Review - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Fred Campbell

Fred Campbell

Review - Jumanji:  Welcome to the Jungle

When a film has a decent story, a range of characters and is set in a lush setting as this is (Hawaii), you know it has a good chance.

The original Jumanji was released in 1995 and this film will reach a wide audience - whether you remember the original or not, it matters not.

We are introduced to a mysterious game that is old school by modern standards and we follow four players who are enticed into its web. There is an interesting point here: a game that entraps players and forces them to either play or accept their imprisonment…

The four players are High School seniors who are thrown together in detention (like in The Breakfast Club). A motley group - one nerd, one scholar, one jock and a self-obsessed Instagrammer.

The joy for the main cast is that they have to play characters that have two layers - the game characters overlaid with the players. There are several comic situations that arise in between the challenges of the jungle game hostiles - both human and animal.

The avatars are played by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan.

Jack Black as Bethany/Dr. Shelly Oberon is possibly at his funniest since School Of Rock. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) plays Spencer/Dr. Smolder Bravestone with pure relish.

All four have to work with the ongoing dichotomies. For example, Karen Gillan as Martha/Ruby Roundhouse is presented in a cropped top and shorts although her player is shy: “I feel like I came to school in a bikini!”

Suffice to say there is a good mix of action and character interactions. My guess is the cast and crew had a blast making the film.

It was so entertaining that I give it a solid 8.5 out of 10.

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