'Jumanji' scores big with sequel
Ever since we lost Robin Williams back in 2014, it seemed to go without saying that nobody will touch his characters. Then Disney decided to add Aladdin to its list of unnecessary live-action remakes, coming soon. While there could be potential in this project, seeing that Will Smith will be filling in the role for the Genie makes my optimism rather low.
The point is, on Dec. 20, Sony Pictures released in theatres, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. After watching a couple trailers for this I came to a conclusion: this is not a sequel to the original (starring Robin Williams), and this movie looks funny as heck. After watching it, I can say I was wrong about one thing … it IS a sequel.
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle finds a way to continue the tale told to us in the film’s predecessor. It introduces us to Spencer, ‘Fridge’, Bethany and Martha. Four high school students from completely different social circles who end up getting detention on the same day for a variety of reasons. However, this fateful detention leads the pack to discovering an old video game system that they can’t resist the urge to turn on. Once they do, the magic of the game brings them inside the game itself, with each person transforming to the avatar they chose in the menu screen. Now, the group must find a way to defeat the game in order to be brought back to the real world, or risk being stuck in the game forever.
To cut right to the chase, this movie was simply awesome! From top notch hilarious performances by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and even Jack Black, you will find yourself laughing at almost every turn. The transformations were great as the scrawny, germophobic Spencer turns into the massive, muscle-bound adventurer Dr. Bravestone (Johnson), the football jock ‘Fridge’ changes to the diminutive and angry but often hilarious “Mouse” (Hart), and the cheerleading, social media queen makes the radical change to the overweight cartographer, Shelly/Sheldon (Black). Martha’s change from a socially awkward recluse to the butt-kicking extraordinaire Ruby (Karen Gillian) was pretty great as well.
The special effects were not award worthy, but realistic enough that it doesn’t distract you from the story as it unfolds. The scenery, filmed deep in the heart of Hawaii, made a great jungle scape with many breathtaking shots throughout.
All in all, I found very few real flaws with this flick. This was probably one of the best action-comedies I’ve seen in a while, and have actually already seen it twice. Make sure to check it out while it’s still at Duggan Cinemas as the big screen only enhanced the experience. I’m glad I watched it and I know you will be as well. See you there!