Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is a film I believe the majority of fans of the original didn’t want. ESPECIALLY so close on the heels of the death of Robin Williams, which many are still dealing with in their own ways. The one plus being that this wasn’t truly a ‘remake’ or a ‘reboot’.

Welcome To The Jungle picks up in 1996, with the now sentient board game having the ability to morph itself into a game cartridge, but also jumps again into modern day. As with the original, unsuspecting player(s) are pulled into the world of the game, apparently now in South America (with Jaguars) rather than Africa.  I won’t spoil major plot points (of which there are what, two?).

I did have high hopes for this film, the trailer lending to the idea that this was not in anyway an attempt to remake a beloved classic.  (Ok ok, not everyone loved the original film, but I still do.)   The action was….boring, for the most part.  If this was an actual video game, I wouldn’t rate it well, because the levels were few and short.

Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan

The humor, while ‘ok’, seemed pedestrian compared to the cast.  We know Dwayne Johnson has better comedic timing than this, Baywatch was actually a prime example of this (I’m one of the minority who loved the cheesy film). Kevin Hart did get the majority of laughs from the script, mostly because of his character and situational moments.  Jack Black does deliver a pretty solid performance, all things considered.  Karen Gillan has some interesting action moments, and again remember, her skimpy costume *is* part of the joke.

I will admit, the ongoing penis joke was well presented, it could have easily gone into the crass realm.

SCORE:  1.5 out of 5, viewed in standard non 3d, might see again?

The Good:

I’m super thankful (again) that this was NOT a direct remake, or reboot.  That said, I’m super disappointed there is only one, ONE, freaking super obvious nod to the original.

The Bad:

The production values (aka VFX specifically) are kind of mediocre. This is another one of those films that maybe was specifically filmed to be viewed in 3D, and since I did not, maybe I’m missing out on that.

There is a distinct lack of heart and magic so important to suspension of disbelief.  Part of what made the original Jumanji work and continue to hold up is you give a shit about the characters.  You’re invested, you are taken in by the world.  That really doesn’t happen here, and I can’t decide if it’s the script or editing’s fault.

Jumanji opens worldwide on Wednesday December 20th, 2017.

ABOUT >> Mary Anne Butler
  • BIO >> Mary Anne Butler (Mab) is a reporter and photographer from San Francisco California. She is a lifelong geek, huge music nerd, occasionally cosplays at conventions, does Renaissance Faires, and in general lives the life of a True Believer. She may be short, but she makes up for it with a loud voice.
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