Welcome back to the weekly Top 10 list. Each week we come up with a topic, create our separate lists, and then come together to create a top 10 consensus. This week with Dora and the Lost City of Gold being released, we decided to countdown the Top 10 Movies set in the jungle. It is a very small category but let’s see what we found.
10. Jurassic Park
Our first film on the list might be a head-scratcher and it has arguments for and against in Jurassic Park. The reason why it is so low on this list is that most people probably don’t consider this to be a movie set in a jungle. I consider it more of a vast territory as opposed to a jungle, but it could also be considered one. Nonetheless, we all know how great Jurassic Park is and the joy it has brought many. It has a legacy that very few movies do.
9. Tomb Raider
Next up on the list is our most recent film in 2018’s Tomb Raider. In what is now the second greatest video game movie ever (1st is Pokémon: Detective Pikachu), Tomb Raider was an absolute blast of a movie. Is it set in a jungle? For a little portion, but it still counts. Alicia Vikander is so captivating as Lara Croft and she just draws your eye in every scene. Hopefully, this gets the sequel it teed up at the end, but we will see.
8. First Blood
Next, we have, wait, how did this get in here? Next, we have First Blood for some strange reason. What are we doing here? First Blood is set in the mountains, not the jungle, if we were including mountains on this it would be a completely different list. Hold on, what’s that? Oh, I had First Blood on my list? Ok then. First Blood is definitely worthy of this placement for its brutal violence, Stallone’s 80’s charm, and the gorgeous jungle it takes place in. That is all.
7. King Kong (1933)
Now that we got that mess out of the way, we can get to number seven which is the original King Kong. Not the Peter Jackson one, or the lizard one. No, the 1933 King Kong is the only option. Now, this is one that while it is a terrific film, its underlying themes are terrible. In 1933, we were a very much racially divided time and King Kong was an allegory for slavery. Not the best subject to have fun with. King Kong, however, has had a legacy in the cinema landscape becoming one of the most iconic movie monsters. He will fight a giant lizard next year.
6. Romancing the Stone
Just missing out on the top five is a rather funny movie in Romancing the Stone. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. We see a novelist go to Columbia to ransom her kidnapped sister and ends up on an adventure with a mercenary hunting for treasure. It is directed by Robert Zemeckis who went on to direct Back to the Future the very next year. This is a nice, light film that qualifies for our list.
5. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Starting off the top five is one that was such a huge surprise when it came out in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The original Jumanji was this fun, small little movie with Robin Williams that we never expected to have a sequel. Then in 2017 the sequel went toe to toe with Star Wars and it almost succeeded and some would argue was better. Here we have the boardgame become a video game that sucks kids into in and turns them into Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black. This is a surprisingly fun and entertaining film that is very rewatchable and of course, has started a new franchise.
4. Tropic Thunder
At number four we have a comedy that seems to have created a fascinating legacy in Tropic Thunder. Where to even begin with this one? It is about a group of self-absorbed actors who get dropped off in the middle of the jungle only to discover they are near a tribe intent on killing everyone. If this movie were to come out today it would be crucified, but back in 2008, it worked. Robert Downey Jr. does blackface the entire time and that earned him an Oscar nomination and Ben Stiller plays a mentally challenged character as one of his roles. Problematic? Yes, but they made it work. The best part though is Tom Cruise as Les Grossman with his giant hands and killer dance moves. We will never see Tom do that again.
3. The Jungle Book (2016)
In at number three, we have the most recent version of The Jungle Book. This one actually has jungle written in the title. The original animated version is cute for what it is but this one brought gravitas to the title. Jon Favreau brought this story to life literally by using photo-realistic animation and making the plot more relatable. The voice talent brings it and Favreau gets the best performances out of them and together they create the best remake Disney has done so far.
Just missing out on being number one is Predator. Predator on its surface is a gruesome sci-fi action movie but deep down, it is actually a commentary on masculinity. It is about how when we are placed in abnormal situations, it does not matter how tough you are, we are all the same. The franchise went on to be terrible, but the original is already a classic sci-fi film that is still celebrated.
Finally, our number one film set in a jungle is one that should’ve been obvious when you saw the topic in Apocalypse Now. This movie is just incredible on every level. Francis Ford Coppola who was just coming off doing The Godfather, The Conversation, and The Godfather: Part II decided to make a war film set in a jungle and what we got was one of the best films ever made. I know a couple of people who have this as their favorite movie ever. It is violent yet powerful and captivating that gives you an experience like no other. It is returning to cinemas soon, so go see it.
Well, there you have it! The Top 10 Movies Set in a Jungle. Will Dora and the Lost City of Gold make this list? It is certainly possible if we follow the rules. What does your list look like? Let us know below and we will see you next time with another list.