DIRECTOR: Jake Kasdan STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Bobby Cannavale, Nick Jonas, Rhys Darby; SCREENPLAY: Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, & Jeff Pinkner; STORY: Scott Rosenberg BASED ON: the book "Jumanji" by Chris Van Allsburg BASED ON: the film "Jumanji" screen story/screenplay by Greg Taylor; PRODUCED BY: Matt Tolmach, William Teitler, Ted Field, Mike Weber
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dany Garcia, David B. Householter, Jake Kasdan; GENRES: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy; MUSIC BY: Henry Jackman; EDITED BY: Steve Edwards, Mark Helfrich; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Gyula Pados; PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Columbia Pictures, Matt Tolmach Productions, Radar Pictures, Seven Bucks Productions; DISTRIBUTED BY: Sony Pictures Entertainment; COUNTRY: United States; LANGUAGE: English RUNNING TIME: 1 hour 59 minutes
Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: A14
MTRCB Rating: PG
Back in 1996, an old board game, Jumanji, is found on a beach, taken home, and magically turns into a live game. In present day, in this brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school teenagers Spencer, Fridge, Martha, and Bethany (Alex Wolff, Ser’Darius Blain, Morgan Turner and Madison Iseman) discover the old video game console while serving school detention and are sucked into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars of the game characters (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillian and Jack Black) they chose. What they discover is that they don't just play Jumanji—they must survive it. To win the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, and change the way they think about themselves—or they'll be stuck in the game forever.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is fun-filled, entertaining spectacle. The premise may be quite worn-out given that it’s no longer original but the tweak of the story focusing on teenage issues has worked well to make the entire feature an interesting adventure. Central to the film’s overall comedic appeal are the charismatic actors who enthusiastically portrayed complex, juxtaposed characters. The real-life simulation of the game remains to be an interesting handle although the Jumanji games seen from the point-of-view of a gamer may be a mediocre one, but the heart of the story keeps the movie afloat. The twists and the climaxes provide enough thrills and there is never a dull moment in the film.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a coming of age film with the adventures of a real-life game simulation as its backdrop. The teenagers’ issues on identity, acceptance and peer pressure are all tackled in the film. It’s good that somehow the movie gives a sensible take on these matters that concern mostly the youth. There are realizations here and there—of one’s worth not relative to looks and popularity, of one’s identity not dependent on others’ approval, and of friendships not dependent on benefits. When the conflict of survival comes in, the film goes even deeper and more meaningful. The challenge after the game—the real life being actually more challenging and the bond that is built on trust and genuine care—all these somehow tell that there is hope in the youth only that they should be given a platform to bring out the best in them. The film also shows that the avatar game characters are neither immortal nor perfect—they die and they have weaknesses. But the focus must be on the strengths, and weaknesses can be an opportunity in disguise. Real-life lessons are learned in the game—the world of the young. And so the film is also talking to the experienced ones that to teach the young, they must enter into their world. The film however still exhibits some portrayals of violence and insinuations of sexual awakening that may not fit the very young. So CINEMA recommends the film as suited to audiences aged 14 and up.—RRP