Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review

Anticipating what I assumed to be a distasteful soft reboot of a fun, lighthearted adventure film, I expected the worst from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. However, to my pleasant surprise (and curious confusion), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle shares little resemblance to its supposed source material. Instead of a murderous board game that forces players to partake in increasingly difficult tasks, this involves the hip millennial version of the whole thing.

Four clichéd high school students are sucked into a video game while in detention. Once inside the video game, each high schooler takes on a completely different persona, kind of like an in-game avatar. These avatars are played by Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, who all go off on a vague MacGuffin plot to stop a one-dimensional bad guy. Basically, get the thing, put it in the thing, so it will do the thing.

Jumanji is about as ridiculous and uninspired as you can possibly get, and thankfully the film knows that, making the absolute best of its lame and outrageous premise.

It’s obvious the cast is having a lot of fun shooting Jumanji, and that genuine enthusiasm easily rubs off on the audience. The journey these characters embark on and the lessons they learn along the way was where I derived most of my enjoyment.

Another big part of the film aside from the characters is the humor, which in my opinion was a tad overplayed. Some jokes work very well at first and get a good laugh, only to be drawn out for too long until they become tiresome and annoying. Other scenes intended to be humorous were incredibly childish and tonally inconsistent, leading me to assume that Jumanji had no clear audience it wanted to appeal to.

Jumanji’s strongest suit wasn’t in its humor, but in the genuine moments shared between the protagonists, who were so goofy and animated that I couldn’t help but join in on the fun. The cheesy and poorly written aspects of Jumanji all teeter precariously on “so bad it’s good”. Altogether, I think there is more amusement to be had in Jumanji’s faults than boredom or irritation.

The Verdict: C+

-Zachary Flint

Remakes and Reboots and Sequels! Oh My!

Well folks, its happened. Hollywood has completely run out of ideas for major film releases.

So far this year we have received remake after reboot after pointless sequel. And as expected, most fell flat on their faces. Only a select few will stand the passage of time as memorable films.

And from the looks of it, 2017 isn’t going to be any better. So far on the roster there’s:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tale
  • Power Rangers
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Transformers: the Last Knight
  • Star Wars VIII
  • Alien: Covenant
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • World War Z 2
  • Baywatch
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Fast 8
  • Annabelle 2
  • Cars 3
  • Jumanji
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • etc. etc. etc.

Like, what the hell is going on? Everything on this list has already been done!  I didn’t even name all the damn superhero movies coming out, but I’ll leave that for another day.

Now I don’t mean to judge these movies without seeing them, and when I do see them I will judge each based upon their own merit. It’s just very disappointing for me (and many others too) to see so many movies being needlessly and shamelessly redone. Especially when we know its just because studios want to make a bunch of money.

Not one film that I listed above needed any sort of remake or sequel. Some of these films may be good, they may even be great! But they all beg the question why? I love Blade Runner and Pirates of the Caribbean, but the stories are over. Go home. It’s finished. Stop adding to stories already made and make something different.

Alien is my favorite movie of all time, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pumped for Alien: Covenant. But if film makers just keep giving me the same stuff I always want, how will I ever be challenged to try something new? I want to be challenged with new themes and new concepts on the big screen, so maybe its best if we put some of these films to rest.

I’m starting to get pissed off at all these remakes. Hollywood executives don’t care about movie fans and only have an interest in making money. I think that some day soon people are going to catch on to all this remake/sequel bull crap. And when they do, Hollywood will have to get clever and stop redoing things that have already been done.

Zachary Flint