Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli (the wild wolf boy) is Jamie Williams, who has to be pretty brave to work with Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther, and Grey Wolf. Bill Campbell must be equally brave to take on this lame script. He is a curator for P. T. Barnum and tries to find the boy after an encounter on a train ride through India. I can understand Gulshan Grover taking on the evil uncle role; he is one of the leading villains of the Indian screen. In ten years, he has appeared in over two hundred and fifty films. So I doubt this will sink his career on either continent. But what possessed Roddy McDowall to appear as King Murphy, a madman in the lost city overrun with apes. Maybe it was a longing for the old "Planet of the Apes" days. His overdone performance is only surpassed by Dyrk Ashton's as the snake charmer with a hissing "S". All of this would be forgivable if the movie were entertaining, but smoking chimps don't do it for today's kids.
Producer Raju Patel struck gold with Disney's live action remake
of "The Jungle Book" and obviously hoped to do it again. But Jason
Scott Lee in a loin cloth is plenty more watchable than
eleven-year-old Jamie Williams. And Disney has a knack for these
things that Columbia Tristar just doesn't. As good looking as Bill
Campbell is, we can only hope he will find a suitable venue
eventually. But for now, neither parents or children over nine will
be entertained by this prequel. Rated PG. Columbia Tristar.
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