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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
+ Digital HD with Ultraviolet
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(Mar 20, 2018)
+ Digital HD with Ultraviolet
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Four teenagers in detention discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of. When they decide to play, they are immediately sucked into the jungle world of Jumanji in the bodies of their avatars (Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan). They’ll have to complete the adventure of their lives filled with fun, thrills and danger or be stuck in the game forever!
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The original board game that sucked Alan Parrish into the wilderness has evolved into a video cartridge to capture the imaginations of a new generation. Four kids from different social circles get trapped in the game and must play through its levels to survive and escape.
What did I think?
Guys, it’s actually pretty damn good. Jumanji next-gen manages to pay homage to the original film without crapping on its legacy, and advance the game’s abilities staying true to video gaming conventions in really cute ways. The first two-thirds of the film were missing some of the emotional heart of its predecessor, instead relying on hyper-quippy dialogue. But I forgave it since there was enough heart shoehorned in the last third to make up for it. A genuinely surprising, enjoyable film.
This new film cleverly updates the idea for the modern world and still manages to tell a different story with the same basic premise, as this time it's the players that are thrown into the game's world instead of the other way around. Realizing that board games have fallen out of favor, the magic game turns itself into a videogame in order to attract more victims. A ragtag group of students stuck in detention find the game and are instantly sucked into the world of Jumanji. Each one of them now plays a character in the game, with adult avatars, each with their own strenghts and weaknesses, and must set their differences aside in order to fulfill the mission and be able to get back home.
Now, here's where the really fun part of the movie is: watching all the adult actors play against type. Dwayne Johnson, typically the classic action hero, now plays a timid nerd stuck into a hero's body. Karen Gillan plays an introverted girl who has no idea how to behave around others. Jack Black plays a popular girl obsessed with social media. The only missed opportunity is Kevin Hart who plays, well, Kevin Hart. Everyone else is clearly having a lot of fun playing the kind of character who's the opposite of what they usually play and this is used very effectively both in gags and emotional moments.
Granted, the film is not without its issues. There's a lot of predictable stuff, the story is a bit derivative (how many times do we have to hear people say "The only way to do this is to do it together"?) and the villain is painfully uninteresting. And if you're not a fan of Kevin Hart's brand of humor you're bound to be irritated by him. But luckily, the fun is high enough to offset all those problems.
This movie is less emotional than the original, focusing more on humor, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if it's not what you're expecting you might be dissapointed. Still, there are more emotional moments in the second half of the movie, so things pick up later if you're interested. I definitely recommend it, whether you're a fan of the original or not.
The main cast is excellent, Black and Hart will have you laughing nearly every scene, even Johnson gets in some humor.
A nod to the late Robin Williams is included which I thought was a nice touch.
Easily in my top 10 of the year.
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Ø You’re in for a pretty fun ride.Read more