Though this is the second film (the first coming in 1995) that is loosely based the 1981 children’s book “Jumanji”, the films are made by different companies and hardly bear any resemblance to the book. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was directed by Jake Kasdan, a fairly underrated director who is most known for producing the TV shows Fresh Off the Boat and New Girl. Though this film has probably performed worse than it could have had it not been overshadowed by quite a few other successful films, it is getting very solid reviews and came in second in box office last week. Is it really worth your time? Or is it just a money grab with a flashy cast?
This film took a while to grab my interest. It starts off with some introduction to the story behind Jumanji and then a little background on the teenagers that eventually get sucked into the game. From the beginning of the movie until the time that we first see The Rock, I was basically just waiting patiently because I knew that at some point the kids would get sucked into the game and then we’d get to see the real actors. Ok, they weren’t that bad, but I definitely enjoyed it more when they weren’t on the screen.
There are a lot of little things that don’t really make sense in the grand scheme of things. For instance, Nick Jonas’ character has a weakness to mosquitos, and he almost dies because he gets bitten with only one life left. However, Jack Black’s character gives him a life to stay alive. That’s touching and all, but y’all are in the stinkin jungle, and you’re trying to tell me the Nick Jonas isn’t about to get bitten by another mosquito for the rest of the movie? That doesn’t seem likely to me. There are a few more things similar to that example but it’s been a few days since I watched the movie and I can’t remember all the details.
There were some pretty cringe-worthy moments that made me glad I didn’t watch this movie with my parents. Just a lot of humor related to the fact that a girl was living inside a dude’s body and all of the immature jokes that come with that. I’m not saying that I didn’t laugh during those parts, I’m just saying they’d have been really awkward if my family were all with me.
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillam; need I say more? I was worried that this movie would just be an excuse to have all of these funny actors on screen together, and honestly, that’s pretty much what it was. However, I had a great time watching them all play these unique roles. They were all playing roles that were somewhat out of character to the kind of character they are used to playing, except for Kevin Hart, who was pretty much just being himself. The Rock, while having some awesome action moments, was action playing a character that was pretty awkward and cowardly. Jack Black was literally a teenage girl for the entire movie. Like he looked like Jack Black on the outside, but his character was a bratty teenage girl. I found all the characters inside of the Jumanji game to complement the other characters well and they were all pretty funny together.
This was probably the funniest movie that I have seen all year. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Thor: Ragnarok both made me laugh a lot, but I think Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle might have been even funnier. In addition to the comedic element, this film had some pretty cool action sequences for each of the main characters. Also, even though there is a ton of CGI, for some reason it never stood out to me in a bad way. Maybe that is because this movie doesn’t really ask you to take it seriously in the way that The Greatest Showman does. I found it to be an all-around great time.
While I did really enjoy Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, I wouldn’t probably recommend it to many people outside of the teenagers/young adults age demographic. So take that as you will, but since I fall in that zone I am going to give it a fresh rating!