Hooper delivers, in the times I checked back, no more than a couple of chuckles; the problem is that, like the problems with the writing, it's unclear whether we're supposed to be laughing or the movie; whether it's supposed to be an accident or not. The staging and effects are rendered fair enough, but again, unlike at times like those, but without the levity and informality of the earlier episodes, it's hard to tell if Hooper's directing was an absolute improvement, or if he's just lucky that ABC took a chance on him on a more experimental project like this. Humor, however, is rarely much used as a weapon to counter a body of emotional material, and the result here is that it's really hard to dispassionately decide how the impact of the film might be felt on those in the audience. Ultimately, so to speak, it's hard to enlighten at all, and that, to my mind, is a shame.
As a meal, "Welcome To The Jungle" is only slightly on the lighter side; it's far too heavy-handed to be consumed as an appetizer, and the chili may linger on our palates long after its supposed to be gone. But if the combination of tangy spice and chewy meat are more to your liking, than you'll certainly find similar abandonings of that particular slice of Chicago barbeque in other movies, especially comedies. The "Monk" (for the purposes of this review, that is, by any standards) is great, ever full of levity and its edginess sliced in such a way that we're both entranced and wary. "Rocky" died, hasn't it? "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" summons back the era of the "critical and box office success." See, what happened was that the film industry changed and we'd changed with it- we simply discovered that we no longer need these kinds of movies. Or, some sad day, the industry will change and we'll suddenly need them, the difference being that this time they'll be as wrong as we were, and we'll have no option but to face up to it, and admit its fact, and move on. d2c66b5586