The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) Review


When Col. John Henry Patterson an engineer is to help get the railroad in Africa back on schedule the task is made tougher when workers are killed by lions. Famed hunter Charles Remington is willing to help Patterson out.


Sir Robert Beaumont is in charge of the railroad that is being built in Africa but everything is not going to his plan when the team he has building it are behind the schedule. This is when he enlists John Henry Patterson as an engineer to help with the project, although he does not care about his personal circumstances with his wife due to give birth to their first child.

It quickly becomes easy to see why the project is behind schedule as two lions are hunting and killing the men that are working on the railway line. This is something that Patterson must try and combat but it is not the easiest of tasks to complete. When hunter Charles Remington suddenly turns up both men decide to form an alliance as they can help each other.

The main problem I had with this film was that the story seemed to have plot holes and was a little bit all over the place at the time. Having read some background facts around the film afterwards that became very clear due to Michael Douglas originally down to produce to the film decided to take on the role of Remington. This meant he increased his role in the film and that therefore left the plot holes. Director Stephen Hopkins was not happy with the resulting film, I am a huge Michael Douglas fan but I think having one watched the film it is clear to see the changes did not fit the flow.

Val Kilmer was impressive enough in the leading role of Patterson and I really did enjoy his performance. He was the main reason the project got off the ground and I think you can see the extra passion in his performance in all honesty. I do enjoy watching films about Africa as well, having been lucky enough to visit two different African countries. The difference in culture and living conditions is something that everyone should really think about and quite frankly visit at some point in their lifetime.

One scene in particular totally shocked me and the small twist with it I actually wasn’t sure if it had really happened or not until a few minutes had actually passed. That wasn’t really something that I was expecting to happen in all honesty. Other than that it moved at an ok pace but the plot holes were a little bit tough at times, being unsure if I had missed something important. Which quite frankly was just not actually part of the film, which was a shame really.

8 thoughts on “The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) Review

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