#JUMANJI – Movie Review

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 59 minutes

Click on a vendor to purchase: Amazon, Best Buy (Exclusive Set), iTunes, Target, Vudu, and Walmart (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Click on a vendor to purchase: Amazon, Best Buy (Exclusive Set), iTunes, Target, Vudu, and Walmart (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)

In 1996, Alex followed the sound of drums and found a board game on the beach.  He took it home but say “no one plays board games anymore” and started playing with his video game.  In the middle of the night, the game started to glow.  Alex opened the game and it changed.  The middle was gutted and all that was left was a video game cartridge.  He inserted the game into his console and disappeared.   Now in 2017, 4 students have been sent to detention for different infractions.  Spencer is allergic to everything, very smart, but lacking confidence.   Bethany is a social media butterfly that is obsessed with her phone.  That obsession has led her to be very self-absorbed.  Anthony (aka Fridge) is failing, so he has resorted to cheating from the one person he knows won’t say no, Spencer.  Anthony hopes that Spencer’s brain will keep him on the football team.  Martha is a driven girl with her eyes set on Princeton.  She wants to focus on classwork only, not gym class but she finds Spencer cute.  The principal tells them to clean up the room for the new computer lab.  If it doesn’t get done, they have to come back over the weekend to finish.  The principal tells them they should think about what the do with their lives because they only have one to live.  A few moments later, they find the video game with a cartridge inside called Jumanji.  They decide to play.  When they start picking avatars, they notice one cannot be select.  After picking, they are sucked into the video game.  Now, they are their avatar and have special abilities and skill sets.  Here is the breakdown.

Real Name Avatar Name Strength Weakness
Spencer Dr. Xander Bravestone Fearless, Speed, Climbing, Smoldering Intensity, Boomerang Nothing
Bethany Prof. Shelley Oberon Cartography, Archaeology, Aaleontology Endurance
Athony Dr. Franklin “Moose” Finbar Wepons valet, zoologist Cake, strength, speed
Martha Ruby Roundhouse Karate, Tai Chi, Jui Jitsu, Dance Fighting Venom

As they look around the jungle, they learn a hard truth about the game; they only have 3 lives and if they die in the game, they die in real life.  Then, the four meet Nigel.  Nigel tells them the story of “The Jaguar Eye”.   Ven Pelt stole the Eye (a green gem) and it overcame him with darkness.  Now, he has control of the animals in Jumanji and will do anything to keep it.  This caused Jumanji to be cursed.  The four must get through the jungles of Jumanji, replace the eye, and say Jumanji.  Then Jumanji and the 4 are safe and they can leave the game.

This is not a remake.  THIS IS NOT A REMAKE.  This is an extension of the first movie.  It starts where the other ended.  And since it is a board/video game, it kept the villain’s name the same: Van Pelt, The Hunter.  He hunts the characters in Jumanji with lethal force and voracious tenacity.  While it provides really great CGI effects, it stays true to the video game realm with scripted players, a backstory, levels, lives, and outrageous weakness and strengths.  However, since it does focus on teens, it becomes another teen movie.  With the jock, nerd, introspective (yet cute) girl, and the self-absorbed hot girl who must work together.  By working together they become better people.  They just have to deal with the occasional hippo, elephant, jaguar, and black mamba.  While it falls into a teen story, it does stay true to Jumanji’s core values: be brave, be bold, and fight.  That is what makes this a good movie.  So, don’t bring the little ones because of penis jokes but tweens and teens will have a good time.  If you see it in 3D, go matinee.  Otherwise, pay full price and have fun.  And yes it does pay homage to Robin Williams.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

See you later, refrigerator – Spencer

It’s a requirement – Martha

I look like a garden gnome and where is my phone – Shelley

Don’t let this new body get your butt whooped – Franklin

That was my first kiss – Bravestone

No thank you. I’m ok – Ruby

Click on a vendor to purchase: Amazon, Best Buy (Exclusive Set), iTunes, Target, Vudu, and Walmart (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)

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