Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle marks the 20 year comeback to 95's obscure jungle board game adventure. Dwayne Johnson appears to once again score box office numbers - joins alongside Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. Four teenagers discover an obscure jungle video game only to be sucked into its mystical wonders, they find themselves trapped and - with only three lives - must complete the game in order to return back to the real world.
This retro jungle-safari game is a failed bonus level that should've been left on the shelf. An all new cast and an all new concept; yet Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle feels like a huge missed opportunity. Board games are a thing of the past and the shift to 90's Nintendo is a sharp attempt to do something different with the crazy jungle material. Everything is set in place - the film just struggles to piece it together.
The sensational idea of tropical animals coming to life from a board game was a fantastic breath of fresh air - but as soon as you take that concept and switch it the other way around, Jumanji quickly becomes something it's not. Placing each player inside that world, makes the whole concept a lot more generic; ultimately Welcome to the Jungle is an unnecessary game adventure that struggles to make it past level one.
The main problem lies with the silly safari's inability to notice what it has to work with. So the premise has evolved from what it used to be, I'm sure we can expect the film to take full advantage of its video game gimmick? Well, not really. There are gaming references peppered throughout but never an attempt to go full on, video game extravaganza.
Welcome to the Jungle creates a handful of game levels that are never set in stone like the 95 original. There was a dramatic weight to the film each time a player rolled the dice and what followed everyone was dreading to find out. Boasting the same game just from the inside, Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle runs primarily on star power but not creativity.
The perfect family film to kick start the Christmas season, but a bland return to the world of Jumanji. The fantastic four of humongous personalities, bounce of each other perfectly and their energy together is kinetic. Given that the material supplies more than enough imagination yet its creative potential is never fulfilled: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is an instant GAME OVER.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle:
Pinch of info
Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.