This appalling desecration of Jay Ward's 1960s cartoon series suffers from countless movie-ruining flaws. It gives us painfully broad, one-dimensional characters (Holland Taylor's scheming would-be mother-in-law, Thomas Haden Church's oafish romantic rival). Its animatronic animals make the apes in Buddy—or for that matter, the title character in Howard The Duck—look like miracles of invention. In the lead role, a game Brendan Fraser delivers his lines in fractured jungleman-speak that's embarrassing to behold. The romantic storyline is as instantly predictable as romantic storylines get. The theme song, as performed by The Presidents Of The United States Of America, is a 10th-rate rendition of the marvelous original. The script repeatedly falls back on fart and poop jokes. But it's not so much the details that illustrate why George Of The Jungle is a failure, even as mindless kids'-movie fare. It's the fact that there is no way a live-action feature film based on George Of The Jungle would ever work in a million billion years.

Advertisement