Jumanji: transported into the lifelike body of their

Jumanji: Welcome to
the Jungle starts out on a strong “Breakfast Club” note, as anyone
could tell. Four soon-to-be unlikely friends are all stuck in detention. Before
long they get sucked into the updated, video game rendition of
“Jumanji”.

 

Inside the game, they
realize that each of them has been transported into the lifelike body of their
chosen avatar on a jungle-type island. The game itself is explained, though
there are plenty of “what ifs”. Essentially, the group must manage to
complete one grand quest if they want to leave the island.

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Along the way, they
encounter another player, one who has been stuck on the island for quite some
time. They also face perils and try not to lose their three lives. There are a
few “fatalities” but none of them are gory. In fact, they’re all
played out in a fairly cartoon-ish way given the family-friendly billing of the
film.

 

Once it’s over, you
won’t really come away with much. You will have been entertained. The movie is
funny if nothing else. It doesn’t hold a candle to the first Jumanji but few
sequels do justice to their predecessors. Overall, the film is good,
family-friendly fun.

 

Who’s who?

The unlikely cast
stars:

 

Dwayne Johnson as

Jack Black as Bethany,
the popular girl turned into a squat, middle-aged professor.

Karen Gillian as
Martha, the wallflower turned into commando Ruby Roundhouse.

Kevin Hart as
“Fridge” the jock-type turned into a zoologist with less than his
usual stature.

Nick Jonas as Alex,
the one who’s been trapped here for a long time.

Bobby Cannavale as
VanPelt, the villain.

 

Reboot, Sequel,
or…?

The original Jumanji
was a technological marvel at its time. The special effects were new, daring,
and incredibly well executed. Add to that a good measure of formulaic adventure
movie and a few great actors and you get something that’s still fun to watch on
occasion.

 

Jumanji: Welcome to
the Jungle is not meant to be a reboot of that movie. Its more of an indirect
sequel that tries a little too hard to connect itself to it’s predecessor. The
transformation from Jumanji: The Board Game to Jumanji: The Video Game may have
been one of the strangest decisions of all. To make it work, you didn’t need to
make it a video game and the mechanics of that particular brand of game don’t
seem to fit Jumanji: WttJ all that well.

 

Who is
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” for?

Anyone who needs to
spend a few hours watching something. Preferably something funny and
family-friendly. There are few people it would offend.

 

The only real, notable
criticism of the movie’s content and the message it gives involves Karen
Gillian’s costume. Unlike her fully-clothed and well-prepared counterparts, the
costume given to Ms. Gillian’s character, Ruby Roundhouse, is lacking. It may
be a shout-out to how many video game women are typically portrayed, but in a
movie where most gaming references are basic or not terribly self-aware, it
just comes off as exploitative.

 

How Does it Measure
Up?

Jumanji: Welcome to
the Jungle, is, overall, a decent way to spend a few hours with your family. It
won’t be memorable, it’s not a film that changes lives or creates many lasting
memories. What it is, is entertaining in an easy, family-friendly way.
Sometimes that’s enough.

 

Is this a movie you
should see before you die? No. Move on. Is it perfect for a regular family
movie night? Quite possibly.

 

2/4

 

 

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