Strange Wilderness (R)

Comedy 87 February 1, 2008
By Aaron Hillis
Last seen — quite unforgettably — as one of Rescue Dawn's tragic POWs, Steve Zahn returns to the jungle to headline this awful but innocuous February-dumped comedy. Here, he revives his trusty but musty persona of the happy-go-unlucky, half-stoned schemer. On a South American search for Bigfoot as a last-ditch effort to save their failing TV wildlife program, host Zahn and his even more incompetent crew — a who's who of slumming talent that includes Jonah Hill, Justin Long, Broken Lizard's Kevin Heffernan, and Ernest Borgnine — smoke dope, joy-buzz one another's crotches, and wag their tongues at every skinny blonde or fake tit that passes their fratty gaze. Why former SNL writers Fred Wolf (who also directs) and Peter Gaulke would force such proven improvisers to stick to such drooling playground idiocy is a mystery not worth solving; it concerns a script that smugly tries to squeeze a dozen rapid-fire punch lines out of a guy named Dick. (Alternatively, how can you screw up MST3K-style voiceovers of old nature-show footage with this cast?) Not above lowbrow ridiculousness when it's actually unexpected, I'll admit to being amused exactly once, when Zahn gets deep-throated by a gigantic prop turkey that, despite the mouthful, keeps on flapping.
Fred Wolf Steve Zahn, Allen Covert, Jonah Hill, Ashley Scott, Peter Dante, Harry Hamlin, Robert Patrick, Joe Don Baker, Justin Long, Jeff Garlin Peter Gaulke, Fred Wolf Allen Covert, Peter Gaulke Paramount Classics

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