Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are about to grace our big screens in their new movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Unlike the original, this reboot takes place inside a video game which gives the world of Jumanji a whole new level of playing field in the creation of its game for the players. In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a group of high school teens find the game during their detention in the school basement. They end up choosing to play instead of doing the work assigned to them. As a result, they find themselves sucked inside the world of Jumanji the moment the game starts, but not as their real selves, rather as their chosen game avatars.
This is where we meet Dwayne Johnson as the awkward and geeky Spencer whose game strength is smoldering intensity with absolutely no weaknesses. Kevin Hart as the tall athlete Fridge, whose main avatar weakness is cake. Next is Karen Gillan, who takes on the role of the shy nerd, Martha, with avatar powers such as dance-fighting and distracting her opponents. Lastly, Jack Black plays Bethany, a sixteen-year-old selfie obsessed girl who is less than happy when she realises she is now an “old man” with limited physical stamina.
One of Jumanji’s strength is the comedic skill of all the actors involved, after all, not many older male actors like Jack Black, can pull off playing a teenage girl without it being slightly creepy. His version of a young phone-loving female is hilariously accurate. Johnson (who also acted as producer) has no issues engaging in self-deprecation to make his character less intimidating and more charming to the audience. Most importantly, as the Jumanji requires team work to finish, all the cast members partaking in the game have equal amount of screen-time to shine.
The beautiful Hawaiian backdrop (shot at the same location as Jurassic Park) is ideal for all the jungle adventure that the characters experience throughout the game. Comedy and adventure are two elements Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is not lacking in and so the movie succeeds in taking viewers on a fun roller-coaster ride.
With that being said, not all parts of the script translate as well as they should and certain jokes come across juvenile, while others fall flat. Perhaps it’s the result of the creators trying to cater to all ages, but all it does is slow down the overall pace and enjoyment of the movie.
There was a lack of enthusiasm when news of a Jumanji reboot was announced, even more so when a minor “controversy” happened during production. Both factors meant the expectations of this movie became very low, however, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is quite a pleasant surprise which can be enjoyed by the entire family during this holiday season. Just don’t take the storyline too seriously. (6.5/10).
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is in cinemas now.