What were you doing in 1995? Me? I was still in my crib trying to learn the alphabets at the age of 3. Coincidentally, Jumanji starring the late Robin Williams came out that year. Despite the age difference, I grew up watching and falling in love with the movie! It has everything- action, drama, adventure, and most of all, comedy! To not much of my surprise, the movie received a sequel 22 years later. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle takes on the myth and gives it a contemporary vibe.
The Game Adapts
The sequel promised a laugh-out-loud experience with its cast including Jack Black, Kevin Hart, The Rock, and Karen Gillan. The film roughly picks up from the ending of the first film. No reference to any of the characters of the original movie tied the sequel except for the boardgame itself. The movie, however, explained how the game manifested itself onto a video game. A brilliant move, if I may add as that would definitely be the audiences’ initial concern.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sees an unlikely team-up of four high school students who were sent to detention. While rummaging around the room, they found an old video game console in which Jumanji transferred itself into. After choosing their characters, they were then sucked into the game. Inside Jumanji, they are now living as their avatars. To return to the real world, they have to finish the game by returning an artifact.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle had comedy as its strongest suit and it should not come as a surprise with its cast! While their collective comedic chops evoked laughters after another, Jack Black stood out! His character high school popular girl trapped in the body of a fat middle-aged man was hilarious! Dwayne Johnson also proves that he can outwit his fellow cast. Gillan, however, is a surprise!
The story may seem shallow and the film acknowledges that. In fact, that makes the film even more enjoyable to watch. It knows it flaws and it lets the story flow with it. Setting the titular game aside, Welcome to the Jungle is hardly comparable to the 1995 film, Jumanji. The sequel boasted similar exciting action sequences but the CGI somehow lost the charm that was present in the first film. Despite that, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is still a must-see for everyone who loved the first movie and are in dire need of extreme laughter! Be reminded of the old video games that we used to love as kids and expect hilarious and be-at-the-edge-of-your-seat adventure!
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart
Binge-level: 4 out of 5 stars