Picks and Pans Review: The Ghost and the Darkness
A scenic adventure thriller set in colonial East Africa, this movie will correct any misimpressions, born of too many viewings of The Lion King, of lions as warm, fuzzy creatures. The snarling beasts here rip helpless humans limb from limb, gouge chests, chomp necks and then go silly slurping up all the blood. Mmm, Mmm, good.
The Ghost and the Darkness tells the true gory story of two particularly vicious lions who went, for reasons that have never been determined, on an extended man-eating binge (they eventually killed some 130 persons) at a railway construction site in 1896. It falls to a British army officer (Kilmer, see story, page 116) and a wily American big-game hunter (Douglas, chomping scenery the way the lions do their victims) to kill the beasts.
As written by William Goldman and directed by Stephen Hopkins (Blown Away), Ghost has some sharp moments, but far too many scenes are devoted to the lions looking for lunch and to Kilmer and Douglas tracking them, scenes you'll find riveting only if you are a lifetime subscriber to Hunting Horizons or Guns & Ammo. (R)