Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Out of all the egregious examples of why are you rebooting/making a sequel of this, Jumanji hurt the hardest. When you hear Jumanji you think of one thing and one thing only: Robin Williams. It’d be like rebooting Mrs. Doubtfire. I know it’s kind of a crazy movie but damn that was my childhood Hollywood. Don’t sully its name with Kevin Hart!

Oh me of little faith.

Based on the premise that no one plays board games (Really? I play more board games now than I ever did) the horror fantasyland Jumanji has remade itself as a video game to entice some unwitting teenagers. But, instead of dropping them into the jungle as a poor 10 year old Alan Parrish, they get to drop in as their in-game characters.

Grown actors pretending to be teens occupying grown actors bodies should not be this funny. Especially Jack Black who is inhabited by a 16 year old “hot” girl. He stands out but literally every one of them provokes some big guffaws.

I felt like, at almost every moment, I shouldn’t be laughing. But all of these actors are just so enjoyable. The script lets them interact extensively with each other, lets them improvise at the right times, and mines their surroundings for the appropriate humor.

It’s a silly movie. A ludicrous movie even. And it’s clearly for the kids (or older kids, the humor is verrry PG-13). But it’s one of those movies you can watch that’s for the kids that’s fun for everyone else too. Despite being surrounded by annoying little boys repeating every line, I had a lot of fun. You can’t rag on a movie that makes you feel so good on the inside.

It’s not a classic. But we only picked our classics because we watched them as kids. Who knows, maybe the next generation will love this one just as much we loved the last one.

3 out of 4 stars.

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