Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is the 2017 follow-up to the 1995 Robin Williams classic Jumanji. Set 22 years after the original, the actual game Jumanji has now transformed itself into a modern video game and after it is found by a boy in 1996 is then found by four students at Brantford High School during detention. After they are transported into the game, they are all given their own avatars (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black) who don’t necessarily correspond to their personalities. After it is explained what they need to do to leave the game is to complete it; they have to find the fifth character that was transported in 1996 (Nick Jonas) and they have to find the jewel in place in it the panther to complete the game. I give Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle a 7/10 or a B.
Now, I genuinely believe whether someone enjoys a film or not is down to how much expectations someone has. Going into Jumanji, I expected absolutely nothing, it was a film nobody wanted, it was a film that got a lot of hate when its trailer was released and I thought it would be stupid and didn’t really want to waste my time with it. What I got on the other hand, (once again because of my expectations) was a delight. I can understand how if you were a fan, you won’t love this film. But, I liked it – and for the first time I like where it can go. There can be different children transported into the game and there can be different dynamics and funnier stories, I thought it was just done so well, and it is rare that a sequel to an old film is a) good, b) not unnecessary and c) actually sets up future films. There is so much to explore, and the great cast make the film, even the added twist of the young boy transported into the film in 1995 was good. But, it could’ve done with a better story and if you were a fan of the original, it doesn’t exactly stick to it – and if you really loved that film, I don’t think that this sequel will make you best pleased.
So, when it comes to what I liked, it is mainly the comedy aspect. I never expected it to be funny, I think it is testament to the quality that not all the jokes were spoilt in the trailers (*cough* *cough* Baywatch). I loved the characters and the dynamics between them, with the scene above being one of my favourite from the film, I liked how each character had their weaknesses and it allowed each to die, instead of it being really stupid and no-one ever dying. The action was good as well, but I any scene that had the main core of characters being the best – with Kevin Hart’s character dropping the jewel being another highlight, and the action that came as a result of it. Another great scene I liked was the one below, it was a surprise for me not knowing much about the film, and when it turned out who he was it was a shock. Also, the scene where he is told who he is, is one of my favourite because it really adds to these characters and makes me care for them all. Then, if you are a fan of the original, it does change things, so I think that it will definitely affect whether or not you like the film.
What could be better, is mainly the plot of the film. It is a simple film, with the scene below basically telling you how the film goes, it isn’t harder than that. The villain is appalling, and never once do I think they will lose, I can’t even remember his name that is how forgettable he is. I would’ve liked a more heavy plot, with the villain having a larger role in it, because he only really shows up for a combined ten minutes of screen time. My only other complaint is I would’ve liked more play with the story, I would’ve liked to have seen them mess up, and then there be a long fall-out (the dropping of the jewel scene does this), but I think that will play out in the sequel and in the future. Whilst I think it was a good comedy and a good action film, it could’ve done with more adventure because as explained, the plot is too simple..
And for the first time, I am actually optimistic about this franchises future, because they can do the entire film with different characters and different relationships or keep the characters they have but each would be different avatars. They could explore where Jumanji came from and how it was created, there is so much story to tell, that I think for the first time, a sequel won’t feel forced. Also, I have to say sorry, because this from my “on the edge” post from two years ago, I predicted that Jumanji wouldn’t do so well, and I was wrong.