(image credit: Sony Pictures)

While the film of Jumanji was one that was already made in 1995, 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was one that was a noteworthy attempt at making a stand-alone sequel. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) does well in integrating great amounts of comedy into how the film ends up playing out along with a lot of enjoyable action that makes for an all-around fun watch.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle begins by introducing viewers to four different characters that seem very different from one another. Prior to them entering the game of Jumanji, the movie gives viewers a good chance to understand each of the characters personalities prior to them becoming their characters in the video game. These four people find themselves in school detention where they all discover a video game that they end up getting sucked into.  Each of the characters becomes a different character within the game, where they have to work together to beat the game in order to get out of it alive.

Part of what the movie was able to succeed in was knowing how to make itself a comedy. When each of the characters become different people within the video game, they find it a challenge to get used to who they are in the game compared to outside of the game. For example, the popular diva, Bethany, becomes a man, Professor Shelly. Her acknowledging that she is in fact a woman trapped inside a man’s body makes for a learning curve for her along with others that adds great comedic value. All the characters have to come to terms with the fact that they are indeed different people within the game than they are in real life.

The movie also becomes great for how it incorporates action within itself. Each of the characters has their own strengths that they can use to their advantage to defeat enemies. Watching the characters utilize these strengths makes for a lot of enjoyable action throughout the movie. However, each character also has their own weaknesses, which makes for an interesting aspect as their weaknesses are often reflective of how they can come up short.

The characters within Jumanji are worthy of noting for how well they were portrayed by their actors. Dwayne Johnson did well portraying a nerdy kid stuck in a strong man’s body by acting awkward at many times when he was learning his strength. Karen Gillian, who played Ruby Roundhouse, was the most enjoyable character to watch within this film. She goes from being the quiet shy girl in real life, to an all-around tough character who knew dance karate and could pull off numerous moves to defeat her enemies. Professor Shelly, portrayed by Jack Black, felt more like a comedic element to the film, and nothing else. Despite only playing a comedic role mostly, his character went well with the rest of the group. Kevin Hart, who portrayed Finbar, seemed to not have a whole lot of depth to his character. He could have easily been cast as Himself, and there would be no difference.

While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was indeed a fun movie to watch, it should not quite be considered a perfect film that should be glorified entirely. Many story elements seemed to be questionable, such as the fact that a character could lose their life from getting bitten by a mosquito in the jungle, or Dr. Bravestone getting pushed off a cliff by Finbar to lose one of his lives. The villain seemed not all that intimidating, and more like any other hurdle that the characters had to go through to complete the game. While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle may not have been all that adequate in how it told its story, it was an all-around fun movie to watch, with good value found in comedy and action to keep viewers engaged throughout.


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