Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle Review – Spoiler Free
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is a film which comes directed by Jake Kasdan who some may know as the director of 2014’s Sex Tape. This film stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas.
Some may know Jumanji from the original 1995 film starring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst. While initially upon seeing trailers, I had thought this to be a reboot of the series, this film is actually a sequel to the first one. Instead of the board game bringing things out into the real world though, it is now a video game and the characters get sucked into the world of Jumanji. This is all actually fairly similar to what happened in the animated series.
When I first started seeing the trailers for the film and having known what both the original film and the animated series were like, I had thought that they seemed to be getting Jumanji all wrong. I couldn’t see The Hunter character or anything I knew, it was all different and didn’t grab my attention at all. But I can tell you though, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is surprisingly a lot better than you might be expecting it to be. It’s really not at all a disaster and were I a kid today watching this at the cinema, I think I’d be quite pleased with it all.
In this story, we see a couple of high school kids, with their regular high school kid issues such as one being a nerd, one lacking confidence, one popular kid and one unpopular one. They all get detention on the same day and they find this old video game console and manage to get it working. Little do they know that it’s not an ordinary console, but a Jumanji one. Once they all pick their characters, they get sucked into the console and become the characters we see in the trailer. Once in there, they must defeat the Jumanji game, but with only a few lives each, will they be able to survive Jumanji or will the game defeat them?
The characters aren’t without depth and actually become well developed as the story progresses. The message of the film and much of the themes are about the kids growing up and realising that they can be confident in themselves and who they are. I found the story interesting and the film has an overall ‘feel good’ meaning to it all. Throughout the film there’s also quite a few video game jokes all throughout it as well, which I thought were funny.
The film is really something that’s for kids though, I would recommend it for anyone I think from maybe 8-15 to watch. That age group will really enjoy this one and it should be a lot of fun for them.
Most people who watched the original Jumanji like myself when I was younger and still in school, will likely either just prefer the original better (it’s better), but might still have some fun with this one. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Although I did go in with low expectations, I did come out quite entertained.
The actors in this film I think brought up the entertainment value a lot higher than maybe the script could have. Dwayne Johnson always seems to be entertaining no matter what type of script he has. Even when he’s just throwing a pose on screen, people enjoy that and smile. In this he’s in the muscle/action man role and much of the action scenes do go his way, which I think was the right play. Both Jack Black and Kevin Hart fill in the comedy roles for the film and between the two they deliver quite a few laughs along the way. Karen Gillan was also fun to watch, she plays the only female of the group so does become the love interest and also I guess the eye candy of the film (it is for teens after all). But put together, these four did provide some very entertaining and enjoyable performances.
The film comes with a few action scenes, there’s animals such as elephants, rhino’s, hippo’s and jaguars in the jungle that the characters either fight or run and hide from. There’s also a bunch of bad guys who drive bikes and have some pretty heavy weaponry. The action isn’t too strong as this is a live action children’s film, it’s light, but does match the light comedic tone of the film quite well.
Overall Jumanji Welcome To The Jungle is a surprisingly entertaining film experience and an enjoyable sequel to the first film. It’s not going to blow anyone away as the greatest film ever, but it is entertaining and funny. I also felt that it had some nice themes and an overall nice message to it all in the end. I felt happy after watching this one and it was good going back into the Jumanji universe yet again as I used to really enjoy it when I was a kid, even though it is very different now. Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black are all as entertaining as ever. As a kid’s film, if you know anyone who is a teen or maybe a little younger, they’ll likely have a great time with this and I don’t think they’ll be disappointed at all.