze of gang hang-outs and accidentally
killing Dragon's brother, Gameshow (Joel Gordon), Cornel saves his skin with the intervention of a teen prostitute (Rachel Wilson). Meanwhile, Samantha electrocutes one of the twins, which makes her quite unpopular with his surviving sibling. Dragon starts questioning Odin's motives in curtailing
the drug trafficking of outsiders.
Cornel manages to crash Odin's car and cross the bridge to freedom with his wounded hooker helpmate. Once he arrives at Samantha's place, Cornel mows down Odin's henchmen. He then joins forces with Dragon, who has usurped Odin's powerbase. After a fight, Cornel tosses the wicked Odin through a
skylight, but spares his life so that he can stand trial before the proper authorities.
Not one minute of JUNGLEGROUND is enlivened by any emotional subtext; the cardboard relationships are only geared to move the script from point A to point B. Characters only exist to be set up as potential homicides. In an imaginatively designed action flick, these considerations might be
secondary. But in this dark updating of WILD IN THE STREETS, no saving graces are present to keep our minds from wandering to sleeker, snazzier action-fests. Working his aging boyish charm overtime, Piper can barely impress fans who've seen him deliver flashier martial arts displays in other
In an onscreen universe ruled by overly familiar plot twists, the mediocre cast can't entice viewers into lowering their expectations to just enjoy the blood bath. To make matters worse, this hollow reworking of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME appeared on the heels of bigger-budgeted retreads including
HARD TARGET and SURVIVING THE GAME.(Violence, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Another schlocky direct-to-video action feature, JUNGLEGROUND borrows freely from the much-copied THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. In a 1990s urban no-man's-land, vigilante ruler Odin (J.R. Bourne) and warlord Dragon (Pete Williams) promi… (more)