Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review: Just Plain Fun
So, here’s the thing. Between the heavy, painful, and depressing dramas that take up much of my time, I have to see a film that is really just for fun. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is that film for me. Four teenagers stuck in detention come across a video game that transfers them into different bodies in a totally different world. Once in the world of Jumanji, they’ve changed and must learn to work together in their new bodies to escape the game and go home.
Spencer (Alex Wolf) becomes Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) a much stronger and more physically stunning man. His friend Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) is transformed into Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart). The two females of the group are transformed into drastically different characters. The brainy and awkward Martha (Morgan Turner) is transformed into bad ass Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) and hilariously, prissy, and popular Bethany (Madison Iseman) changes roles completely and becomes the very round and very male Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black). Once in the game, they realize they must restore the jewel of Jumanji and face a perilous jungle in order to finally make it home.
Now, this is NOT by any means a perfect film. There are a few plot holes that are problematic in the storytelling, but in the end, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was not created to be a masterpiece, it was created to be what it is: a total blast. The characters all have spectacular chemistry and work so well together. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson have great chemistry together as proven in their previous film, Central Intelligence. Karen Gillan plays the totally awkward and clueless teenager very well. Kevin Hart seems to play the particularly overly panicked character he usually does, which isn’t a bad thing. Dwayne Johnson pulled off the awkward and insecure teen character with ease. His performance was genuine and hilarious at the same time. The stand out for sure of the cast was Jack Black. I’m not normally a huge fan of his, but this performance was just hilarious. He plays a female teenager shockingly well. He provides many of the laughs in the film but also works well with his co-stars to create a great ensemble cast.
Apart from the minor plot holes, my only other complaint would be the fact that animals aren’t as involved as I would’ve expected in the film. The first Jumanji was a huge part of my childhood and I remember the lions, monkeys, alligators and many others being a huge part of the story. This time, the animals take back seat to the villain played by Bobby Cannavale and his goons. This is fairly minor, but when they make a sequel to a classic film, there are bound to be a few changes. All in all, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a harmless and fun comedy to kick back, relax and enjoy.