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Film / Welcome to the Jungle

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Not Your Typical Day at the Office

Welcome to the Jungle is a 2013 comedy film directed by Rob Meltzer, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Adam Brody, Megan Boone, Rob Huebel, Kristen Schaal and Dennis Haysbert. Adam Brody is Chris, an unappreciated advertising exec whose achievements are overshadowed and outright stolen by his co-worker Phil (Huebel) while he lusts after HR employee Lisa (Boone). His company sends all of the workers on a weekend wilderness team-building event, run by "military man" Storm Rothchild (Van Damme). Hilarity ensues when the team gets stranded on the island, Storm is eliminated by a tiger, and civilized nature rapidly breaks down with Phil attempting to establish himself as supreme ruler over the tribe. Chris is forced to confront his personal neuroses and take on a leadership role. Lord of the Flies gets name-checked.


Not to be confused with the 2003 Dwayne Johnson vehicle, The Rundown, which was released as "Welcome to the Jungle" in many territories outside the United States, nor with the sequel to Jumanji.

This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Adam Westing: Jean-Claude Van Damme is Storm Rothchild, a fake "military man" who specializes in corporate wilderness retreats. He plays the part of the tough guy throughout the film, and even dispatches the villain with a running roundhouse kick while screaming. And he keeps screaming afterwards. Until finally everyone else tells him to knock it off.
  • A House Divided: Chris and Phil vie for leadership. Initially, Chris wins out due to his superior wilderness experience, but then Phil shows up with coffee spiked with Jimsonweed and meat which Chris immediately points out is obviously weeks-old and rotting. In short order, Chris and a small band of sensible people are thrown out of the tribe and proclaimed outcasts.
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  • The Caligula: Phil very quickly goes from a Commander Contrarian who is against Chris' decisions purely because he sees him as a loser into this, proposing things like cannibalism of the fattest member of the group and then sneaking drugs into everybody's drinks so he can lead them into an orgy-fueled barbaric existence.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Chris was an Eagle Scout and a scoutmaster who acquired the Silver Beaver award. He mentions offhand at one point that he got one of his merit badges in hang-gliding. His wilderness knowledge comes in handy immediately after the team is stranded, and unsurprisingly, so does hang-gliding.
  • Deserted Island: The retreat is set on a Castaway Island type with jungle, beaches, at least one tiger, and an abandoned bunker.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Non-villainous example, as depicted in the trailer, Storm denies the existence of tigers on the island right before one appears from just off-camera and tackles him off of the cliff he's standing on.
    • This happens to him a second time when he shows up to the camp to reassure everyone that he's wounded, but still able to lead them to safety.
    • And then, at the end, Phil is left alone on the island after everyone is rescued and starts to hear the growl of the tiger...
  • Horrible Camping Trip: It was supposed to be a retreat to help build teamwork. It ends with most of the group trying to kill the Only Sane Employee (among other drug-fueled tribal insanity).
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Suggested by Phil early on, in particular saying that Javier should be killed and eaten since he's the fattest of them. Chris immediately points out that they have more than enough food. It's later revealed that Phil decided to go through with this after taking control of the tribe, but decided he didn't like the taste after chopping off and eating a few of Javier's fingers.
  • Phony Veteran: Turns out that Storm Rothchild is one of these... hell, "Storm Rothchild" is not even his real name. He turns out to be a con man, and a few cops appear on the denouement alongside the rest of the rescue crew taking care of the employees looking for him.
  • Robinsonade: After the plane pilot turns up dead, the group is forced to try to figure out how to survive on the island.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: At the end of the film, Chris is offered a position as Vice President of Marketing, but he decides to instead angrily quit and walk out.
  • The Stoner: Chris's friend, Jared, is stoned through the first day or so of the trip. Part of his impetus for helping in escaping the island is that there's no marijuana available.
  • Trust-Building Blunder: What was supposed to be a weekend corporate getaway ends with a Whole Plot Reference to Lord of the Flies and the couple of people that could be called the "Only Sane Employee" deciding to quit the company once everybody's rescued. It can't become much more of a "blunder" than that.
  • Whole Plot Reference: It copies so much from Lord of the Flies that it gets some Lampshade Hanging near the climax.


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