Jack Black tops surprisingly funny cast
I remember when I first got the news that there would be a Jumanji remake, I rolled my eyes and wondered if Hollywood could be any more unoriginal. I figured there wasn’t much the directors could do to make the sequel much better than the original, especially now that Robin Williams is out of the picture.
Once I found out the cast, I knew it was going to be a hit in the box office.
I know that Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black have all had their fair share of movie roles that were utterly cringeworthy. Nevertheless the hype behind the movie gained momentum as the movie release date got closer and closer.
Going into the movie theater, I thought this movie would be completely forgettable like many other movie remakes. But this time around, the movie takes a new twist. It centers around a video game rather than a board game. It begins with four teenagers who each deal with their own weaknesses as they go through life, whether it is building self-esteem or confidence, or delving so deeply into self-awareness they begin to forget about their surroundings.
They all get into detention for completely different reasons and wind up having to remove staples for an entire day. That was until Fridge, a popular football player at the high school, came across a retro gaming console, and found it as a distraction from pulling out staples all day. That distraction turned into a life-or-death commitment as a Jumanji cartridge was placed into the console.
All four teenagers end up trapped in the world of Jumanji.
Now, not only do they contradict each other, but now they are at war with themselves.
Dwayne Johnson plays Spencer, a nerdy kid who got caught doing Fridge’s homework. Fridge is played by Kevin Hart, who can no longer rely on his athletic abilities and has to start using other senses in order to survive in the jungle. Bethany suddenly finds herself in the body of Jack Black, a middle aged man who has never been known for having a slim figure. Then we have Karen Gillan in a Lara Croft-inspired costume portraying Martha, a shy girl who is against doing anything that doesn’t have substance behind it.
The aroma of estrangement is strong through the thick jungle air and they suddenly have to learn how to deal with their newfound characters.
An interesting aspect of the movie I really enjoyed was that each character had three lives to go through before it was game over for them. At first they all panicked realizing that they were possibly going to lose their life to a game. As the movie went on, the video game characters become eager to take more risks than the real-life versions of themselves. In order to defeat the game the characters had to overcome their own fears and get out of their comfort zones.
The lesson in all of this is that in real life, we only have one life to go through and its game over. We need to be reminded sometimes that being in our comfort zone in our own little bubble isn’t a life worth living, and with big risks comes big opportunities.
Lately I have come across a bunch of arguments over who was the funniest character in the movie. For most people, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson easily were stars of the show. For me it was Jack Black.
Kevin Hart really didn’t have to do too much role-playing in the movie. I feel the directors just told him to be himself rather than taking the risk of playing someone else, because fans already gravitate towards his small yet loud persona. Dwayne Johnson did a great job, but I don’t think he was the most comedic. Jack Black had the perfect balance of character and humor, to the point that I didn’t even think of him as Jack Black anymore and simply saw him as Bethany’s character in the game. Every movement he made was done with attitude.
If I had to give this movie a score it would be 8 out of 10. The movie was filled with one liners, that while enjoyable, do not have a lot of replay value.
But this movie exceeded my expectations and I definitely recommend it. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” will keep you laughing the entire time and is a great movie to watch with family and friends.