Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle Review

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Directing7.5
  • Writing7
  • Acting8

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is incredibly entertaining, thanks to the hilarious on-screen chemistry between its core cast and director Jake Kasdan's eye for adventure and spectacle. It's a real-life video game on the big screen and it's the most fun you'll have at the cinemas this Holiday season.

I never thought I’d say this, but Jake Kasdan‘s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is one of the most exciting films that I’ve seen this year and the best experience at the cinemas of this Holiday season. Where Star Wars might have disappointed and Downsizing bored you to death, Jumanji thrills and excites. It’s an action-packed adventure for all ages.

Four young kids are forced to co-exist in detention for the weekend, which is where they stumble upon this mysterious old video game called Jumanji. They turn on the machine and the next thing you know they’re literally sucked into the jungles and are now directly connected to the world of Jumanji.

Now, they must complete all of the obstacles and tasks without dying to hopefully escape the game and return to reality.

Jake Kasdan‘s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a clever twist on the Robin Williams classic, turning the creepy drum-beating board game into an actual video game, allowing the characters of the film to actually become the players listed in the game’s description.

Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Kevin Hart absolutely make this film a thrilling blast from start-to-finish. Each one of them represent a kid from real life that is now faced with a new array of powers and skills.

Spencer was a scrawny video game nerd, but now he’s in the body of Dwayne Johnson, which can be described as smoldering and powerful. Fridge was once a dominating high school football player, but now he’s got little man syndrome in the body of Kevin Hart. Bethany was once the prettiest (and possibly dumbest) girl from high school, but now she’s Jack Black….’nuff said. And lastly, Martha was the social outlier now drawn into the body of Karen Gillan, the dance-fighting bad ass that where’s cutoff shirts.

All four of the characters face major changes as they body swap with some of Hollywood’s best and brightest and director Jake Kasdan takes advantage of their energy and excitement to make one of the funniest films of the year.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sounded like yet another poor idea for a cash-grab on a familiar property, yet Kasdan’s film feels fun and different. It pays homage to the original when it counts, yet it never stops becoming its own film, creating fun new characters and throwing them into all sorts of wild situations.

It’s a video game come to life, including multiple lives, unique character traits, boss battles and the importance of team work. It’s the perfect blend of action, adventure and comedy that never feels “too stupid” or corny. This is mostly achieved through the excellent chemistry between all of the core characters.

Johnson and Hart have been very vocal about their off-screen friendship on social media and I’m happy to say that their comedic duo works wonders in this one, unlike Central Intelligence.

Adding Jack Black and Karen Gillan to the mix only strengthens the bond of the characters, giving us another distinct brand of humor and a bad ass warrior that might be able to kick more butt than Johnson, depending on the song selection.

Watching the characters work together and advance through the story is a blast. The visuals on display aren’t going to win any effects Oscars, but there’s enough wild creativity to keep the film going. Kasdan never slows things down and keeps the film moving through, joke after joke and set piece after set piece.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is the perfect Holiday family film. It’s got a little bit of something for everyone, while also furthering the Jumanji franchise into a new direction that I never thought would be possible. This is the perfect example of taking a known property and making it better through the added creativity of filmmakers and the good nature of its cast.


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