Stanley (Charlie Hunnam) and Lion (Jack O’Connell) are brothers. They live on the fringe. Their mother died young and their father didn’t want them, so all they have is each other.
They live in the slums of Fall River, Massachusetts, where they work menial jobs in a sewing factory by day.
Stanley is a wanna-be manager for Lion, a once-promising young boxer. They’ve turned to the illegal underground bare-knuckle fist fights. Stanley is a dreamer who will do anything for a buck.
Lion just wants to make his brother happy, but secretly wants the brothers to own a dry cleaners.
After purposely losing a fight upon discovering his brother had placed a bet on him through a local gangster (Jonathan Majors) who he owed money, the brothers are forced to transport a mysterious young woman Sky (Jessica Barden) to Reno, Nevada. Their ultimate goal is to reach and win a $100,000 bare-knuckle prize fight in the back-alleys of San Francisco's Chinatown.
As the journey begins, Lion is clearly in love with the young woman. Stanley sees this and is upset and intent of dropping her off, even if it means she will be killed by a nasty old gangster she’s been impregnated by so his seed line could continue.
Sky keeps at Lion, telling him his brother is using him. At one point she and Lion split from Stanley, leaving him to face the bad guys he owes in Chinatown alone.
I kept thinking about one of my favorite songs by Bruce Springsteen “Jungleland,” — “They reach for their moment And try to make an honest stand But they wind up wounded Not even dead Tonight in Jungleland.”
In the end, Lion has to come through for Stanley, after all they are brothers. The two reconcile but is it too late?
This is a great little film, with fantastic actors, interesting plot and gritty backgrounds and soundtrack.
Max Winkler, the director of Jungleland, was born on August 18, 1983 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Max Daniel Winkler. He is a director and writer, known for Flower (2017), The King of Central Park (2006).
The majority of the filming locations were throughout Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts, including neighborhood streets and local bars, among others.
Some scenes were filmed in Taunton Massachusetts at Joe's Diner on Broadway and in the Trescott St. area