Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Christopher Walken
Watch online: Netflix UK / TalkTalk TV / iTunes
In the opening scenes of Welcome to the Jungle, we’re introduced to Beck (Dwayne Johnson), a retrieval expert who helps people claw back debts owed by any means necessary. In the very same scene, before any action kicks off, the wannabe chef looking to retire from the business passes a familiar retiring face in Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a passing of the torch.
The torch-passing didn’t ignite quite as much as it could have: Dwayne Johnson moved into doing children’s films for the best part of half a decade and has only recently found form in the kind of films he should have always been involved in. At the same time, The Governator himself has returned to re-claim his mantle, so really, the torch passing looks to have meant very little.
Luckily, though, Welcome to the Jungle isn’t just an exercise in knowing nods: it’s a great little action film with a number of big laughs and a couple of duds too. The teaming of super-serious Johnson with Seann William Scott makes for a strong dynamic, while Christopher Walken provides the villainy.
There’s not a whole load of originality on offer but some ill-judged humour aside, the action scenes are fantastic and the comparatively miniature version of the current-sized Rock (this was made in 2003) delivers on all levels in the kind of way only someone like Schwarzenegger usually does. Or did, depending on how you look at it.