I can’t believe I’m actually gonna say this, but today I am gonna talk about Jumanji. The reason why it’s hard to believe is because, apart from action movies, this type of movies is the last type I’d ever choose to see on a boring Sunday afternoon. However, last night my brother randomly shouted “We’re going to the movies in 45 min, we’re watching Jumanji“. I agreed because, you know… The Rock. That’s also pretty much everything I knew about the movie.
Jumanji is a remake (or a sequel?) of the original Jumanji movie starring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst from 1995. The difference is that, in the original movie, the main characters play the Jumanji board game, whereas in the new one, we’ve advanced enough to switch to a video game. At the beginning of the movie, we follow four high school students Fridge, Spencer, Bethany, and Martha who, after bad behavior, get detention for which they have to remove staples from discarded magazines in an old storage area. But Spencer discovers a console containing the Jumanji video game and convinces the rest of the gang to join him and play. Once everyone has chosen their character in the game, the game draws them all inside where they face huge challenges in order to get back to reality.
I approached this movie with a very open mind, which I’m so happy about because the movie was pure fun. It cracked me up so many times and I was either laughing or smiling throughout the whole movie. The jokes are nonstop thanks to the entire cast. Kevin Hart and Jack Black bring the comedy, and the latter plays a female character and nails it 100%. The Rock portraying an insecure and scared teenager with no confidence is also different in a very hilarious way. It is very clear that the absolute best part of the movie are the actors – also a huge thumbs-up for including Nick Jonas and Colin Hanks. Speaking of the cast, I love that the movie honors Alan Perrish from the original Jumanji who was played by the late Robin Williams.
I have never been a fan of newer comedy movies because they’re all the same and full of distasteful sexual references that have become extremely lame (*cough cough* the new Baywatch movie…), but Jumanji is different. Thankfully. You have a plot that is typical for a video game with a villain who steals something precious and the main characters need to help each other save the world – although, in this case, the jungle. However, the villain Van Pelt is super boring and one-dimensional – he doesn’t get much screen time and it isn’t really clear what his evil intentions are. Another thing I dislike about the movie is the length. Due to its pace, the movie feels incredibly long at some points and I was checking the clock several times, wondering when it would be over. Not because it is boring but because it is slow and, at one point, I just wanted the characters to return to reality already and the movie to finish.
All in all, I am pleasantly surprised by Jumanji that cracked me up so much. It’s a family movie you can enjoy if you want a funny story and great acting, but remember the open mind! Nonetheless, I wish I had seen the original Jumanji first, so if you have the opportunity, you should do it – not because you won’t understand the new movie if you don’t, but because I’m sure that Robin Williams is hilarious in the 1995 version. I’m going to give this movie 4 out of 5 clapperboards, as it was a bit slow and they could’ve fine-tuned the story within the video game.