The sequel to the much loved original Jumanji is due to be released this December. With a release date of the 20th in the UK, it’s firmly set it’s eyes on the demographic of young children and the families over the Christmas holidays. After the sad passing of Robin Williams, the sequel looked set to be dead but with a new direction and cast, Jumanji is back. But does it follow on well from the 90’s family classic?
Starring an all star cast of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black, the film has done well to cast the big stars of now. Following a bunch of school kids in detention, they discover an old school gaming system with a game cartridge in the system titled “Jumanji”. After they all decide to play the game and pick their characters, they are sucked into the game and become the characters they chose.
Dwayne Johnson, as always, leads the film and is the big hero that everyone looks up to. He doesn’t add anything special in particular to the film, he simply is the muscles of the movie. Kevin Hart, who for me is very hit and miss actually entertains. His character struggles to adapt from being a 6ft+ jock to a very small and useless character. His constant put downs of himself were one of the films biggest laughs. Karen Gillan comes across as a strong, bad ass woman that doesn’t pull back the punches, slightly undermined by her skimpy outfit in the film whilst everyone else is covered is an issue that did seem to bother me. Even though they try to make a valid excuse as to why she’s dressed the way she is, it still doesn’t feel right. Jack Black is a standout though, not having all too much to do and is slightly overshadowed by others as they provide more screen time, Black does well whenever he’s on screen and provides many laughs.
For the film itself, I actually think it’s a great concept. Adapting the film towards a more modern feel by changing it from a board game to a video game. But one of the greatest things about the original was seeing the actual board itself cause magic and mayhem. Not seeing the physical form of Jumanji itself is one that does bother me. You could easily take away the title of Jumanji and you would never really know that it’s a sequel to the Robin Williams classic.
The film, to its credit, does do its job by entertaining you and providing frequent laughs. Whether it’s a film that will age like its predecessor is another matter but it’s one that will provide entertainment for all ages this Christmas. 3 out of 5 stars.
Check out what we thought of last year with our top 10 of 2017: