Howdy people, FINALLY after being stuck at work for the last week I’m back to my blog to write some stuff, yay! 😛 Anyway everyone has gone on about how great The Jungle Book is, but I haven’t, mainly because I hadn’t seen it… Until yesterday. Now that I’ve seen it I can gush about how great it is too because the film is awesome and I’ll tell you why in this review. 🙂
Straight to the point, Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, much like last year’s Cinderella is an updated version of the classic animated film. So if you’re familiar with the story of the original then this is almost beat-for-beat exactly the same as you remember, however, there have been a good few alterations/modifications to compensate for the transition into live-action but also for the changes in the story. What I really appreciated was how the writers took the foundation of the original film, but modified it so that the story got a little darker, layered and had a greater sense of scale, realism and threat which not only encompassed Mowgli but everyone else in the jungle as well. There was a lovely sense of cohesion and community, and I several of the updates to the story really improve the overall experience much more than the original.
I really liked the cast as well starting with Neel Sethi who was great as Mowgli, for a child actor who essentially had to ask like he was surrounded by talking animals he did a bloody good job. I actually LOVED Mowgli in this film. In the original he was such a whiny little brat who had one or two moments of being likeable, but overall wasn’t one of Disney’s better protagonists, but here he’s young, brash and a little hard-headed, but he’s also resourceful, charming and applies logic to a lot of his situations. As for the voice cast they were awesome across the board. Bill Murray was delightful as Baloo, you can tell that Murray was just having a good time with this material and much of his dialogue felt very much like him more so than Baloo, but for me that was a good thing. Ben Kingsley was spot on as Bagheera, Kingsley was able to be strict, relaxed and hilarious without trying too hard was impressive. Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha had a fierce yet calm and caring demeanour, while Scarlett Johansson was creepy, mysterious and a seductive as Kaa, Giancarlo Esposito brought the right levels of confidence and sincerity to Akela and Christopher Walken as King Louie was simply delightful with Walken really adding something special to all of the scenes he was in whether he was lighthearted or aggressive. But as much as I loved the other voice actors it is Idris Elba who stole the show as Shere Khan. Elba just has one of the best voices ever especially for villainous roles and he commits 100% so when he makes threats or shouts you fear him and I loved it!
Oh and let’s talk about that presentation. Do I even have to say it? It was amazing. Visually the film was fantastic, from the time the film opens with the Disney logo you are treated to a visual treat for the eyes with some of the most impression CGI to date. The fact that like 90% maybe 95% of the film was made up of visual effects in mental when you consider all of the landscapes, animals, weather effects and so on that had to be done, but was incredibly realistic, sharp and the attention to detail was insane. I also loved the realism applied to the animals, even though they talked, the facial movements were relatable and had great subtle movements with ears or blinking eyes. Though if I can fault the visual effects in any way I found say that there are sequences at night where things got a little too dark, but that’s about it. And I also really liked the film score by John Debney who captured the spirit of the original music with the pieces he included, but also added a sense of drama and tension not found in the original too.
In conclusion The Jungle Book was just awesome. There was just the right balance of nostalgia and freshness to justify this film’s existence and with it being executed so well I can’t help but be excited for where Disney and their talented filmmakers go next with their live-action material. 🙂
Rating: 8.5/10 (It was almost a 9!)
So have you seen The Jungle Book and if so what did you think of it? And if you’ve seen the original as well which do you prefer? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀