Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Film Review

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
December 9th, 2017

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On December 9, 2017
Last modified:December 9, 2017

Summary:

Jake Kasdan final results are so likable and fresh, with some grand comedic flair giving families bang for their cash. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is an excellent swan-song to the original and is a perfect alternative to an upcoming Star War.


Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On December 9, 2017
Last modified:December 9, 2017

Summary:

Jake Kasdan final results are so likable and fresh, with some grand comedic flair giving families bang for their cash. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is an excellent swan-song to the original and is a perfect alternative to an upcoming Star War.

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Dir: Jake Kasdan; Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Bobby Cannavale, Rhys Darby and Purab Kohli 12A cert, 119 min

90’s classic Jumanji was a childhood fantasy brought to life for many audiences, transported us on journeys inside real-life board games. The blend of zoo animals and modern day surroundings was a fresh concept, Jumanji was a family event for many which delivered on the promises. Robin Williams played a former child, who got trapped in the game and found himself in trouble. It was a signature performance which allowed the outstanding actor, to embrace his comedic side.

Jumanji has garnered a cult following since release, with many TV channels around our globe, put the film on screens around the Holiday season. Jumanji has a place in many people's heart (including mine), and in 2017 the less than anticipated sequel Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is in cinemas.

The lead role has transitioned onto Dwayne "The Rock' Johnson as the director Jake Kasdan throws out the aging board game plot, for a more video game-centric idea which millennials are going to love. But does Jumanji work by today's standards, and capture the family fun seen in the 90's original? Or crash into the jungle head first. Let’s go deeper into the anticipated game.

Twenty years after the events of the first Jumanji, the infamous board game has evolved into a video game and while cleaning out a school's basement serving detention, four teenagers find it and get sucked into the same jungle setting that Alan Parrish got sucked into all those years ago. They also become their avatars inside the game and the only way out is to play along and finish it.

Credit: Sony Pictures

I surprisingly found Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle enjoyable, in the popcorn munching sense a feeling missed in 2017's movie season. The Indiana Jones inspired characters, and body-swapping plot all give the audience a bloody good run for their cash, with a feel-good experience. Jumanji takes all the qualities and rules of video-gaming, with the players all trying to reach the next level but pushes them into a film format. Something that works within the Jumanji concept, bringing to life a childhood staple in new bold ways.

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Featuring a high performance from the confident Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Fast & Furious 8), who is a teenage geek turned into the giant Samoan actor and pushed into the wild Jungle. Welcome to the Jungle begins in the 90's, as the Jumanji board game winds up on a beach - which contains a retro cartridge and transports a child who tries to play it. A time skip takes us the present day and introduces us to four all American high school students.

Credit: Sony Pictures

The millennial kids have different qualities and interests with Bethany (Madison Iseman) being the Instagram queen, Spence (Alex Wolff) an earnest student, strange hipster Martha (Morgan Turner) and the generic football student Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain) - are in trouble with school. But during their school punishment which involves clearing an old storeroom (which health and safety would condemn), find a strange box containing the 90's video game titled Jumanji.

All of them choose in-game avatars which include Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Shelly Oberon, Moose Finbar and Ruby Roundhouse. Teleporting the group into a Jungle setting with new bodies and rules: trying to survive the deadly surroundings. The movie finally gets fun at this point, with the teens all finding it hard to adapt to their new abilities and coming to terms with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Director Jake Kasdan understands how to use the actor's strengths, with some belly rolling comedy that sets it apart from the summer blockbusters.

Fridge finds himself in the body of a comedic and shouty, Kevin Hart. Awkward teenager Spence turns into the He-Man body of Dwayne Johnson - who leads on the crazy journey. Martha turns into the cute but powerful babe, played by the Guardians of the Galaxy actress Karen Gillan). Bethany is terrified by the fact her body is a guy, the professor Shelly who is portrayed by Jack Black. I loved these scenes as they add comedy in the pretty terrible situation.

Our band of quirky heroes all battle the wild, as rhinos, massive hippos, and snakes to defeat a sinister bad guy. Who is guarding a statue with magical powers, the group must find him before it all comes crashing down. To win the game and get back to reality, with the help of an old player from the 90's.

I wanted to hate on Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ever since the reveal, as it looked like an unnecessary companion to the already classic original. But Jake Kasdan final result is so likable and fresh that all the worries left my mind. The action is quick with a precise blend of comedic flair, which is an excellent idea for the cold winter season. It's the perfect Christmas adventure for those not looking for a Star War.

3/5

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

  • 3
Jake Kasdan final results are so likable and fresh, with some grand comedic flair giving families bang for their cash. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is an excellent swan-song to the original and is a perfect alternative to an upcoming Star War.

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