New Players, Same Game

Name: Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Year: 2017

With the original Jumanji being a classic for my generation, it was fun and exciting to see how they’d sequel for the next new adventure of Jumanji. That’s exactly what it felt like, a modern computer game version, surprisingly entertaining adventure. Though this time it did lack the sense of mystery the original movie had, so cleverly in the heart of it all, twenty-three years ago.

This time instead of a killer board game our players are zapped into a video game playing avatars they themselves had chosen. The film follows four players. We have a nerdy unpopular kid named Spence (Alex Wolff) who becomes the muscular Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), football jock Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) becomes the little sidekick, ‘Moose’ Finbar (Kevin Hart), popular mean girl, Bethany (Madison Iseman), becomes the map expert, Dr. Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), and shy Martha (Morgan Turner) becomes the confident and beautiful warrior, Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). This group of mix match kids are brought together in after school detention. All coming from different social circles in school, they must learn to work together and survive the jungle. Will they beat the game, or be stuck inside forever?

This film is focusing on a more humorous take to the Jumanji game, showing a less magical side and more playful than the original. But the cast gives this film a perfect score for humour. As young teens, playing adult avatars our actors have the freedom to let loose and become their inner child, and this is portrayed perfectly. You see the avatars with their unique set of survival skills mixed in with teenage attitude and drama. This film is more aimed towards the older teens/ young adult audience, showing the thrill and excitement of the dark jungle world.

Though this isn’t all good news for the film. The film lacked a sense of emotion compared to the original. Though the original did have Robin Williams as an emotional anchor, Nick Jonas just didn’t deliver and made the film feel like it was missing some sort of heart.

But who cares because this film has helped Jumanji stay popular bringing in the next generation into the series. It could have gone completely wrong, if they indulged the needs and wants of the fans of the original, would it have been such a popular film? Would they have another sequel coming out in the next month?

It works as entertainment and it is respectful to the original without making the error of trying to be a remake. Full speed ahead to the next level of Jumanji!!!  

Jumanji: The Next Level – 11 December 2019

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