“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”
Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, and Bobby Cannavale
Sony Pictures Releasing
Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.
I obviously went on a watch all the films and read all the books related to “Jumanji” kick. Since I was doing that, I realized I needed to watch this movie to make it all complete. Even if it didn’t fit in the “VS.” theme of the other movies and books. Yes, there is no book for this movie. It is its own thing that the movie picture company decided to make off the popularity of the other film. Do I think this was a bad idea? Nope, especially not after watching this film.
The film nods to the original 1995 “Jumanji” a few times within its 119 minutes. These little nods made it seem that there was a respect being paid to the original, but allowing for itself to be something that wasn’t the original. In some instances this works and in others it does not. It worked here because they were minor nods and they felt akin to what should be mentioned. One was more profound than the others because of when it occurs. That moment made my heart so happy! It was a beautiful nod to not only the original film, but also to Robin Williams who most would know had passed by the time this film came to light.
While the original focuses on a board game, I do not mind spoiling that the board game evolves into a more modern teen convention of a video game. This made sense as it had to be somewhat updated for the current generation. It does not take away from it and when the plot really takes off, it makes it even more interesting. Seeing the actors that the primary focus of the majority of the film is on also having to take into account what their real world counterparts would act like was just pure genius. There are so many comedic nods to this aspect that had me laughing so hard. I especially loved the Jack Black character and how he had to act due to who his real world counterpart was. His role probably made me laugh the most of any of them, but each of the four main stars have moments that they shine. They each are truly phenomenal in the film. They embody 2 worlds and at moments I forgot that technically these people had third lives, since it was a film. To be that immersed, I know that I enjoyed it.
Does the film stack up against the original? I say it does because it moves past it. It allows itself to be something else. This makes it easier to look at them for their own respective films, instead of constantly comparing that one is better than the other. Both deserve your viewing time and both are enjoyable. Both will make you laugh, cry, smile, and just about every single emotion you can think of. Yes, of course there is some cheesy moments in both, but even those will have you screaming “Jumanji” by the end!