This is a 1997 "family" film, and is perhaps the worst movie that has ever had the Kirsten Dunst name attached to it. She is the only reason to watch this film, unless you have children, they might enjoy it simply because it has bears and trees in it (religious families might object to the pseudo bear-worship in the film, but it is otherwise quite suitable for children).. The only adults I would recommend this to are Kirsten Dunst completists.
The basic plot of the film is that Kirsten and her twin brother (Zachery Ty Bryan, that kid from Home Improvement, and also the only recognizable person besides Dunst), are in a plane crash in Canada. The pilot and the other passenger are killed, leaving them alone in the Canadian wilderness. The other passenger appears to be someone they knew well, or possibly a family member, but they don't seem to really care that he was tossed from the plane and killed. Kirsten is quite upset about losing a locket though.
They quickly meet up with an indian with terrible grammar (which is inconsistently bad, because the script is bad). The indian (Khonanesta) is played by August Schellenberg, who is well versed in the art of being in crappy "family" films, having appeared in the entire Free Willy series and more "made for tv" movies than you can shake a stick at. They all then proceed to go on a rather unbelievable adventure involving murderous poachers, bears, and Mexican-Canadian Forestry agents.
The whole movie just seems totally unbelievable. I just couldn't accept the fact that a random group of bear poachers would really just go off trying to murder everyone in sight. They seem to have such a lack of remorse that they are shown joking around and chatting like everything is great, one scene after two of their friends were killed. Their obsession with this one single bear seems completely unprofitable, yet they chase him like he was the Moby Dick of bears.
What really makes this movie so terrible was that Kirsten was in top form, but she just had nothing to work with. The entire film was filled with bad sitcom actors, reciting terrible dialogue in reaction to unbelievable situations, in the middle of the woods for crying out loud. Her reactions, expressions, and other non-speaking parts were some of her best ever, but there was no way that was going to help this movie. She did the best she could, and I could find no fault with her performance. There is only so much you can do in a movie when your best line is "What do people gather?".
out of a possible 5
*Normally I would list the character's names. But this is one of those films where you don't remember anyone's name, and half the characters were never even called by name. The only name in the movie that sticks is "Khonanesta", which is because it is weird, and because they keep saying it over and over and over again.
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