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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Review by CJ

Director:
Jake Kasdan

Starring:
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas

Other notable appearances:
Bobby Cannavale, Rhys Darby, Colin Hanks, Marin Hinkle

Running time:
119 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Jumanji, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Goosebumps

 

The board game Jumanji reinvents itself as a video game in order to move with the times and claim more players. Twenty years after it takes its first player, Alex (Jonas/Hanks), Spencer (Johnson) and his classmates find themselves sucked into the virtual jungle where they must save Jumanji from Van Pelt (Cannavale) or risk losing all of their lives — in game and out.

It’s easy to get fatigued by remakes, reboots and long awaited sequels rehashing and, in some cases, tarnishing the legacy of beloved films. However, I found Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle to be a delightful and fun film that is vastly different from the original yet just as entertaining.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle reinvents itself well and the resulting story is a thoroughly entertaining combination of action, adventure and comedy — just like the original. There is even an homage to Robin Williams’ character Alan Parrish which is unobtrusive but a very nice touch.

The actors were fantastic in their roles. Johnson is amazing as the tough, smouldering Bravestone who is steered by the nervous and nerdy Spencer. Gillan is perfectly awkward while playing Martha who ends up in Ruby Roundhouse, a butt kicking martial arts expert and bombshell. Hart is hilarious as Fridge, the high school jock who takes control of the significantly less than athletic sidekick, Mouse.

My absolute favourite performance in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle goes to Jack Black without hesitation or question. Black’s portrayal of Dr Shelly Oberon, a cartographer controlled by the popular teenage girl, Bethany, is hands down one of the funniest things about the film.

Sometimes the special effects in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle leave a bit to be desired, but overall the film is visually beautiful. The sets and locations have been well chosen, it is only a few moments of CGI that are a bit iffy.

Overall, I really liked this film for a lot of reasons despite being dubious going in. I look forward to its home release so that I can once again enjoy the magic of Jumanji.

Rating:

“I’m not gonna get in there, you get in there!”
“I got a backpack on! You don’t get in water with a backpack, everybody knows that.”

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