All the way back in 1995, the original Jumanji film was released and became a favourite of many. I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t actually watch it until a couple of years ago but when I did, I could easily see why so many people like it. It’s magical, colourful, full of action and full of adventure. It’s a classic in it’s own right. A couple of years ago, the mysterious game of Jumanji came back into our lives with ‘Welcome To The Jungle’, and once again, I am a little bit late to the party as I have only just watched it.
Featuring an all-star cast including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ gives the original board game a twist with four high school students being pulled into a games console and forced to play the video game as their mismatched avatars.
This film pulls on a classic stereotype of US High school movies, four completely different kind of people brought together in detention: The geeky loner, the sports kid who uses the geeks to his advantage, the pretty girl and the invisible girl. A chance discovery of Jumanji, stuck in an old games console takes them into the video world, and transforms them into their opposites; a strong man, a clever assistant, an overweight middle aged man and a tomb raider type jungle girl. In their real lives, these four may never have had reason to interact, but trapped in the game with finishing it being their only means of escape, they must learn to work together.
Visually, this film is every bit as magical and colourful as the original, enhanced by modern movie technology. The Jumanji jungle is vast and bursting with life, covered market places and grand temples, waterfalls and mountains. The attention to detail in this film is impressive to say the least. We are introduced to larger than life animals and believable villains. This is a film with an adventure story at it’s very heart, everything revolves around a challenge, a game that has got to be finished in order to gain freedom. Despite it’s modern look, something about this film feels very classic in terms of it’s story.
Whilst the film packs a punch with it’s action adventure story line, it is also brimming with quick and clever comedy. Characters who can only say when the game makes them say, a teenage pretty girl coming to terms with suddenly being in the body of a middle aged man, a teenage sport’s star used to having height and strength suddenly becoming shorter than average. With comedy greats such as Kevin Hart and Jack Black, it is no surprise that the generally funny moments slot so effortlessly into the action.
Despite being released more than twenty years after the original, ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ comes across as a much awaited sequel to the first. With those all too familiar drumbeats used through out and the green gem like that in the centre of the game board holding everything together, it’s a fitting tribute to the Robin Williams classic.
A funny, exciting film that is sure to delight families who wish to watch together with older children, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle provides a modern twist and continuation to the classic trapped inside a game film. A movie that will both please action and adventure fans and those who are looking for a good laugh.