“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”, is a trip in one hour and fifty-nine minutes.
This movie stands on its own as an independent narrative instead of your typical half-assed Hollywood sequel you would see thrown out there these days. This movie is this generation’s “Jumanji”.
The original movie, “Jumanji” came out in 1996 but it takes place in 1969. The film is about a magical board game that comes to life in the real world. The game challenges its’ players with problems that arise from a jungle in which the game is played.
At the end in the first movie the players of the game were able to win and decided to toss the game over a bridge where it lands in a stream in 1969. In the sequel, the game ends up on a beach in 1996.
The sequel starts off where the first one finishes with the newest competitors being thrown into the jungle where they have to complete an essential task in order to leave the game.
A young teenage character (named Alex) comes across the magical board game and takes it to his house. During the mid 1990’s the world was experiencing the evolution of video game systems like Nintendo were taking hold to that generation.
Now the game Jumanji has morphed itself into something sexier for Alex’s generation, a Nintendo 64. He plugs the game in without questioning the fact that it was board game hours ago.
The timeline then jump cuts to 20 years in the future, with the focus being a group of teenagers that are serving detention. Each of these four students have conflicts with each other: one is an honor student who used to be best friends with the cliche jock until puberty hit, the two female students don’t like each other because one is your stereotypical popular girl while the other girl is an outsider.
While these students were performing the tedious task of removing staples from magazines in detention, they discover the game, Jumanji. Once they plug in the game and select their avatars, they were then sucked into the game.
I found this an interesting take in comparison to the first movie featuring a young boy character getting sucked into the game as punishment for rolling a four.
This approach for the movie aroused our generation because of how our technology has advanced into the concept of gaming and virtual reality.
The nerd is now is played by Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson, the jock has been knocked down a foot as played by Kevin Hart, the loner girl played by Karen Gillan, and the popular one is played by Jack Black.
Black plays this girl’s personality perfectly as well as impersonating her being addicted to her phone. This was a complete satire to our current generation that is addicted to electronics.
As they all adjust to their new avatar bodies and have to learn about themselves more. The setup of the game is like a traditional video game where each stage has a level of difficulty or adverse condition to overcome just like in an actual video game.
These avatar characters must complete their quest of returning a jewel to its statue and to release the curse that was cast upon Jumanji before using up the traditional three lives they have. Each avatar character has particular set of skills, strengths and weaknesses they need in order to complement each other throughout their journey.
I really enjoyed this old fashioned, team spirit soaked new sequel much more than the original via the video game model of multiplayer.
This is a good film, because it maintains its own relevance not just in today’s work but in the future as well. Especially as technology is rapidly expanding and the added concept idea of virtual reality will eventually play a strong role in our lives.