Ok so shamefully I haven’t seen the original 1995 ‘Jumanji’ so I cannot comment on any relations. However, saying this I do know that there were particular references to the original in this film. And I will make it my mission to watch the brilliant Robin Williams’ ‘Jumanji’ as soon as I can. Because after watching this one, and being told the original is better than the remake, the original has jumped to the top of my ‘to watch’ list.
‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ peaked my interests from the word go, when the trailer was released. With a cast such as Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who of course work amazingly together as there big and small comedy duo, and then bring in Amy Pond from Doctor Who (Karen Gillan) and one of my favourite actors Jack Black – who can not get excited about that?! And I was not let down. Personally, Jack Black made this film as great as it was for me. He was absolutely amazing, arguably one of the best acting he has ever done by far. He was hilarious playing the self-absorbed teen, who did I mention happens to be a girl, who gets trapped in an “overweight middle-aged” man’s body aka Jack Black, definitely “the curvy genius”. We all know Kevin Hart has a type, and with Dwayne Johnson in the mix, both of them do. Dwayne Johnson was tweaked to the scared character he was, pretending to be Dr Bravestone and it was brilliant. With his smoldering intensity he was a character with comedy and strength. Kevin Hart remained the Kevin Hart we all know and love. With this shouty anger and his lashing out at his height (especially stood next to The Rock), always feeling underestimated, especially when cake is a weakness and his strength is zoology. He is of course hilarious, as he stands in what he knows best. Karen Gillan was great, the awkward teen stuck inside her as she turned into Ruby Roundhouse the character who could kick and dance fight like there was no tomorrow. I couldn’t think of better actors for these characters, they were chosen perfectly.
If you don’t know the plot, or haven’t seen the trailer, here’s a quick rundown. Four students are stuck in detention having to de-staple magazines for recycling, when one finds an old video game and they all decide to play. Picking the characters, they didn’t realise that once selected, that is who they were to become as they are sucked into the game and transformed. Landing into a jungle and being confronted by a hippo almost immediately they soon realise they have three lives and once they are gone, game over. The only hope is to finish the game in real life. With levels to complete they discover new strengths and new weaknesses. Plus Nick Jonas fits nicely into the Jungle too.
I would definitely watch this film again and again. The graphics were amazing and I was transported into this jungle with the teens. I was constantly laughing, in many scenes with all of the characters, all of them qualities to cheer anyone up. The action adventure was also brilliant as they all became stronger in their new bodies and we learnt who each teen truly was. The characters are lovable, the humour is well executed, and the actors are perfect. I would definitely recommend this film, it’s a great comedy and a great action adventure. Why don’t you dive into the Jumanji game and fall into the jungle with the hippos, snakes and rhinos? It’s worth it.