Howdy ladies and gents, time for my third review of the day and I’m talking about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. So this is a film I no intentions of watching, I hated the idea of this film and the trailers just did nothing for me. But with all the good word of mouth about the film’s got since late December, I decided to give it a shot. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀
The plot can be summed up as the following: “Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.” So my first thought after watching the film was, “Okay it wasn’t the worst thing ever and it had redeeming qualities, but it just wasn’t for me.” The story was simple yet effective and if you’ve seen any family/young person-aimed film with a group of random people from different backgrounds being forced together to complete a common goal, then you know exactly how this story will pan out. The story has a standard start, middle and end, though the journey is quite fun, interesting and by the end, I will admit I was satisfied. What didn’t work was the humour, like I said before, the trailers did nothing for me, just looked like the same kind of stuff I don’t like in a lot of comedies and most of my suspicions came to pass, there was a lot of physical humour and jokes made for kids and adults that didn’t make me laugh at all, besides a few smirks and one minor chuckle. The one thing that this film did damn well was the video game codes and conventions because if you’re a gamer from the 90’s to early 00’s several of these elements will be recognisable to you, from cutscenes to traps to level progression to NPCs, all of that stuff was handled with a great deal of care and felt like an amalgamation of games I’ve played in the past. Oh and since this was technically a sequel to the original I will admit that I appreciated some of the references and even though the concept of the board game turning into a video game was absurd to me at first, the film justifies it well enough.
As for the characters, the kid actors were fine but it felt like they were playing modern/early 2000’s versions of high school kids, and they were fine but sometimes insufferable. Firstly Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone was pretty good, he was funny, strange, cowardly and cool. Jack Black as Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon almost stole the film, while I hated his character’s personality with passion, Black did really well in his role. Kevin Hart was pretty much himself as Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, that being said he did have some funny moments here and there. And Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, damn, firstly I not only liked Gillian’s portrayal of her character as it was a very different role than what I’ve seen from her before, but she was also able to be funny, silly, cute and sexy at the same time! Nick Jonas as Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough was a surprising yet welcome inclusion to the film and I really liked his backstory. The only weak link is Bobby Cannavale’s villain role as Russel Van Pelt, for such a dangerous individual he’s very plain, generic, and you normally forget about him until the plot reminds you that he’s still around.
When it comes to the presentation it was decent, Visually the film looked good, the look of the world of Jumanji was nice, colourful and varied, the CGI was decent though inconsistent at times and the action scenes were choreographed well though some of the hand-to-hand fights times went on for a little too long. As for the film score by Henry Jackman, it was fine, got a little too mushy at points but it certainly had some decent moments. In conclusion, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be and there were certainly some good elements in the film, however, most of the humour just wasn’t for me and I would have enjoyed this film a lot more if it didn’t have Jumanji in the title.
So have you seen Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀