This Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle review was created on behalf of Sony Pictures. All opinions of the movie are my own.
Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle Review
Although the world was up in arms (maybe a slight exaggeration) with the announcement of a new Jumanji movie, I think everyone has calmed down now because the word is out that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle isn’t a remake or a replacement of the much-beloved original. It’s a fresh, modern stand-alone adventure. And it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
I was as skeptical as anyone else at first (albeit quietly,) but when Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan appeared on the screen together, all my worries vanished. They have phenomenal chemistry, and the movie is really funny, entertaining and heartwarming. Oh, and when it comes to special effects, it’s light years ahead of the original. Don’t believe me? Go back and rewatch Jumanji… you’ll see.
The story begins Breakfast Club-style with four teenagers stuck together in detention. When they come across an old-school video game console with the Jumanji game in it, they decide to play and they’re sucked into the game as their chosen avatars. And that is where the fun begins!
The geeky nerd becomes the muscle-clad hero (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), the pretty, mean girl becomes the nerdy middle-aged professor (Jack Black), the athlete becomes the semi-useless side-kick (Kevin Hart) and the shy, smart girl becomes a bad-ass force to be reckoned with (Karen Gillan).
The genius of Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle lies in how the characters straddle the worlds of avatar and true self and it plays out with endless hilarity. Jack Black is particularly funny when he discovers his new body parts and when he tries to teach the art of flirting. In fact, his portrayal of teenage Bethany is comedic gold.
The movie playfully pokes fun at video game stereotypes like the Lara Croft’ish costume impracticality, the repetition of NPCs, limited lives and individual character strengths and weaknesses. It all adds up to a fast-paced, danger-fraught romp through the jungle with non-stop entertainment for the audience.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a silly and fun adventure comedy about friendship, and its December 20th release makes it a perfect choice for a holiday outing to the theater. It’s well worth seeing!