‘Jumanji’: Welcome to the Jungle

Posted on 25 January 2018 by admin

A recipe for disaster destroys all expectations and makes a fine family film

BY: WILL MURRY
Art & Life Editor

jumanjiLike many people my age I expected this movie to be an absolute disaster. There’s an unspoken rule that you don’t mess with a Robin Williams movie and that stigma was definitely the source of controversy around “Jumanji.” A lot of millennials, myself included, cringed at the idea of something like this even being considered. Even on paper, this film reads like a run-of-the-mill 2010 remake, another elaborate cash grab from the Big Wigs of Hollywood.

How many movies boast the plotline, ‘small town high school kids get themselves into an elaborate debacle and the only way they can get out of it is by working together and becoming better friends?’ With a rep sheet like this it was easy for me to go into this movie with low expectations.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this wasn’t the case. For those who plan to see the movie, beware. There will be spoilers beyond this point. For a rating and general synopsis of the film, skip to the very end.

“Jumanji” opens with a middle-aged man going for a jog on the beach. He stumbles on a mysterious wooden box in the sand and digs it out to reveal the infamous board game. Like most people in movies who encounter a mysterious object, he takes it home with him. (The logical thing to do, right?) He gives it to his to his son, a brooding teenager who tosses the board game aside in favor of his video game console.

In the middle of the night, a green light glows inside the Jumanji board game box. The boy wakes up to find that the game has now transformed into a cartridge for his game console. He plugs it in and gets sucked into the game with no explanation.

It was at this point in the movie that I thought to myself, “thank God this isn’t a true to form remake, this movie actually shows a little promise.”

Cut to at least 25 years later, and the audience is introduced to the classic high school stereotypes: a nerd boy, a jock boy, an Instagram girl and a shy bookworm girl. Their acting will make you want to claw your eyes out but luckily it doesn’t last long.

They all get sent to detention for various reasons. In the detention room, the jock finds the knock off Atari 2600 game console with the Jumanji cartridge still inside.

They marvel at this fossil of ancient technology, their curiosity gets the best of them and they plug in the system to a nearby three foot deep tv and fire up the system to give the game a whirl. They are presented with a character select screen and after choosing who they think they want to play as, are promptly sucked into the game.

Over the course of the game these high school kids work out their real life issues whilst working together to solve in game riddles and avoiding death at the hands of enemies and environmental hazards. Side Note; when they die they respawn by falling from the sky and this is used to hilarious effect.

I have to say that this movie was a pleasant surprise. I honestly thought this was going to be an absolute dumpster fire, but to my delight it was one of the better movies to come out this holiday season. The cast had excellent chemistry, the script writing was good, the cgi wasn’t over-nauseating and the pacing of the overall film was excellent. If you’ve already seen “The Last Jedi” and “The Disaster Artist” and think you can stomach the the stigma of remaking a Robin Williams classic then I highly recommend this film for people of all ages, especially families. There’s a lot of good things about this movie that so go and see for yourself if you’ve got some spare time and some ticket money.
I confidently rate this movie a solid 7/10.

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