Jumanji is Back in “Welcome to the Jungle”

Nathan Dion, Staff Writer

Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle is an action, adventure, comedy movie that sequels the original Jumanji that was released in 1995. The movie is about four high school students who find an old video game in the basement of their school after serving detention. They are transported into the game and become the game avatars they chose. The only way to leave is to beat the game.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Spencer, a nerdy gamer from Brantford High. He has appeared in other films such as The Fast and the Furious franchise, Central Intelligence, Baywatch, and Empire State. Kevin Hart stars as Fridge, a football jock. Hart has starred in Scary Movie 3 & 4, Central Intelligence, and Saturday Night Live. Jack Black stars as Bethany’s male avatar. He has been in films such as Tropic Thunder, Kung Fu Panda franchise, and Goosebumps. Black did a great job portraying a teenage girl stuck in a male body. The performance was very natural and accurate. Karen Gillan stars as Martha, a shy intellectual. She has starred in The Guardian of the Galaxy franchise, The Big Short, and The Circle. Even though throughout the movie her character doesn’t say much, she did a great job “talking” with facial expressions. Nick Jonas is Alex, a teen gamer already trapped in the game. Jonas has been in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Camp Rock, and Hawaii Five-0. All the actor’s performances were very naturally and didn’t seem fake.  

Jake Kasdan directed and produced the movie. He has directed others films like Zero Effect, and The TV Set.  It’s rated PG-13 for some language, adventure action, and suggestive content. I liked the movie. The actors did a very good job of portraying their characters. The comedy in this movie was top notch. The crew also did a great job in creating that 90s adventure movie feel. The wardrobe throughout the movie reminded me of a 90s adventure game. The cinematography was good but, I didn’t see any shots that were “cool”. The CGI was very well done. The soundtrack was originally going to be composed by James Newton Howard but, after a six month delay in the movie he was replaced with Henry Jackman.

The original Jumanji and Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle have some things that are similar and some things that are different. Even though the games are different in both movies, one’s a board game and the other is a video game, they both share the same aspects. In both games the drum beat is used to draw people in and they become louder as the potential players try to resist. In both movies the players also win by calling out Jumanji’s name. In the original they have to win the board game while in the new film they have to return the Jaguar’s Eye. The beginning of the new movie is almost identical to the one that ends the original Jumanji. The original movies closing scene was of the board game half buried on a beach. The new Jumanji movies opening scene is of the same board game on the same beach. The villain in the new film, big, game hunter Van Pelt, played by Bobby Cannavale in Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle, actually originates from the first film. If you have seen the original Jumanji then you might remember that in one of Alan Parrish’s turns he releases Van Pelt.

Overall, I recommend this movie to anyone looking for an adventure movie to watch.