Jungleland review by Bobby Blakey

Like most, I have been a fan of Charlie Hunnam ever since Sons of Anarchy. Since then I have loved almost everything he has done and always willing to check out anything he is involved in. His latest film Jungleland has him co-starring with Jack O’ Connell, Jessica Barden and Jonathan Majors, but does if offer up something worth fighting for or will it get knocked out for the count?

Jungleland follows Stanley and Lion, two brothers struggling to stay relevant in the underground world of bare-knuckle boxing. When Stanley fails to pay back a dangerous crime boss, they’re forced to deliver an unexpected traveler as they journey across the country for a high stakes fighting tournament. While Stanley trains Lion for the fight of his life, a series of events threaten to tear the brothers apart, but their love for one another and belief in a better life keep them going in this gripping drama that proves family pulls no punches.

Going in I fully expected this film to focus on the fighting aspect and while it does it is so much more than that. This is a story of family, redemption and struggle all wrapped up in a gritty tale of crime and bad decisions. Hunnam and O’Connell are both great here. They have great chemistry together that fully makes you believe in them as brothers. You can see the love for each other while also seeing there is so much more unspoken issues with them.

Hunnam is great here being the more boisterous of the two and also always scheming making him the reason for most of their problems while clearly caring about his brother. O’Connell is the fighter and brings a silent but emotional performance to his role making them the perfect balance for each other. The infusion of Sky played by Jessica Barden adds the eneded dynamic to their relationship and situation to take it to new directions both good and bad and their overall journey all the more interesting.

This is one of those films that is all about the performance the substance that the actors bring to the story and roles. It’s not relying on the shiny visuals and instead using a gritty backdrop to pull it all together and the sheer talent of those involved to tell this dysfunctional tale.

Step into the dangerous world of crime and fighting with Jungleland available now on digital and then on DVD on January 12, 2021 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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