For 22 years, Jumanji has been a beloved favorite of mine. No matter how old I get, the magic of the film sucks me in and reminds me of why I fell in love with fantasy stories in the first place. Plus, Robin Williams will forever be one of my favorite actors. Losing him made me treasure this film even more.
When I first heard about the sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant. How could they make another Jumanji film without Robin Williams? However, after seeing the trailer I felt more at ease. They were taking in a completely different direction and, this time, fans would get to enter the game and experience the madness for themselves. Along with this, I had heard there was a nice tribute to Williams within the story. Once it hit theaters, I had to check it out. Was a great addition to the original, or a fan’s worse nightmare?
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is directed by Jake Kasdan with a cast starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Rhys Darby, and more. The story centers around four teenagers who are mysteriously sucked into a game. They have to work together, embrace their strengths, and save Jumanji in order to return back home safely.
I freaking loved everything about this film. It made me laugh and smile from beginning to end. It’s a new adventure with lovable characters, hilarious scenes, and fun special effects. I think after 22 years, they did a fantastic job with switching it up, making it somewhat relative while giving love to the old as well. The tribute to Robin Williams fit the situation perfectly.
In the first film, Jumanji is released into our world. In this film, we’re sucked into Jumanji – a world I’ve always wanted to see for myself. Although I’m sure it looked quite different when Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) was there, it was still a sight to behold. Dangerous predators, beautiful scenery, and endless adventure every step of the way.
“NOO! I’m an overweight middle-aged man!”
The characters are what made Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle stand out. The younger actors did a great job with their performances and helped build the story while Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas brought the film to life. They were hilarious with witty one-liners, ridiculously fun characters, and an infectiously joyful chemistry. Although I loved them all, I have to give major props to Jack Black. He absolutely killed it in his role (which was probably the most complicated one as well). He’s perfect in films like this and he truly made this one shine.
Sees Weaknesses: “I hate this game.”
My favorite part was seeing their strengths and weakness in the game and how they embraced it. Some of the weaknesses are pretty legit, and then you have Kevin Hart’s character whose weaknesses include speed, strength, and cake. Yes, that’s right cake. But what does that mean exactly? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.
I’m not always a big fan of CGI but with films like this, it’s kind of a given. I loved the special effects and how easily they sucked me into the game as well. I felt like I was there, helping them play the game, saving Jumanji, and fighting off the bad guys. One of my favorite parts was the 3 barcodes on their arm – each one equaling a life. Lose all 3 lives, you die in Jumanji.
Overall, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fun new adventure that is perfect for the whole family. A new world, wonderful characters, heartwarming nostalgia, and awesome special effects will suck you in and leave you wanting to rewatch it soon after. See it in theaters while you still can. Either way, it’s definitely a must-own. I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I did!