Holiday in the Wild Review
by C. Palmer
* 1 Star
In short, Holiday in the Wild is 90 minutes of your irritating friend that won’t stop talking about how eye-opening their trip to Africa was.
Actors: Kristen Davis, Rob Lowe
Synopsis – A recent divorcee, Kate, takes a solo holiday to Zambia to catch a break from her upper-class city lifestyle. Whilst there, she forms a romance with a local, Derek, as she realises the harsh impacts of ivory poachers.
Not quite as bad as films like The Room or Birdemic, Holiday in the Wild is just as enjoyable to experience. Although it does offer a cohesive narrative, it is as simple and lazy as a screenplay can get. Netflix is known for great movies and TV shows such as Better Call Saul and Roma but also unnoteworthy cash-grabs like this film.
Calling this film a stereotypical Christmas film seems a little odd, considering there is only one scene containing snow – a third of the film is set in summer and elephants play a large role throughout, but it manages to pull out every cliche related to Christmas (finding love on Christmas day, kissing under the mistletoe, two attractive, upper-class white people being the leads et cetera). The focus on elephants is both a negative and positive: the message is important but the lackadaisical way that they shove their message down your throat is as subtle as a kick to the stomach, at times just insulting the viewer’s intelligence.
Speaking of insulting the viewer’s intelligence, the best part of this film is the editing. It is so messy and downright bad that it had me feeling genuinely confused and annoyed by the first 10 minutes. For some reason, known only by the director, none of the shots are given more than half a second of screen time before it cuts to another shot as if Netflix sees its viewers as incompetent with incredibly short attention spans. By the halfway point, I felt exhausted from all of the futile shots had flashed before my eyes like gunfire. It is because of this that the cinematography gets away with being so flat and lazy because you don’t get long enough to take in any of the Zambian scenery, which the crew travelled so far to show us.
In short, Holiday in the Wild is 90 minutes of your irritating friend that won’t stop talking about how eye-opening their trip to Africa was. Everyone involved, both producers and viewers, know that this is a shameless money-maker and reviewing it feels like beating a dead horse.. I can’t recommend it enough.
Holiday in the Wild is currently available on Netflix and was rated PG by the BBFC.