Sony’s remake of the 1995 movie Jumanji outdoes itself completely. I felt like I was taking a risk by watching Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) before I saw the original, but I easily understood the plot. Jumanji was a lot like Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), where a game takes players through the same journey the characters face. In Zathura, a kid found a board game that turned his house into an adventure that made every move the difference between life or death for the kid. But in Jumanji, a group of kids play a video game, and after selecting characters, the kids get sucked in the game, and have to finish the game to escape the jungle known as Jumanji. After some research, I found out Zathura was in a lot of ways like Jumanji (1995), as the first Jumanji was also based around a board game, so that made many think Zathura was Jumanji’s unintended sequel, and Jumanji (2017) was made to bring the same concept of both movies to a younger generation, because as was said in the new Jumanji, “Who plays board games anymore?”
Jake Kasdan, the director, really brought the whole film together with greatness. Here’s how it goes: Spencer (Alex Wolff) helps his friend Fridge (Ser’Derious Blain) ‘get his grades up’ and in doing so gives both of them detention. Meanwhile, Martha (Morgan Turner) tries to get out of doing P.E., and in doing so argues with the teacher, and winds up getting herself into detention. While that’s happening, Bethany (Madison Iseman) has a ‘girl problem’ that she ‘needs’ help with, so after she got her quiz done, she FaceTimed another fellow student, and gets detention as well. The four of them while serving detention find an old game system with a game labeled ‘Jumanji.’ They hook it up, select their avatars, and get sucked into the world of Jumanji. Once inside the game, they are in the bodies of their chosen characters, Spencer as Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Fridge as Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart), Martha as Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), and Bethany as Professor Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black), and each of them have three lives to get through Jumanji. Use the three lives, and that’s game over.
I would strongly recommend this film to anyone over the age of 12. There is not anything too chaotic for younger viewers, but there is some inappropriate parts of the film. Overall, I would give Jumanji four and a half stars. The film is a little bit of everything including: action, comedy and romance. The action takes the form of sacrifices, mutant hippos, and more. It is also a comedy because of the multiple funny parts including when Moose (Fridge) sacred Dr. Bravestone (Spencer), even though Bravestone is a good two feet taller than Moose and more muscular by far. It is also a romance as there is indeed romantic drama and some kissing.
So you heard it first, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is two thumbs up!