Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 4 Average: 2.8/5]
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Alex Wolff, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillian, Jack Black, Madison Iseman, Ser’Darius Blain, Morgan Turner
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a reboot of the 1995 adventure movie by Joe Johnston. The ludo based board game has now become a video game modeled on Temple Run. While the original was ground breaking at the time with its CGI, the newer version leaves a lot to be desired. Jumanji has targeted this generation rather than appealing to an older audience by invoking nostalgia.
In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, 4 high school students come together for detention for various reasons. They stumble across a video game which sucks them in and they assume its characters (with their respective strengths and weaknesses). It is funny that all the characters become opposite to what they are in real life and their adjustment to their extremely opposite avatars is hilarious.
Spencer (Alex Wolff), a nerdy gamer with anxiety issues becomes Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), an archaeologist with super human strength and leader of the group. Bethany (Madison Iseman), a popular, pretty, self centered girl becomes Prof. Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black), an overweight, middle aged cartographer/ cryptographer. Anthony (Ser’Darius Blain), the school footballer with athletic prowess becomes Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart), a weapons specialist with a backpack and a weakness for cakes. Martha (Morgan Turner), an introvert with aversion for physical activities becomes Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), a dance fighter wearing short shorts and leather halter top.
They all have to work together and return the jewel to the Jaguar Statue and shout Jumanji. They have three lives, spending which, they will die for real. In their quest they need to battle wild animals and Russel Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale)’s bikers. Pelt is an archaeologist turned mercenary who wants the jewel which gives him control of Jumanji. He is the main antagonist and enemy of Dr Bravestone. In the quest they also come across Alex Vreeke (Nick Jonas) who has been trapped in Jumanji for 21 years. How they all come together to finish the quest while overcoming their differences forms the rest of the plot.
The original Jumanji has a cult following because it was a CGI marvel at the time of its release and was a trendsetter. Robin Williams added his charm and made it a family entertainer. This reboot falls short of expectations. It can’t bank on CGI as there have been umpteen movies with better CGI. The narration is such that it robs us of any thrill of what will happen next. The beauty of the original version was that it built up suspense. A roll of dice followed by an instruction and then a lull before all hell broke loose. It is an adventure movie sans any suspense or any real adventure. Kevin Hart tries on comedy which was good only for the trailer. It has very less action as players take up most of the time to fight their inertia and accept avatars.
Jack Black is the stand out performer carrying out both the girl and boy personalities with ease. Kevin Hart is a waste of time and effort and should refrain from doing movies and stick to stand up only. He can neither act and his comedy was out of sync. What is the point of having such a body when Dwayne Johnson is not having many action scenes. Karen Gillian is good as she packs a punch but she is no Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft).
You can watch it once but it is a poor reboot of the original classic. This Temple Run isn’t engaging. Please share the rating above if you have watched it and share how you felt?
Enjoy the Trailer: