Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a 2017 American¬†adventure¬†comedy film directed by¬†Jake Kasdan¬†and written by¬†Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers,¬†Scott Rosenberg, and¬†Jeff Pinkner¬†based on a story by McKenna. Part of the¬†Jumanji¬†franchise, the film is a¬†sequel¬†to¬†Jumanji¬†(1995) (based on the 1981¬†children’s book of the same name¬†by¬†Chris Van Allsburg). he film stars¬†Dwayne Johnson,¬†Jack Black,¬†Kevin Hart,¬†Karen Gillan,¬†Nick Jonas, and¬†Bobby Cannavale. he film received generally positive reviews from critics, who called it a “pleasant surprise” and praised the cast. It has grossed over $962¬†million worldwide, the¬†fifth-highest-grossing film of 2017¬†and the¬†40th-highest-grossing film of all time. A sequel is scheduled to be released in December 2019.

It is an adventure movie with a lot of fun. We first see the board game in 1996 being discovered by Alex Vreek’s father on a beach after it was thrown over a bridge by Alan Parrish and Sarah Whittle 27 years earlier. Alex sets the game aside. That night, it transforms into a¬†video game¬†cartridge¬†which catches Alex’s attention when he is awakened by the Jumanji drums and he is transported into the game. We then flash back to 2017 6, four Brantford High School students serve detention: Spencer Gilpin, caught writing an essay for former friend Anthony “Fridge” Johnson (also in detention); Bethany Walker, who made a video call during an English-class quiz and Martha Kaply, who refused to participate in¬†gym class. They are sent to the school basement to prepare magazines for recycling and to think about their future. Fridge discovers Alex’s discarded video-game system when he explores the basement, and he and Spencer set up the game.

Although it has five¬†playable characters, the first one cannot be selected. Spencer and Fridge choose two characters, and the girls choose their own. When Spencer presses “Start”, they are transported into the game. The teens find themselves as characters in the game – Spencer is a heavily ripped muscular¬†explorer¬†and¬†archaeologist¬†Smolder Bravestone; Fridge is diminutive¬†zoologist¬†Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, whom he chose after misreading “Mouse” as “Moose”; Bethany is¬†chubby¬†male¬†cartographer¬†and intellectual Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon (whose nickname she mistook for a woman’s), and Martha is beautiful¬†commando¬†and¬†martial arts¬†expert Ruby Roundhouse. They each have¬†three lives; Spencer deduces that if they lose all three, they really die.

They are met by Nigel, the game’s guide, who takes them to a point and tells them that Jumanji is in danger. Corrupt archeologist Russel Van Pelt stole the Jaguar’s Eye (a magic jewel) from its shrine, cursing Jumanji. Nigel escaped Van Pelt with the jewel, and the players must return it to a¬†jaguar¬†statue and call “Jumanji” to lift the curse. The teens must dogdge the bad guys in Van Pelt’s army as they work their way through the different levels. They are soon helped by by Alex (the missing fifth player, whose avatar is pilot Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough) and ofcourse in the end all of the rise up above their trepidation and conquer their fears as they are able to restore the eye and the game is over and they return back to the real world and in their own bodies.

They later meet the real Alex, who was returned back to 1996 and he is now married with children, he named his eldest daughter after Bethany out of gratitude for saving his life and introduces them to his infant son, Andy. Martha and Spencer become romantically involved and the four are now friends after their experiences in the game. When they hear Jumanji’s drumbeats, they bring the game behind the school and Fridge destroys it with a¬†bowling ball¬†(also found in detention) to prevent anyone from playing it again.

The movie is a good watch with some good laughs and some good action. Everyone is good in their roles but Jack Black steals the show as a teenage girl in a 40Plus old man’s body. 8 outta 10!