What could have been a thought-provoking psychological horror story about the effects of grief is instead watered down into a boring, derivative flick fueled by thoughtless jump scares and a script that mistakes repetitive dialogue for thematic heft and character development.
By the time we’ve fallen back into the well-worn plot of another resistance group (of course) helping our heroes take the down the big bad corporation (of course) who has secretly been monitoring their entire lives (of course) for the greater good (of course) because they’re special (of course), there’s not much anyone could have done to save it.
The first “Paddington” was quietly dropped in Jan. 2015, and as an animated film released during the first weeks of the new year, the smart bet was that it was going to be awful. A marketing campaign that fronted a story ripped from any number of “fish out of water” kid flicks did nothing to help. It came as a welcome, genuine surprise that, despite its predictable story, the movie itself was actually quite good. Each scene held an abundance of wit, charm and honest-to-God style that the whole thing played like your kid’s first Wes Anderson film.
Invariably, the veteran actor plays a mild-mannered man who is forced back into a life of violence he tried to leave behind by villains who you won’t care about but who you will cheer to see punched repeatedly in the face.
This lack of self-awareness and dated dialogue might be forgivable, but it’s compounded by the dearth of good humor, and almost any reason to see 'Welcome to the Jungle' completely collapses under that weight.