MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

In the heart of Africa, an expedition team of scientists hired by the TraviCom Corp. to search for a diamond mine is wiped out. At TraviCom's home base in Houston, Texas, flashes of an unknown gorilla species are received on their satellite screen. Then all transmission is cut. TraviCom's president, R. B. Travis (Joe Don Baker), immediately decides to send another Congo team to locate the first team and the diamonds it found. Dr. Karen Ross (Laura Linney) agrees to head the group and locate the lost diamonds, but her main objective is to find Charles, her ex-fiance, who led the lost team. As camouflage, she joins Dr. Peter Elliot's (Dylan Walsh) Congo expedition. Elliot is returning Amy, a gorilla proficient in sign language, to the jungle. Once in Africa, the team encounters a barrage of difficulties. But none will compare to the battles awaiting them with the legendary great gray gorillas. CONGO closely follows Michael Crichton's novel, and should please its readers. It definitely delivers a bang for your buck as it takes you into the beauty and fierceness of the jungle.

However, the very thing that makes CONGO exciting also makes it gruesome. The battles with the gorillas are vicious and the fact that they have been created by special effects doesn't soften their horror. These are not ordinary animals. They are specifically trained to fend off intruders and are merciless. The aftermath of attacks on the team is shown, as well as the bloody slayings of the gorillas. In one scene, a man's eyeball is thrown at Charles, and, in another, gorillas consume a man. The story does illustrate the futility of greed and its consequences, as each team member must come to terms with what is important. Also, the results of the good that man can do is demonstrated by the relationship between the gorilla Amy and her trainer, Elliot. There is no sexual content in the film, but its dialogue is filled with many obscenities and some regular profanities. That, combined with the level of violence, should have earned CONGO an R rating instead of PG-13.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Paramount Communications, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10023-7780

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 6, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Many (14) times (f-word 1, s-word 11, other 2)

Profanity: Many (16) times - Regular 6, Exclamatory 10

Violence: Many - Moderate and Severe (dead bodies shown, eyeball and brain thrown at man, car bomb, shooting threats, plane crash, gorilla attacks, gorillas killed; volcanic eruption; leach attaches to man's crotch)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times (ape drinks martini and is given drugs; also smokes cigarettes)

Other: African ritual over dead body, attempting to call back the soul

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and adults

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