I’d heard good things about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle so I took a bit of a road trip in order to kidnap a friend and go see it and I’m absolutely happy that I did.
“Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves – or they’ll be stuck in the game forever.”
This movie is hilarious. I admit to being at least partially skeptical about the reboot and using a video game console for the movie instead of the board game which has been traditionally used, but I think they did a really great job with this and the actors and actresses they picked for each role were absolutely spot on. I mean, really. Imagine Jack Black pretending to be a self-absorbed, well-off, blonde, hot chick. Bethany’s character arch is definitely one of the most significant in the movie and it’s done marvelously. Also, the women in the theater laughed more and louder than the men in the audience, which was interesting for a movie that had only two real, named, women characters. Would I have liked to see more women in the movie? Absolutely. Do I understand that the video game industry still thinks that most video gamers are men and will cater to their needs by making avatars appealing to the male gaze or worthy of the players’ envy? Unfortunately true.
But this movie was absolutely NOT a “bro movie”. The humor was well-rounded and actually funny and even poked at a lot of the modern stereotypes. I especially liked all of the character’s special skills and how those were implemented throughout the movie, at the most random of times. The use of a special skill for the distraction at the transportation shed was one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen in quite some time and I laughed for a while on that one.
Overall, this movie was a lot of fun and I’m definitely going to purchase it when it comes out on video. The characters were believable and interesting and their development about learning how to get along with and take care of each other was really touching. Obviously, this movie was about finding out who you are and what truly matters to you and working to take charge of your own life, even when things are not going nearly the way you think they should. I’d easily rate it as a high three or even a low four on my rating scale. That might change with subsequent watchings of the movie because only time will tell how well the humor holds up.