Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – A personal review
I have read some negative things on social media about this movie, but I’m here to set the record straight: It’s pretty good! If you venture into this reboot of Jumanji expecting it to pick up where the 1995 original left off you’re going to be pretty disappointed. This is a completely different movie with the only real connection being the villain, Van Pelt(Kind of), the game(kind of), and the story of a kid being locked away in the game for many years.
The movie starts with four teenagers ending up in detention, during which they are instructed to clean out an old storage room. During this detention these teens, the jock, the nerdy guy, the nerdy girl and the pompous pretty girl, find the game of Jumanji. But this time the game is a video game release which sucks them all into the jungles of Jumanji where they have to beat the game to return home.
During their time in the jungle we are introduced to the villain of this adventure, Van Pelt. You’ll remember him as the famous hunter from the original movie, but this character is somewhat darker and less 1930’s-safari-hunter than the Van Pelt you know. He’s also much more forgettable. Van Pelt chases them through the jungle while they would to capture and restore the Jaguar’s eye to win the game and their freedom.
Why is this a good movie?
I couldn’t, honestly pick out the faces of many of the supporting characters from a lineup, but the casting of the main characters is perfect. The smoking hot Karen Gillan, which you might know as Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy, is a relative unknown in this mix, but that doesn’t stop her from delivering a fantastic performance. This movie also rejoins what I have come to appreciate as a very dynamic comedic team, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart who, as usual, had me laughing almost as soon as they appeared on screen. Nick Jonas, I’m sure you’ll know had a smaller role in the movie, but did well playing it. And, finally, the infamous Jack Black rounded out the team with his own, unique, comedic style. Seeing Jack Black play a preppy school girl trapped in an overweight, middle-aged man’s body is quite possibly the highlight of this movie and as usual his performance is flawless.
The story line is also brought up into a more modern styling that is relatable, especially to younger audiences that never had board games as their main form of entertainment. The characters are more of what you would expect from a group of kids today as the culture is very different from the 1990’s.
The movie kept my wife and I laughing for the majority of the time and managed to keep our attention throughout. This is, in essence, a video game movie, and if you look at it from that point of view it should be enjoyable for the whole family.
What’s bad about this movie?
Not much. As I said earlier this is, basically, a video game movie, so don’t expect some mind altering, Earth shattering moment of revelation. The story lacks a lot of depth, but the movie did a fair job developing the characters in the moment. Not a lot of back story, but you get enough to understand the mindsets of the characters.
This is definitely a light-hearted movie and it’s meant to give you a few laughs and some time to stop overclocking your brain. It will not leave you wanting more though. This should be a one off, but it’s good for multiple viewings, I would think.
What about kids?
We previewed this one before our son could see it. There is plenty of sexual innuendo, along with a gang of armed thugs chasing a group of scared adventurers through a jungle. People die in some rather inventive ways, and the goal of one of the main characters is to be sexy. I would recommend viewing it first before letting little ones see it and using your best judgment. I, for one, would prefer my three year old not see this movie, but there is nothing in it that will scar young ones for life if they happen to watch it.
You can purchase the movie from Amazon.com by clicking here(dvd Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)or the Blu-ray here(Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle [Blu-ray])
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