Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle – With the emergence of video games, cursed board game, Jumanji, is forced to adapt and immediately claims its first victim. Twenty years later, the seemingly obsolete game is found by four detention-bound teenagers whose curiosity gets them sucked in to the jungle. Looking like and having the skills of their chosen characters, the four must navigate the dangers of Jumanji to lift the curse put on it by one of its inhabitants in order to return home.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) – Director: Jake Kasdan

Jumanji Welcome To The Jungle suitable for kids poster

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54174459

Rating: 12A

Running Length: 119 mins

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart

Genre: Comedy, Action / Adventure

REVIEW – JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

Twenty two years after the original, Jumanji’s sequel proper (‘Zathura‘ notwithstanding), ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ hits the big screen and this time the action takes place entirely inside the game, giving us a taste of what Alan Parrish (played by the late Robin Williams) went through in the decades that he was trapped there. With four non-related teenagers taking centre stage as opposed to a younger pair of siblings and the adults who are as entwined with the game as them, the dynamic is shifted to teen angst, sexual chemistry and clichéd labels (jock, nerd, bimbo, misanthrope) which is a real shame.

With such big watchable names like Johnson, Black and Hart who could so easily take the limelight, relative newcomer, Karen Gillan, as the only physically female game character could easily have faded into the background but she actually shines through and is as much a major character as any of the others. There was plenty of opportunity to develop the characters throughout the movie but sadly this opportunity was mostly lost to make way for the comedy and snappy dialogue; indeed a character who comes in halfway through the story has far more depth than any other. The movie’s villain (whose name seems debatable among many and is entirely forgettable from the movie) is nothing more than an evil presence trying to stop the players from achieving their goal. Considering this character has the ability to control all the animals in Jumanji, there was potential to be for an interesting antagonist (much like the Hunter / Father in the original) but instead barely makes any impact on the story at all.

‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ is undoubtedly entertaining: often laugh-out-loud funny and action-packed. It will be a good watch, it is just unfortunate that it isn’t better when the raw materials were unquestionably there.

CONTENT – IS ‘JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

In order to be friends with a more popular boy, a character does the others’ homework and although he is a little annoyed about being taken for granted, he does this willingly and attempts to take the blame when they are confronted about it.

A house in the same neighbourhood as the teens is rundown and spooky. While waiting outside of it, one of the teens suddenly realises that the house’s occupant is standing near him. This man is dishevelled and seems a little unstable; he warns the boy that, ‘This world swallows kids like you’. The boy is a little afraid but quickly moves on and is not affected by this afterwards.

Not long after arriving in the game, a character is violently attacked by a large hippo which suddenly emerges from water behind them. The attack is shown fully on-screen but there is no blood or gore and the character is seen shortly afterwards alive and well.

A character also ‘dies’ after being shot in the chest; they clutch their wound and after a few seconds they disintegrate into a cloud of blood. There are several other deaths throughout the movie but it is made clear that they are not always permanent and therefore do not have an emotional impact (and are sometimes dealt with in a humorous way).

There is some sexual dialogue; one character (a teen girl) gives herself a pep talk, saying ‘In real life … you can hook up with anyone you like’. A male character speaks to another about a teen girl, saying ‘In real life you’d probably want to hit that’. A female character finds themselves in the body of a male video game character and is fascinated by the bodily differences, particularly in the crotch area. Therefore there are numerous references to penises and it is implied at one point that this character has an erection.

The group are forced to deal an aggressive deadly snake in order to continue their journey. Realising that they have to ‘defang’ it, one character holds the snake’s head, while another snaps off the tips of the snake’s fangs. Once the grip on its head is loosened, the animal stretches its mouth wide, seemingly in pain and is then dropped to the floor with an audible thud. While this course of action was necessary, the characters do not hesitate to do this and react with happiness and pride in what they have done.

When dealing with a henchman who has let him down, the movie’s antagonist holds him in an embrace, opens his mouth wide – allowing a scorpion to escape which then stings the man in the neck, killing him.

A character carefully navigates a pit of deadly snakes and when they reach the centre, the heads of all the snakes simultaneously rise up in a creepy way, turning to look at the character menacingly.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS ‘JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE’ FOR KIDS?

What a family action/adventure movie needs is excitement, comedy and an all-round fun atmosphere; ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ has all these things in spades and therefore does exactly what is expected of it. However with a lack of character depth and contrived development it is unlikely to go down in the annals of movie history unlike it’s predecessor which has unanimously been awarded ‘classic’ status. Much of the action/adventure style content is appropriate for kids aged 6 and over, however we recommend caution due to some sexual dialogue and cursing

  • Violence: 2/5 (several deaths throughout the movie but with very little emotional impact. There are numerous animal attacks, some resulting in deaths)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (a character who has been missing for some time believes he has only been gone for a couple of months, when discovering it has actually been years he briefly struggles to come to terms with it)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (some of the dangers the characters face are quite scary and unexpected)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (mostly mild cursing and blasphemy which is unavoidable. Some stronger words are used occasionally but never get into f-word territory)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (some sexual dialogue. One character tells another to ‘bring (me) that jewel and slaughter anyone that tries to stop you’)
  • Other Notes: For those with phobias there are scenes including close-ups of insects, scorpions, tarantulas and snakes.
  • Deals with themes of teamwork, accepting people’s differences, friendship, embracing both your strengths and weaknesses, overcoming your fears and coping with new experiences.

Words by Laura Record

 

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


New From: £8.72 GBP In Stock
Release date December 22, 2017.

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