My wife and I had the opportunity to see an early screening of the new Jumanji movie. While I wasn’t expecting much at first (let’s face it, a lot of reboots are terrible), it really delivered as a successor to the 1995 film.
Let me clarify, this movie is not a continuation of the original characters’ lives. This is a new story with the same basic game and new characters.
Now I loved the original Jumanji. The insanity happening in the Parrish house and the comic relief driven by Officer Bentley made for a surprisingly funny adventure story. These dynamics return in the new movie, with excellent performances from Jack Black and Kevin Hart. This movie really wins due to excellent casting.
Kevin is just hilarious, per the norm. I’m usually on the fence about Jack, he’s played a few good characters and a few …not so good ones. If there’s one thing he proves in this movie, its that he’s capable of impressive variation. His gender confused character compliments Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan as comic relief, and it works really well. He was a very believable character.
Playing the leading role, Dwayne was good as well, though a bit typecast for this role. Then again, his character kind of necessitates the use of someone like a former pro wrestler. He brings the action as a fearless adventurer, leading a team through treacherous jungle. Honestly, I don’t think there are many others more appropriate for the character.
Karen plays really well as love interest and action vixen herself. You might recall she’s been involved in some high caliber stuff like Dr. Who and Guardians of the Galaxy. The female counterpart to Dwayne’s action hero, she does an excellent job.
I’d like to go into plot details, but I don’t want to give too much away (trailers do that for me anymore). You can easily predict key points of the story for this one though, especially if you’ve seen the original (which if you haven’t you should watch it, you really should).
All in all, this movie is ticket worthy and makes for a feel good and funny homage to 90’s gold.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hits theaters December 20th!