Now, admittedly, I’m going to be forthright and say that I’m no professional critic. But I did see Congo fifteen years ago when I was ten years old. And I’ve seen many movies since, and yet for whatever strange reason Congo has stuck out in my mind. So here is what 25 year old me thinks of ten year old me’s experience watching the movie Congo.
Ok, so ummm….I remember at the time Congo had some hype around it, as it was the first Michael Crichton novel made into a movie since Jurassic Park, which of course is the greatest movie of all time.
And as I remember, Congo was marketed as the primate version of Jurassic Park. But instead of genetically engineered dinosaurs there would be monkeys. And I think I also remember a laser gun powered by diamonds? So the movie all starts with a scientist guy who teaches Coco the monkey some sign language. Coco is a nice monkey and also can talk. I’m fairly certain Coco may have also had a voice box dealy, similar to Stephen Hawking. There’s also some other scientists( I’m pretty sure there’s a blonde white lady in there too, maybe?).
And so these group of scientists go to some kind of monkey island. This particular Ape place is full of mean monkeys(unlike that sweet monkey Coco you were just talking about). I’m not entirely sure why they go to Ape Island, or what it has to do with Coco. Or maybe Coco goes to Ape island with them? Sort of like a sherpa that can lead them through the crazy ape land. But I don’t think the bad guy apes knew sign language so what’s the point there?(Moral support? We shall never know)
Oh also, the scary apes were white(A commentary on race relations, perhaps??).
I can only assume that the trip to crazy ape park had to do with the diamond powered laser gun. I think that the special diamonds needed to power the gun were only found in one certain kind of cave, which is protected by those racist white monkeys. So the scientists(and possibly Coco?) go on a rafting trip to go find the island.
Also some dude gets eaten up by a hippopotamus.
So they make it to the secret diamond cave of the scary monkeys(monkies? Monkees? SP) and find the diamonds. Also, I guess they had a prototype laser gun which they used to evaporate a whole bunch of the white chimps. Because, honestly- Could you imagine having a movie where everyone’s saying “we need to find these special diamonds to power our bad ass laser gun!”, then at the end of the movie they go “Glad we found those diamonds for this amazing gun”, and then roll credits. Coco may or may not be there helping fight the evil white monkeys. I think she might have sacrificed herself for the humans, kind of like Sloth in the Goonies when he lifts the rock and let’s everyone out of the cave. But Coco doesn’t get to live with that fat kid in the end. I feel like I remember her taking out the head white monkey than maybe saluting him as he dies, but that also might be from when the one zombie salutes at the end of Day of the Dead.
These are the best details I can recount from the movie Congo. So now I’m going to watch a few clips of the movie online and see how much of memories match up with the actual film. Here’s the trailer:
First off - SOME DUDE TOTALLY GOT ATE UP BY A HIPPO!!!! A hungry, hungry hippo even! That reminds me of that one board game- The Game of Life. Because that dude just lost!
Also the movie stars Ernie Hudson(Winston from the motherfucking Ghostbusters!) and Tim Curry. And Guess what? Curry decides to play against type, opting for the role of the smarmy antagnoist(Fun Fact: Antagnosit is smart people talk for badguy)! Although I wasn’t able to find too many Congo clips online, I was able to find several clips from the TV movie, It. And seriously don’t watch it if you value being able to sleep at night.
I was able to find a few talking clips of Amy the Monkey, not named Coco, as I once thought.
And although she does have a robot voice, it’s more effeminate. And the voice box is powered by what looks like a Nintendo Power Glove. Also, it’s very obvious at times that the white gorillas are just people in gorilla suits(Note: when I say “people in gorilla suits” I obviously don’t mean a bunch of men wearing tuxedos attacking people). But there absolutely is a laser gun used to evaporate those jerk monkeys.
Here’s some excerpts of the plot, according to IMDB. “A megalomaniac C.E.O.”(Fatcats. Truly they are the real animals!) “sends his son into the dangerous African Congo on a quest for a source of diamonds large enough and pure enough to function as powerful laser communications transmitters. When contact is lost with his son and the team, his sometime daughter- in-law is sent after them.”(What do they mean “sometime daughter-in-law”? Are his son and daughter-in-law just repeatedly getting married and divorced? Guess I’ll have to rewatch the movie!). “What they all discover is that often what we most want turns out to be the source of our downfall.”
I think that’s the real lesson here from Congo. If you go looking for evil monkeys,they will probably be the source of your downfall. And although I couldn’t find very many clips of Congo online, here’s a video of a guy reviewing a Coco the monkey toy. I appreciate his honest and heartfelt criticism, finding the toy much too “squishy” for his liking. If there’s aything you don’t want in gorilla toys, it’s squishiness.
So in summation, I give my distorted, childhood memories of the movie Congo, two thumbs up out of ten fingers.