Five reasons to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
A game for those who seek to find
A way to leave this world behind...
With those immortal words, moviegoers in 1995 were whisked away to an amazing adventure filled with challenges, comedy, and CGI animals: Jumanji. The box office smash starred Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, a boy sucked into the cursed board game in 1969 to the horror of his best friend Sarah (Bonnie Hunt), who grows up inside the game and then must help young Judy and Peter Shepherd when they unwittingly join the gameplay decades later.
Now Jumanji is back, and this time, this sentient game has somehow figured out how to update itself to attract modern players by becoming a video game. Four good-hearted teens (played in avatar form by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart, with Nick Jonas along for the ride) land themselves in detention and discover the game, and... well, you can pretty much guess what happens next: a rollicking, roller-coaster adventure with plenty of self-discovery along the way! Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fun update on a classic movie and it's perfect viewing for the whole family.
In case you need more convincing, here are our top five reasons you should see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle this holiday season!
Just like the first movie, there is plenty of action in Jumanji. The game throws a lot of obstacles and challenges in the path of our heroes, and there are genuinely times when you wonder if they'll make it out! If hand-to-hand combat in a crowded bazaar, crazy helicopter stunts, or foot races through booby-trapped ancient temples are your thing, you'll be very happy with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle!
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle also has plenty of belly laughs to temper the suspense and action, only partly driven by the mismatch between the heroes in real life and their game avatars. There's some pratfalls, sure, but there's also a gentle humour that comes from the characters growing in confidence as they discover what they can do inside the game and how that courage can translate to their real lives.
We have to admit, Jack Black really surprised us here. Playing Dr. Sheldon (Shelly) Oberon, the avatar of self-absorbed Instagram-addict Bethany, he channels his inner teenage girl without resorting to over-the-top, cliched dramatics. He could so easily have portrayed her just for laughs, a simpering girly-girl who's terrified the entire time; but instead he makes her a three-dimensional person who's also really, really funny to watch.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Is there anything The Rock can't do? Here he's showing off his action-movie cred playing Dr. Smolder Bravestone, the macho in-game avatar of avowed nerd Spencer. But he's also got enough acting and comedic chops to never let you forget that inside that towering, muscular frame is a shy, brainy teenage boy. That makes for some pretty sweet comedy, but also reminds you that this movie has heart, too.
If you've ever played an RPG or story-based console game, there's plenty here that will give you a buzz of familiarity. From NPCs to cut scenes to some charmingly familiar fight-game antics, the filmmakers have filled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with references that give it a comforting recognizable context while amping up the suspense, as any mildly experienced gamer knows that every level you beat means the next one will be that much harder!
Watch the trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and click here for tickets and showtimes!