In 1995, a film called, “Jumanji” starring the late Robin Williams. At the time of it’s release, Jumanji received mixed reviews from critics. Overtime, the film went on to become a cult classic among 90’s Kids/90’s Babies who were around that time period. A Decade Later, another film called “Zathura,” a spiritual successor of Jumanji, was released in 2005, earning positive reviews from critics.
Twelve Years Later, an official stand alone sequel called, “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle,” was released during Christmas week. The second entry stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, & Jack Black. Upon the film’s release, it earned an unexpected amount of positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike.
The Premise is about a group of four teenagers, who get sucked into a video game, they each transform into their selected in-game playable avatar. They must work together by finding a missing element that’ll make them escape a jungle like world inhabited by dangerous animals, hunters, and other obstacles standing in their way.
This review contains no SPOILERS. Which means you’re ok to read this article. Is this movie on the same level as the original movie? Well, let’s find out shall we?
Positive & Negative Qualities
Positive: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, & Jack Black, all did a great job on their respective performances as the teens’ in game playable avatars.
Fun Fact: Dwayne Johnson also worked on video game related project called, “Doom.” A critically panned adaptation of the titular game series, and he’s currently working on a film adaptation of “Rampage.” By the way, The Rock also lend his likeness to various WWE related games as a playable character himself. Jack Black also worked on a video game called, “Brutal Legend.”
Dwayne’s character Spencer, lampshades video game terms/mechanics to describe what’s going on inside the titular game to his friends and most non-gamers who don’t understand gaming slang.
Van Pelt, (The Main Antagonist of Jumanji) returns as The Big Baddie in the second installment. This time he’s portrayed by Bobby Cannavale, and he also did a good job on his performance.
I think Jack Black’s character stole the show as Bethany, a teenage girl trapped in a man’s body. Unlike Rob Schneider’s character Jessica/Clive in “The Hot Chick.” He/She wasn’t a dumb blonde stereotype without “The Fish Out Of Water” scenario going way overboard. I’m gonna give Mr. Black, Bonus Points for making me laugh hysterically.
Although I’m not a fan of The Jonas Brothers, I was surprised Nick Jonas did a good job for his performance. When I first saw him in the movie, I responded with the word, “EGAD!” Turns out he wasn’t boring at all.
Storyline didn’t recycle elements from the original film. This is a different movie adding unique elements to the mythos of Jumanji.
Action Sequences were awesome filled with dangerous obstacles ranging from stampedes to ferocious animals.
Humor in this picture, managed to make me burst out laughing, particularly Kevin Hart & Jack Black providing a lot of Comedy.
Visual Effects are new and improved than the first film, because the original film’s effects resembled PlayStation 1 graphics. Today’s effects resembled next generation consoles such as PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and XBOX One in a good way.
As the film progresses, Character Development, fleshes out each teen’s strength and weakness, as they use their new skills and abilities to overcome his or her deepest darkest fear.
Chemistry between The Four Leads felt balanced as they must use their new abilities to survive the wilderness in order to proceed to their destination to find a missing piece connected to the game and return back to the real world.
A Blink-And-You’ll-Miss Moment featuring an “Uncharted 4” poster. A spin-off to the Uncharted series called, “Uncharted: Lost Legacy,” also came out the same year as this movie.
The film pays tribute to Robin Williams’s character Alan Parrish, who’s mentioned as a subtle Easter Egg for those who grew up watching Jumanji. I will give this pro a truckload of Points for honoring his memory.
My Favorite Line in this movie is, “Cake is my weakness?” If you’ve seen the trailer, you know which character I’m talking about.
Guns N’ Roses’ iconic song, “Welcome To The Jungle,” is played during The End Credits.
Karen Gillan’s outfit, caused some controversy. OH JEEZ. Dear Feminazis or Lena Dunham, her character is supposed to be a Laura Croft (from Tomb Raider) parody. In the movie, she even addressed her friends complaining about her in-game avatar’s sexy appeal. You gals need to calm f**k down. They didn’t shove too much sexiness in front of me and the rest of the movie goers. If you wanna be offended as a feminist, go watch anything related to Michael Bay. NOW CHILL THE F**K UP AND THINK, BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN! Please don’t give me any negative comments, I’m just trying to spread the truth like a professional critic.
Negative: Product Placement featuring certain brands including, Sony, Purell, PlayStation (courtesy of Sony) Xperia Smartphone, (also owned by Sony) & Apple. I’ll let this con slide, because I couldn’t find any other brand to spot with my own two eyes.
Not really a con, it’s played for laughs. If I were Batman, I would’ve give this con a bunch of Negative Points for including a character named Martha. In the words of Ben Affleck’s Batman: “WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME!”
I’m also gonna give this movie an Extra Point, for The Cast & Crew, for making this sequel as flawless as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
From my point of view, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle managed to entertain me. At first I thought this movie was gonna be a stinker, turns out it never disappointed me from beginning to end. If you have nothing to do over the weekend, I strongly recommend this movie for you and your family. Trust me, you’re gonna have a blast!