Film Review – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan star in the $900+ million worldwide box office hit – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Out now on digital download and on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, and DVD from April 30th.


When four high-school kids discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of – Jumanji – they are immediately drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the avatars they chose: gamer Spencer becomes a brawny adventurer (Dwayne Johnson); football jock Fridge loses (in his words) “the top two feet of his body” and becomes an Einstein (Kevin Hart); popular girl Bethany becomes a middle-aged male professor (Jack Black); and wallflower Martha becomes a badass warrior (Karen Gillan).

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…

Review – Contains Spoilers

For those who remember and love the original Jumanji film with Robin Williams, this is not a remake! Do not dismiss this film before you’ve seen it. As the title entails, it is based on the jungle side of the story, the same jungle where Alan Parrish spent his life back in 1995 before Judy and Peter find the game and release him.

In this 2017 version of Jumanji, there is no call for further players so the guys need to free themselves by calling out the game’s name but first, they must complete their task.

The game has been updated. Back in 1996, the board game finds its way into a gamers bedroom, who places it on the side and leaves it there. The game turns itself into a game cartridge and therefore irresistible to Alex.

We fast forward to 2016 where 4 kids are clearing out the IT room and come across the old games console and Jumanji cartridge and turn it on to play the game, but first, they must choose their avatars and this is what makes the film hilarious!

Fridge is a big strong fast football player and misreading the avatar ‘moose’ turns into Franklin MOUSE Finbar, Mouse, due to his size. He is shorter, slower, and the sidekick to Dr. Smolder Bravestone – this infuriates Fridge and spends most of the film complaining, rightfully so, but is my second favourite character in the film. He alone will have you in stitches.

Dr. Smolder Bravestone is the main character and played by the nerd of the school Patrick, who is allergic and scared of everything and carries these traits over to his new beefcake body – which is amusing to watch in the frame of Dwayne Johnson.

Karen Gillan kicks butt in dance fighting moves, but by far one of the funniest moments is watching this bombshell try and flirt. Karen had me believing that she really didn’t have a clue how to flirt with a man.

But by far the most convincing avatar will have you believe he has a blonde bombshell inside that ‘middle aged fat guy’s’ body. Jack Black is amazing. I truly believed he was Bethany, and how she needs help knowing how to pee and calling out to Martha to come check out her new manhood proper made me chuckle but not half as much as her reaction to when she hugs Alex – (remember him from 1996), who she quite clearly fancies.

The film is an updated techie version of the original but based in Jumanji itself. With each character having 3 lives, and trials to complete each level to reach the endgame it’s a really good action packed movie, that even oldies like me, who love the original and frowned a the thought of a remake will love.

It’s not a remake, it’s more of a reboot and in the jungle, but like the original good fun for the family.

Rachael Jess

Action, Adventure | 12 | USA, 2017 | 30th April 2018 (UK Blu-Ray) | Sony Pictures Home Entertainment |Dir.Jake Kasdan | Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black

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