You may know Eli Roth for his performance as Sgt. Donny Donowitz in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds,” but if you know anything about Eli Roth’s directing career, then you will have at least an inkling of an idea of what to expect from “The Green Inferno.”
At its core, “The Green Inferno” is a commentary on modern activism and Internet social justice warriors (#SJW). It’s basically about the idea that a group of people can “care” so much for a group of people that they know literally nothing about. In fact, the activists in this movie know so little that they end up being eaten by the tribe they are attempting to save. The main problem with #SJW is that they don’t take part in activism because they truly care, but because they want to look like good people.
In fact, a change.org petition named “Petitioning Eli Roth to cancel the launch of the dehumanizing film ‘Green Inferno’” was started. The author of the petition argues that the film demonizes the indigenous people. This plan seems to backfire, seeing that the truly dehumanized group in “The Green Inferno” is made up of people like the author of the petition, a.k.a. #SJW. Roth blends hokey acting and over the top gore, two things that are quintessential to his films, to give his statement the impersonal feeling that it needs.
Here’s a run down of “The Green Inferno”: The main plot begins when Justine (Lorenza Izzo), a college freshman, decides to accompany a group of activists (Act), led by Alejandro (Ariel Levy), to Peru in hopes of saving part of the Amazon and the aboriginal tribe that inhabits it. The group succeeds, but just after taking off to fly home, their plane crashes, and they are found by the same tribe that they came to save. From here, the movie is pretty straightforward. The natives are cannibals, capture the activists and begin to eat them one by one. Will they all be eaten? Will any of them escape? Go find out for yourself.
What I liked about “The Green Inferno” was that it was awful for all the right reasons. The acting was very bad, which really only made the activists less likable. Many of the characters come off as tropes, like the nerdy guy who falls for the leading lady, the leading lady who has a thing for someone other than the nerdy guy etc. Also, much of the dialogue is cliché, which perfectly captures the #SJW culture.
When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it seemed fairly offensive to aboriginal peoples. After thinking about this for a while, I decided that what seemed offensive was likely an intentional over dramatization in order to prove the point that the activists in the film really knew nothing about the tribe’s culture and had no right to interfere or judge its practices. This movie couldn’t have been made for the sole purpose of making a quality film. It must have been a joke, and this is obvious from the perfect satirization that Roth has created.
The only “NO” I found in “The Green Inferno” was the ending. Don’t worry. I won’t spoil it but…seriously? It was one of the worst cases of “not-so-surprise” endings I’ve ever seen, but I guess that really just rounded off the ridiculousness of the film.
Overall, I give “The Green Inferno” three out of five stars. While I truly enjoyed watching it, I can’t say that it is a movie I would pay money to see again. It won’t win any awards, but it was entertaining and did what I feel it set out to do which was make a movie about the world of #SJW. I recommend this movie for anyone who enjoys laughing at incredibly fake gore, Peruvian cannibals getting high or beautiful aerial shots of the Amazon, but if you’re a #SJW, you will probably want to run the other way.