About a week back I wrote about my reactions to the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle trailer. Not too long after I received an email inviting Amazon Prime members to an advance theater screening of the film. Today is December 8th, 2017 and although it was bitter cold outside, I loaded up on Sheetz pizza, and made the trek to the nearest Regal Cinema to watch Jumanji with my father.
After the film I was all smiles!
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a sequel to the 1995 Jumanji film starring Robin Williams. This time around, however, the board game adapts to the times and evolves into a video game cartridge. Now I really don’t want to spoil too much about this film other than what it is shown in the trailer. Four teens end up in detention and get sucked into the video game Jumanji and must reverse the curse of Jumanji to return home. On the way throughout each level, they learn to trust one another, and discover who they really want to be. It’s absolutely hysterical at times and employs dick jokes and low brow humor extensively through out its brisk 1 hour and 59 minutes run time.
The Rock plays the avatar of the main character Spencer. His avatar in the game, Dr. Smulder Bravestone, is nothing like Spencer in physical appearance or demeanor but seeing the Rock portray Spencer’s transformation from scared nerd to a competent, brave, and even confident young man was fascinating. Of course, Bravestone, does all kinds of crazy things during the game giving the Rock the chance to show off what he does best, charm audiences and do action scenes. The rest of the cast who play the avatars all add their own brands of humor and drama to the film. Jack Black, playing popular girl Bethany’s avatar Professor Shelly Oberon is especially funny due to her not being able to even, and discovering her new found “organ”. Kevin Hart plays Fridge’s avatar Moose Findar. Fridge is a jock through and through and being the diminutive Moose is a hard pill to swallow. Lastly is Karen Gillan playing Martha’s avatar Ruby Roundhouse is also a sight to behold seeing her transform from shy nerd to a girl who recognizes her worth.
Altogether this film is highly entertaining, it may find fans of the original Jumanji disappointed because it just isn’t the original but it’s a very well done modern take on the popular book and the film it begat. Fans of any of the actors who play the avatars are sure to be pleased by their performances. The Rock may play the main character but it wouldn’t be what it is without the rest of the cast. If you’re a fan of video games you may enjoy this, it’s what I imagine an Uncharted movie adaptation would look and feel like visually. Give this a watch when it hits theaters nationwide on December 20th 2017.
From me here at Wrestling With Film, I’d like to wish you a Jumanji Christmas and a happy new year. It may seem odd that this movie is being released during the holiday season instead of as a summer blockbuster but rest assured it has a connection to this jolly season