I was open minded before watching ‘Jumanji; Welcome to the Jungle’ (2017), I was excited to see how they had modernised the movie but also kept elements from the 1995 original with Robin Williams.
This time around Jumanji is not an old board game, it adapts into a video game console that lures four school kids into the game. They discover that they cannot simply play Jumanji but they must survive the game in order to escape or be trapped there forever.
The movie began very similarly to the original, the board game summons another victim that gets trapped in the game and lost for years. I liked how they kept this addition to the narrative, I thought it showed respect for the original but also gave the story depth by giving us a mystery we needed to solve.
Each character was very funny, especially Jack Black’s portrayal of Professor Shelly AKA Bethany. I thought his characterisation was very comical and he had a great presence every time he was on screen. Of course, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart all did a brilliant job. I thought all of their characters were laugh out loud funny and each had excellent moments within the story.
As the cast is full of stars they were slightly distracting from the story itself, I did find the journey to become a little over thought and confused. It felt like they kept adding random loop holes into the film to make it fill the two hours….
In saying that, I did enjoy the film overall. I thought it referenced to the original enough but also held its own, it is hard to make a remake of something people truly love but I do think they did a good job.
My main criticism is that I did not feel like they kids in the game were enjoying themselves, although Jumanji is meant to be scary they are playing a game after all! I wanted there to be a lot more fun, like a real video game! Also I wanted there to be more of a video game feel, like incorporating glitches and funny mannerisms that old 90s video games have. Of course, I am being slightly picky but I think it would have helped the film distance itself from the original and make it a little more interesting to watch.
Overall, this film was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. It did make me laugh and I enjoyed watching it, the acting was brilliant and the narrative was good at times. I would recommend you watch it if you liked the original, it does have some nice moments in there.
7/10 probe points