WHAT I LIKED: If I had to choose a favourite film genre, I'd probably go with man-vs-nature. There's just something about isolating a person on the edge of survival that gets them - and us by extension - to not consider our own human nature, but also why one should bother putting one foot in front of the other ar all.
Greg McLean's 'Jungle,' falls into that genre camp, as it follows the true story of a young man called Yossi (Daniel Radcliffe) who was stranded on his own in the Bolivian Amazon for 17 after going hiking with two friends and a guide. But this is more of a suspense story than anything, as most scenes are concerned with the terrifying, testing mechanics of survival rather than the reasons for it. We see Yossi have to cut a bug out of his head, fetch food, negotiate bogs and rainstorms and thick bush, and there's little time in between all of that for contemplation on either his or the audience's part.
That's always engaging though because it's not sold so convincingly by McLean's honest approach to the real-world setting, but also because Daniel Radcliffe puts in such a committed performance. By the end, you'll be utterly gripped by his survival, and astounded that someone with two legs and arms just like you could take such a heavy toll and come out the other side.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It's not the headiest man-vs-nature movie, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
VERDICT: 'Jungle's obsession with the mechanics and suspense of surviving in a harsh environment makes it a gripping, balls-to-the-wall experience, if hardly the smartest film of its genre.