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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

A pessimist is an optimist with experience.

Welcome to the Jungle (Video 2007) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Erstwhile Aussie high school mates Mandi (Sandy Gardiner) and Bijou (Veronica Sywak) reunite in Mandi's Fiji for a “girlie adventure.” In the inter­vening six years they have become women. Mandi has even acquired an American boy­friend Colby (Callard Harris) as of two weeks ago, which puts the damper on it for unat­tached Bijou. Then they fix her up with yankee bar­tender Mikey (Nick Richey) to make two happy couples.

Mikey overheard a helicopter pilot John (John Leonetti) claim to have sighted an old white man in the company of (can­nibal­istic) natives on the Takreet River in New Guinea. The two couples speculate that he could be the legendary Michael Rocke­feller who went missing when his boat capsized off its coast in 1961. Motivated by reward money and ignoring a travel advisory & ill portents they sail Colby's yacht to Port Moresby, Papau New Guinea, drive a rented mini van to the Indo­nesian border, and hike into the Irian Jaya High­lands looking for the guy.

WelcomeThey encounter a zealous missionary couple who invite them to join their group for safety in numbers, but they demur. They encounter “a crazy Australian who trades with the natives” who warns them to run for it if they had desecrated their burial site, but they ignore him, too. What they do do is split them­selves into two pairs: one going by raft down river and the other striking out over­land for the coast. Mikey's contingent carries the gun, and Colby's has the boy scout training. What were they thinking? Duh.

I'd like to think that aborigines are like any other people, some of them good and some bad. At least one of the two groups should make it back unscathed. These young people, how­ever, are full of unbridled optimism. They expect the best from their indigenous encounters no matter what. Okay. It's the director who causes me the worry. He care­fully filmed the natives in gray mud paint and always at a distance to shroud their negroid features so he wouldn't be accused of racism for filming their jungle antics.


Standard sermon fare has it that the ideal Christian marriage should put God first, the like-minded partners having been brought together for God's purposes. We encounter one such couple, Mike and Carmen, here in the jungle to preach the word to the heathen. He's attentive to her and she exudes confidence. They've got it down.

This is a instance of, (Matt. 19:29) “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred­fold, and shall inherit ever­lasting life.” Mike's having “forsaken … wife” means he's prioritized his married life per, (1Cor. 7:29) “brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.” The reward for following Christ in one's marriage is he “shall receive an hundred­fold, and shall inherit ever­lasting life.” The Lord elaborates in his following parable, (Matt. 20:1-2) “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an house­holder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vine­yard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vine­yard.” The day's labor is serving the Lord totally, and the penny pay is that full measure of Christian fellow­ship in this life and eternal rest in the next. Pretty straightforward.

Peter whom Jesus was answering, however, did not have a ‘Mrs Apostle’ for a wife, but she tended the home fires while he was out ministering, as in (Matt 8:14-15) “And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.” In the movie we'd find an analogy in the lusty Australian trader who lived in the jungle but whose wife, we suppose, stayed home for a support base. In the parable it would be a good worker who is unable to give that final measure of joint enter­prise, (Matt. 20:3) “And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market­place, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vine­yard, and what­soever is right I will give you. And they went their way.”

Run of the mill Christians may serve God in various capacities with­out being in the ministry per se. Those who have matured will serve him better, but they all with their Christian spouses will contribute. In the parable it's (Matt. 20:5) “Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did like­wise.” Mandi and Colby have matured since high school; Mikey and Bijou have not. Christian couples just serve God according to their own capacities.

1 Corinthians 7Finally, we get down to Michael Rocke­feller who if he has gone native will be forced to take a heathen mate. This is surprisingly similar to the early days in Corinth where Christianity would have been perceived as a Jewish cult, and proposed marriages in the pipe­line would be honored be they mixed. It was seven years from the start of Paul's preaching in Corinth to when he wrote his answering letter from Ephesus:

According to Pastor Criswell, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
Date: First Corinthians was written in the spring, probably in 57 a.d., though it could have been as early as 54 a.d. Second Corinthians was written some six months later. In 50 a.d. Paul reached Corinth on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1-4). In an eighteen month stay (Acts 18:9-11) [and then some (Acts 18:18)] a church was established. … He had received questions from the Corinthians (1Cor. 7:1) and wrote the letter known as First Corinthians as an answer to those questions. At the time, Paul was in Ephesus (1Cor. 16:8), near the end of his three-year stay there (Acts 20:31) and before his departure for Macedonia (1Cor. 16:5, Acts 20:1).

From visionary Maria Valtorta, 631. The Last Teachings before Ascension-Day: (430)

II In the Mosaic religion matrimony is a contract. In the new Christian religion let it be a sacred indissoluble act, on which may the grace of the Lord descend to make of husband and wife two ministers of His in the propagation of the human race. From the very first moments try to advise the consort belonging to the new religion to convert the consort, who is still out of the number of the believers, to enter and become part of it, to avoid those painful divisions of thought, and consequently of peace, that we have noticed also among our­selves. But when it is a question of believers in the Lord, for no reason what­soever what God united is to be dissolved. And when a consort is Christian and is united to a heathen, / advise that consort to bear his/her cross with patience, meekness and also with strength, to the extent of dying to defend his/her faith, but with­out leaving the consort whom he/she married with full consent. This is My advice for a more perfect life in the matrimonial state, until it will be possible, with the diffusion of Christianity, to have marriages between believers. Then let the bond be sacred and indissoluble, and the love holy.

The apostle Paul looked upon mixed marriage as an occasion for Christian influence on the unbelieving partner, (1Cor. 7:16) “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” Paul's answer in addressing such questions of the Corinthians appears to have been in the present tense, regarding an existing marriage of a Christian to an unbeliever, but he allows for such influence on an unbeliever to apply to developing composites as well, (1Cor. 3:21-22) “For all things are yours; Whether … the world, or … things present, or things to come; all are your's.” At any rate there was inevitable opportunity for mixed marriages to have occurred during those seven years, and Christians marrying non-christians would have been included in the permission given in Paul's answer.

In the parable these mixed marriages would be represented by the minimal Christian labor of living out one's faith before his or her unbelieving partner. (Matt. 20:6-7) “And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.”

Finally there's the reward of the penny, that is full Christian fellowship and eternal life. (Matt. 20:8-11) “So when even was come, the lord of the vine­yard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they like­wise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the good­man of the house,” The mixed marriage is sanctified, (1Cor. 7:14) “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.” This by association will have all those marriages sanctified up to that of the missionaries.

The hard working missionaries in the parable didn't like it. (Matt. 20:12) “Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.” God, how­ever, had not reneged. (Matt. 20:13-15) “But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”

What it comes down to is (Eccl. 7:16) “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” If one is too selective in selecting a partner he prices him­self right out of the marriage market. It's wise for a Christian to choose another Christian for a spouse, but if there aren't any compatible ones available, well, the (sanctified) unbeliever is his only option. (Matt. 20:16) “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” There are many available spouses among the unbelievers (many called) but few, and some­times too few, among the believers (few chosen.)

Production Values

” (2007) was based on an urban legend from the early 1960's. It was written and directed by Johnathan Hensleigh, although it relied mostly on the actors' riffs for the dialogue. It stars Sandy Gardiner, Veronica Sywak, Callard Harris, and Nick Richey who all contributed credible, naturalistic performances. Inex­peri­enced John Leonetti cut a dashing figure as the heli­copter pilot, but he was wisely not given a speaking part. The native warriors were played by a dance troupe who knew the motions how to move on a hunt. The native villagers, for their part, were well coached.

This movie was not rated, but I would recommend not watching it over dinner. It was filmed using an under­damped steady­cam, which allowed the cinema­tog­rapher (often an actor) to move it around but with­out the shakiness of “The Blair Witch Project.” It's settings were adjusted to mimic film rather than video. “Welcome to the Jungle” was produced on a micro budget on which they did a fine job within its limitations. It delivers the goods on graphic special effects. The tension ratchets up quite a bit towards the end; before then it's boring.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

Here's a quirky little film in search of an audience. I liked it, but I like all kinds of movies. If you don't think it would appeal to you, it probably won't. For a shoe­string budget, it was well made.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Criswell Study Bible. Authorized King James Version. Nashville | Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1979. Print.

Valtorta, Maria. 631. The Last Teachings before Ascension-Day. in The Gospel as Revealed to Me. Vol. 5. Translated from Italian by Nicandro Picozzi, M.A., D.D.  Revised by Patrick McLaughlin, M.A. This 2nd English Edition has now replaced the First English Edition, The Poem of the Man-God. WEB.