Director Greg McClean has a bit of thing for putting his characters in isolated surroundings at the mercy of animals (Rogue) serial killers (Wolf Creek) or the case of this week’s release , mother nature. The draw here though is Daniel Radcliffe who once again like last week’s, ‘6 Below’ this quickly becomes a solo starrer as he battles against the elements to survive. Initially the voiceover is unrecognisable as Radcliffe’s with him playing the heavily accented Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg yomping around Bolivia and who makes friends with two other men, a Swiss teacher and an American photographer. Together they meet an enigmatic Austrian who promises to take them on an expedition into the jungle to discover lost tribes, unforgettable scenery ina once in a lifetime experience. What they ultimately get is an experience no one would want to go through.
So off they go until one of them injures his foot and tempers begin to fray leading to the group splitting up ultimately leaving Radcliffe’s character to fend for himself and find his way back to civilisation and it’s here that director McClean demonstrates his relish with which he films the unpleasant.
The film is effectively in two parts with them all setting off on their jolly and the latter part on Ghinsberg’s struggle to get back to civilisation and the fact that this is based on his book is a giveaway as to whether he makes it or not. The problem here is not so dissimilar as to that with ‘6 Below’ in that the lengthy time that Ghinsberg spends in the jungle trying to get out feels like it has been shot in real time and it becomes a little monotonous at times but with only the occasional unpleasant jolt to gee the audience along and those jolts are at times really quite unpleasant especially one moment with an egg that’s enough to make you wretch.
It’s Radcliffe’s star power that is the films selling point and McClean is proficient enough with the occasional gruesome moments but it just a little too long to maintain interest right to the albeit intriguing end credits as to what happened to all four of the explorers.
Here’s the trailer…….