Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Poster #2

Robin Williams’ Jumanji is a classic family film that’s beloved by many. That’s why when Dwayne Johnson announced that he would be developing a sequel to Jumanji, it was immediately met with hesitation. Johnson even had to explain that the sequel will be respectful of the original—especially towards the late Robin Williams. But is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle good enough to quell the concerns of Jumanji fans?

Although it’s understandable that there would be some hesitation about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, it’s not the total disaster that you expected. However, don’t expect it to be as memorable as the Robin Williams classic.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle follows Spencer, Martha, Fridge, and Bethany as they get sucked into the video game world of Jumanji. In order to escape, they must finish the game or face the consequence of losing all your video game lives.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - Nick Jonas, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, and Kevin Hart

Although this may surprise many, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is kind of a fun ride. For one thing, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is where some of the fun lies in the film. From the moment you step into the world of Jumanji, you know what kind of humor the filmmakers are going for. It’s ridiculous and totally fun.

As fun as the film is, there isn’t much character development in the film. In addition, the characters aren’t that memorable either. After a week, you’ll probably forget the name of these characters and instead call them by their real name. Also, the film’s villain is practically non-existent until the final battle.

Jumanji may very well be the best “video game” movie out there. It references a lot of video game mechanics that’ll definitely go over the heads of non-video game players. In fact, this is even with all of the exposition explaining it all. However, all the exposition in the beginning of the journey does drag the pacing the film down. The “rules” of the world needed to be established before diving deep into the world.

But as Captain Barbossa said in the Pirates films, the rules are more like guidelines than actual rules. There are instances where it feels like there were unknown changes in the rules just for dramatic effect. Also, it seems as if the villain of the film didn’t follow it at all. It seems as if they were continuously adding rules to the film.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - Dwayne Johnson

Be that as it may, the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle looks like they had a blast while filming. Not to mention, the chemistry between the four is fantastic. Unfortunately, they don’t always interact with each other a lot. Several times throughout the film, the characters would exclusively interact with one character instead of the whole group. Which is a shame because it would’ve been nice to see more interaction between The Rock and Kevin Hart. Their comedic chemistry in Central Intelligence is what made that film.

Yet the best part about Jumanji comes the cast acting like their real world counterparts—especially Jack Black. Black stays within the blonde cheerleader mindset throughout the entire film. He single-handedly makes the film the funnier through his female mannerisms and his blonde girl speak.

Kevin Hart is another of the film’s standouts. That is if you find a short man with a Napoleon complex getting beat down a lot hilarious. Having Kevin Hart act like he’s still the football jock in the real world is extremely funny to watch. However, he is one of the least likeable characters in the film. Mostly because he is a jerk to the other characters.

Karen Gillan is also solid as Martha. The beautiful Gillan trying to act sexy when her real world counterpart doesn’t know how is just flat out funny. Then again, her counterpart’s personality gets annoying after a while. It’s only when she livens up that she becomes a likeable character.

On the other hand, Dwayne Johnson seem to be playing himself in the film. This is entirely apparent when Spencer’s weaknesses show up as “none”. He’s also a badass fighter that kicks some serious tail. There are times where Johnson shows Spencer’s vulnerable side, but those are few and far between. Finally, Nick Jonas is good but never really feels like a part of the crew.

Overall, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fun trip for the entire family. Yet it’s a forgettable film full of forgettable characters. Welcome to the Jungle isn’t going to be as much of a classic as the Robin Williams version.

Rating: 3/5 atoms

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