Animals on the Loose: A You vs Wild Movie
For anyone missing the outdoors and looking for a bit of adventure in these trying times, adventurer and survivalist Bear Grylls is here to bring the outside in with his latest entry to the You vs. Wild Netflix series.
This film’s primary gimmick is its partial interactivity, allowing viewers to dictate which way the story goes and the decisions Bear makes in his efforts to rescue animals that have escaped from a preserve in South Africa. This typically boils down to a binary or ternary choice at certain crossroads; eating grubs is obviously an option, but, try as they might, players are unable to put Grylls in any real mortal peril, thanks to his trusty emergency flares.
Unfortunately, the choices are rather limited and, though the film boasts of impactful options, there isn’t much incentive to experiment: there’s usually a right way and a wrong way, and the right one is usually the more visually interesting, while the other will quickly cut the experience short.
The action also depends on an audience that doesn’t know a great deal about animals. Hearing a cheetah roar like a lion is one of the more jarring ways the production plays fast and loose with fact, which is disappointing considering the potential for education.
The staged drama is also inevitably corny: Grylls hams up every scene and the camera works perhaps a little too hard to up the intensity. While the direction could have injected some excitement for a younger audience, the new change in rating from PG to 12 will hamper the effect of the experience for an older, more discerning demographic.
Ultimately, Animals on the Loose: A You vs Wild Movie is a fun novelty with some pretty shots of the African wilds, but it doesn’t have any ambitions beyond that. While it might have been an engaging watch for younger children, it will likely struggle under the 12 rating, and the limited interactivity really robs the premise of much of its video game appeal.
Animals on the Loose: A You vs Wild Movie is released digitally on demand on 8th February 2021.
Watch the trailer for Animals on the Loose: A You vs Wild Movie here: