Jumanji: welcome to the jungle

     

When first announced, Jumanji: Welcome to lớn the Jungle was a movie nobody wanted. Lượt thích the reboot of the all-female Ghostbusters (Paul Feig, 2016), Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle garnered equal hatred from both fans and critics alike. Whether it was due to lớn the late Robin Williams passing in năm trước or the robust childhood nostalgia sparked by the original film, Jumanji (Joe Johnston, 1995) was one of those films that was better left untouched và persevered by the fond memories of the past. Releasing on December 20, 2017, twenty-two years after the original film, Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle ranked number one at the box office for three straight weeks. After its second week on the market, the film had overtaken Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson, 2017) và has earned a domestic total of approximately 400 million dollars on a 90-million-dollar budget. The film has also earned favorable reviews from critics và fans, currently holding a 76% critic score & an 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle is not only a surprising economic success, but it is simply a great, modernized, self-aware, progressive film that surpasses the original in every way.

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Directed by Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), Bad Teacher (2011)), Jumanji: Welcome lớn the Jungle takes place several years after the original 1995 film that was based on the children’s book of the same name written by Chris Van Allsberg. Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle features four high school teenagers, Fridge, Spencer, Bethany and Martha, as they are sucked into the đoạn clip game world of Jumanji. The only way khổng lồ escape the đoạn clip game world is by completing the levels of Jumanji và finishing the trò chơi by working together. The film stars Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Karen Gillian as the video game avatars of each of the four kids played by Ser’Darius Blain, Alex Wolff, Madison Iseman, and Morgan Turner.

The greatest appeal of Jumanji: Welcome lớn the Jungle is its modernization. The original film revolved around the conflict of a board trò chơi come to lớn life. Monsters, creatures, và animals run amok throughout the town of Brantford, New Hampshire, as each of the players of Jumanji complete different challenges lớn finish the game. In Jumanji: Welcome lớn the Jungle, this plot is revamped when the original board trò chơi turns into a video clip game console. Instead of the trò chơi coming to life in the town we are already familiar with, the characters are sucked into a tropical, nuanced video game world similar khổng lồ games like Far Cry 3 or Uncharted. This plot & setting change allows Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle lớn instantly resonate with today’s audiences knowing that popular gaming culture involves video clip games rather than board games. By updating Jumanji for contemporary audiences, the film not only separates itself from the original, but allows a world of new ideas & originality khổng lồ come flourishing out of its clip game setting.


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Karen Gillan in Jumanji: Welcome to lớn the Jungle (Columbia Pictures, 2017)


As this modernized plot device could come off as cheap & unoriginal, Jumanji: Welcome to lớn the Jungle uses this modernization as a tool to lớn provide nuance và well-written humor. Shot on location in Hawaii, the world of Jumanji is absolutely gorgeous, luscious, và fun, while being dark and mysterious. Jumanji: Welcome to lớn the Jungle mirrors the feeling you get when starting up a brand new video game. You feel overwhelmed, excited, adventurous and you want to lớn explore every inch of the world you have been transported to. đoạn phim gamers will feel right at trang chủ when watching Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle as most of the film’s humor is based around clip games. From non-playable characters (NPCs) saying the same line of scripted dialogue over and over again, to lớn characters dropping out of the sky lớn start another life (respawn) after dying, there’s a lot here to lớn love và laugh at. These gaming-based jokes are even enjoyable for non-gamers as they are presented in a way that is not exclusive, but situationally and verbally funny. For example, when the NPC Nigel (Rhys Darby) is first introduced, he is asked multiple questions by the main characters. In this scene, instead of saying different lines of dialogue when asked different questions, he repeats the same scripted lines. Rather than this joke being exclusively presented lớn the gaming audience (a joke that has resonated in gaming culture for years), the joke is presented in a way that is generally ridiculous và situationally funny due to the cluelessness và reactions of the main characters–allowing all audience members to chia sẻ in the laughs.

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The most important part of Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle’s humor is the way that it empowers the female characters through its self-awareness and desexualization. In đoạn clip game culture, females are often visually presented in a way that is highly illogically sexualized in comparison khổng lồ male characters. Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle combats this issue when Martha’s video game avatar is depicted in a short skirt và a crop top. Instead of sexualizing Martha for cheap visual thrills, Martha verbally asks why she is wearing a short skirt in the jungle—bringing attention to the absurdity of female depiction in video clip games. Furthermore, rather than just bringing attention lớn the sexualization, Martha covers herself up with a jacket—allowing her khổng lồ take control of her own sexuality. This control by Martha highlights the insecurity và relatability of her character, rather than just using her as a tool for the male gaze. By far one of the best and well-written scenes of the film is when Martha must seduce some guards so the crew can make an escape. In this scene, Bethany (being played by a middle-aged, big-bodied Jack Black) must teach Martha the ways of seduction. Even though this scene is absolutely hilarious, Martha and Bethany’s empowerment does not come from their bodies, but rather their confidence in themselves và their female-to-female bond. This allows the characters lớn gain incredible depth và agency rather than resort khổng lồ cliché.


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Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, & Jack black in Jumanji: Welcome lớn the Jungle (Columbia Pictures, 2017)


One of the biggest critiques of the original Jumanji is that it focused too much on the spectacle rather than the depth of its characters, thus providing an empty and emotionally lacking film. However, unlike the original film, Jumanji: Welcome to lớn the Jungle focuses solely on its characters and their relationship with each other. In Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle, each teenage character is deep, relatable & well written–rivaling characters found in films like The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985). Each character is unique & really complements the group by showcasing different insecurities và interpersonal relationships that mesh well with each other. For example, Martha represents the insecure nerdy girl whose agency is shaped by Bethany’s confidence, Spencer’s bravery, and Fridge’s charisma. Like Martha, each character is able to gain awareness and become their true selves through interaction và growth with one other. This growth is truly able to shine because the chemistry of the teen cast is incredibly authentic, unforced, và dynamic. This is also carried over lớn the clip game avatars as each cast thành viên accurately resembles their teenage counterpart rather than being someone else completely. This chemistry allows the characters in Jumanji Welcome to lớn the Jungle to lớn provide extraordinary emotional depth lớn the film rather than just becoming a clichéd, tiring teen movie.

Jumanji: Welcome khổng lồ the Jungle not only delivers a unique và original sequel but surpasses the original film in almost every way. Whether it’s through its chất lượng protagonists, luscious world, or well-written humor, Jumanji Welcome lớn the Jungle is a shockingly deep & original teenage film that should not be missed.

9/10

Author Biography

Jason Husak is a University of Alberta film studies graduate who currently resides in Edmonton, Canada. He hopes khổng lồ pursue his passion for film by doing a graduate degree in film studies at the University of Toronto. For more in-depth film reviews, discussion, & analyses, you can follow Jason’s film và entertainment podcast Boring People, Bad Opinions on podcast & social media services.

Film Details

Jumanji: Welcome lớn the Jungle (2017)USADirector Jake KasdanRuntime 119 minutes


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