Jumanji 2017

John Byers, February 5, 2018

I recently got MoviePass, and after four tries, finally saw the new Jumanji movie last weekend. The other tries have been frustrating. Our usual theater recently upgraded all their theaters to have the big, fancy, reclining seats. Sadly, this has reduced the number of seats in the theater, and even though we keep getting there really early, they sell out so fast. That is the drawback of MoviePass-we can't reserve seats online. Oh well.

I am coming into Jumanji in the best possible way. I enjoyed the original as a kid in the nineties, but wasn't SUPER into it, so I don't think I have nostalgia blinding me from the movie. Also, I just watched the original two weeks ago. I thought the preview for this new one looked stupid, but everyone said to give it a chance, and I'm glad I did.

The intro was great. Immediately hearing the drums as the jogger found the Jumanji game on the beach was awesome. And I was really glad to see that it wasn't some crazy new "reboot". The original board game was still in the movie. One flaw that probably went over the main audience's head was that the game console was totally not a 90's style console. It looked more like an Atari 2600, or something from the late 70's or early 80's.

The highschool characters were good, they weren't in it very long, but they were good enough. The real main characters were great. I was expecting The Rock to be the same character from the Fast and Furious movies, but he was surprisingly different. Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart also did good. Jack Black's role weirded me out, but it was funny and he did a good job as a teenage girl in a grown man's body. The NPC characters were good too, they definitely seemed like computer controlled characters. I think they did a little bit too much explaining the game..I think most people realized the three bar tatoos represented their lives right away.

The plot was pretty dumb...getting a green crystal into a Jaguar statue eye was very generic. I would have preferred for the characters to face waves of enemies/obstacles like in the original, but it was still fun. The Jumanji vibe was there, with the rhinos and snakes. I would have also liked to see a "great hunter", like the character in the original. But it was fine.

Overall, I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. I like the original better, but this one was a good sequel, and making it a video game was a fun idea. It was too long, and I hope I don't have to see it again for a very long time, but I liked it overall.