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  • Writer's pictureKaveh Jalinous

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

This review was written after a special advance screening on December 8, presented by Amazon Prime. The Rotten Tomatoes Score is subject to change, and the film itself does not release until December 20.

Has Hollywood really come down to the remaking of Jumanji?!? Like seriously, is Hollywood really out of ideas that they need to sink down to remake the movies that were below average when they came out. I guess so. But, there is something different in the remake of Jumanji than in other remakes we have seen the last few years. It's not terrible. In fact, it's decent. Now, when I say that it is good, I do not mean on the level of Blade Runner 2049 or the newest Star Wars films, I mean on the level of being pleasantly surprised, instead of utterly horrified.

It is important to know that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a smart or sophisticated film. In case you didn't see the trailers, the film tells the story of four teenagers who are sucked into the video game version of 'Jumanji', and have to restore a jewel on a lion's statue to return home. On the way, they have three lives, which they have to use wisely to avoid death, in the game, and in real life. The trailer pinned the movie to be dumb, with stale humor and horrible acting, but somehow, that is not the case. It might just be that I am a teenager, and I connected with the humor, but based on all the adults that were dying of laughter, I think that Jumanji has an appeal to everyone. The film knows that the plot is dumb, and it embraces that, and makes it a funny, action-packed, stupid movie. The casting was perfect, and every actor sinks into their role of a teenager and plays it extremely well. But, one actor shines more than all the other actors combined together: Jack Black. I'm not the biggest fan of Jack Black, although he was amazing in School of Rock, but I was super impressed with his performance. On top of acting like a teenager, he had to act like a teenage girl, which is even harder to master, and he does it effortlessly. He is single-handedly the cause of most of the humor, and just by the audience's reaction to his one-liners, I could very easily tell that they were all impressed by Black's performance just as much as I was.

Overall, Welcome to the Jungle is nothing special. It doesn't set any records, isn't a landmark for films, or anything to inspire. But, thankfully, it isn't horrible, which is more than enough for me. Welcome to the Jungle is good, but not great, which is fine, saying that it looked abysmal. And, in a world of constant terrible remakes, I am truly happy with the way the Jumanji remake panned out.


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