Archive: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) Review

An interesting reboot to say the least.    And a surprise Jonas Brother to boot.


DIRECTOR:  Jake Kasdan

STARRING:  Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart

SCREENPLAY:  Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers

GENRE:  Adventure/Comedy

RUNTIME:  119 Mins

★★★★ 4 Stars  

With a cast like this, and with the chemistry they have, it wouldn’t matter how terrible the story is or how bad the script is, the movie is going to be awesome.  And yeah, it is the team in this film that make it so good.

Jumanji has had a face lift.  Rather then a board game, to keep itself relevant, by some kind of Jumanji magic, the game transforms itself into a video game.  So rather then parts of the game infesting OUR world, players get sucked into a virtual reality version of the jungle and have to finish the game there.  A nice twist to keep the franchise up to date, and means it isn’t just repeating it’s 90s counterpart.

If you are a videogame fan, this film pays you homage in spades.  There are references to just about every video game trope imaginable here.  So there is plenty to chuckle about there.  The rest of the humour in this movie isn’t really for younger kids so just beware that there are definitely some jokes that will not be appropriate for your younger kids.  That 12A rating if there for a reason.  

Otherwise this is a mostly family friendly version of Indiana Jones, with some killer Rhinos in there as a bonus.  Theres great action scenes and then they are nicely balanced out by real tender and touching moments.  But don’t expect that to happen to often, the film really doesn’t take itself that seriously, though there are interesting comments on Social Media, Popularity and other issues that may effect young people, buried in here if you can find them.

Movies like this are where Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart really do there best work.  It’s just serious enough to need some acting skill, but then silly enough that any serious actor would laugh at the role.  I enjoy seeing them in parts like this because comedy, and in particular the silly kids lkind of comedy, are where they really shine for me.

This is by no means the worst Reboot I have seen recently, lovers of the original (like me!) will find plenty of hidden nuggets (like the log cabin) to keep the nostalgia flowing.  

The Sequel to Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level hits cinemas next month.  Review for that will be coming soon.

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