Enter the jungle and escape the winter cold with Jumanji! The classic board game that brings the jungle to its players has reinvented itself as a video game that takes players to the jungle in the long awaited sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Set in present day the film follows four teenagers: two nerds, a jock and a social media obsessed popular girl – the modern day breakfast club – who are forced to clean out an old storage room in their high school during detention. As they avoid doing any tiding up, the group stumble upon an old video game and as soon as they choose their characters they are transported into the jungle themed game.
Allergy prone gamer, Spencer (Alex Wolff) becomes Doctor Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), his middle school best friend turned popular football player Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) chooses the character of Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart) popular girl Bethany (Madison Iseman) opts to be the “curvy professor” Dr. Shelly Oberon (Jack Black) and shy loner nerd Martha (Morgan Turner) becomes the badass fighting avatar known as Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). The foursome discover their avatar’s unique qualities and their quest thanks to the help of Rhys Darby’s NPC (non-playable character) Nigel. It’s a pretty basic quest: save Jumanji. As they dodge jungle dangers the foursome learn to trust one another and look beyond their perceived high school personas. In a nod to the original film, they also unite with a player who has been lost in the jungle for 20 years, 90s metal-head Alex (Nick Jonas).
Much like the first film, the sequel is filled with adventure and laughs. A surprising amount of laughs with Jack Black stealing the show as a hot teenage girl trapped in the body of a middle aged overweight man (Rob Schneider, take note). Overall the film provides what it promises, laughs, a quest worth going on and The Rock smouldering. Don’t let the eye roll worthy title, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle keep you out of the theatres, this one is an adventurous pick for the whole family this holiday season.
Reviewed by Vithiya Murugadsas.