Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
|Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jake Kasdan|
|Story by||Chris McKenna|
by Chris Van Allsburg
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
|Box office||$886.7 million|
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a 2017 American adventurecomedy film directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, and Jeff Pinkner, from a story by McKenna. It is the second installment in the Jumanji franchise, based on the 1981 children’s book of the same nameby Chris Van Allsburg and serves as a sequel to Jumanji (1995). The film also pays tribute to Robin Williams, star of the first film, through a mention of his character’s name. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, and Bobby Cannavale. The film was released in Real D 3Dand IMAX.
Set twenty-one years after the first film, the plot follows four teenagers who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji, playing as the characters they chose. Uniting with another player, they must overcome the game’s magical power in order to win and return home.
Principal photography began in Hawaii in September 2016. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle premiered at the Grand Rex in Paris on December 5, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States in 3D on December 20, 2017. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who called it a “pleasant surprise” and praised the cast. The film has grossed over $886 million worldwide, making it the fifth highest-grossing film of 2017 and the 49th highest-grossing film of all time.
In 1996, in Brantford, New Hampshire, about a year after the events of the previous film, teenager Alex Vreeke receives the Jumanjiboard game, found by his father on a beach. When Alex claims to himself that board games are boring, the game, seeing Alex’s interest in video games, magically transforms into a video gamecartridge which catches Alex’s attention the next morning. As he plays it he is teleported into the game.
Twenty years later in 2016, four students in Brantford High School are placed in detention together: Spencer Gilpin, who was caught writing essays for his former friend, Anthony “Fridge” Johnson, who is also in detention for the plagiarism, Bethany Walker, and Martha Kaply, who have both disrespected their respective teachers during their respective classes. Bethany made a phone call in the middle of class and refused to end it after being ordered to by her English teacher, and Martha refused to join in on P.E. class because she considered it useless and made it worse by insulting the teacher. They were ridiculed for their actions and are assigned by the school’s principal to clear out its basement. While cleaning the four find Jumanji, a multiplayer action-adventure video game. One of the playable characters is inaccessible. When Spencer hits Start, the four are sucked into the game.
They find themselves in a jungle each now in the forms of their game avatars. Spencer is a tough, muscular explorer named Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Fridge is a short zoologist named Franklin “Mouse” Finbar whom he had selected upon misreading the name as “Moose,” Martha is a gorgeous commando and martial arts expert named Ruby Roundhouse, and Bethany is an overweight, male cartographer named Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon. They soon realize that they are in a video game and each have three lives. If they lose all three, Spencer concludes they die for real. Each of their avatars also comes with special skills and weaknesses.
They learn from Nigel, an NPC guide, that the big-game hunter, Russel Van Pelt, wants to obtain a jewel, the “Jaguar’s Eye,” allowing him to manipulate Jumanji‘s animals. To escape the game, the players must return it to an enormous jaguar statue and call out “Jumanji”. Along the way the group begins to lose lives through various means when completing game levels. The group starts working together to obtain a clue from a snake at a bazaar but are cornered by Van Pelt’s men. They are rescued by Alex, the fifth player, whose avatar is a pilot named Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough. Recuperating in a tree house built by previous player Alan Parrish, the main character from Jumanji, the newcomers vow to help him return home. Alex, thinking he’d only been in the game for a few months, learns that he has been in the game for twenty years. The group works together to break into a transportation shed, commandeer a helicopter, and fly for the jaguar statue to return the jewel. Upon landing Alex loses his last life after a mosquito bites him, but Bethany performs CPR in time and transfers one of her lives to Alex in the process of saving him from dying.
Arriving at the statue the players find themselves facing Van Pelt’s forces and predatory guards.
- Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone, an archaeologist and explorer who is Spencer’s avatar. Bravestone’s strengths are stamina, courage, reflexes, climbing, smoldering intensity, and boomerang throwing. He apparently has no weaknesses. He is the archetypically masculine, intelligent, and courageous video game hero of the story. He is credited as “Spencer”.
- Jack Black as Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon, a cartographer, cryptographer, archaeologist and paleontologist who is Bethany’s avatar. Bethany chooses him, mistaking the character’s name for that of a woman. Though Oberon’s strengths are his fields of expertise, because of his obesity, his endurance is his weakness. He/she is credited as “Bethany”.
- Kevin Hart as Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, a short zoologist and weapons specialist who is Fridge’s avatar. Fridge chose him due to misreading the character’s nickname as “Moose”. Finbar is Bravestone’s weapon valet and is skilled in zoology. His weaknesses are cake, strength, and speed. He is credited as “Fridge”.
- Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, a commando, martial artist, and dance fighter who is Martha’s avatar. Roundhouse is proficient in karate, tai chi, jujutsu and capoeira, and her only weakness is venom, such as that found in various animals in the game. Similar to Bravestone, Roundhouse is the archetypically intelligent, athletic, beautiful, and scantily clad video game heroine of the story. She is credited as “Martha”.
- Nick Jonas as Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough, Alex Vreeke’s avatar. McDonough is a mysterious guide, adventurer, and pilot in the game, who waits for and joins the other avatars as they attempt to escape Jumanji. McDonough’s strengths are piloting and making margaritas. His only weakness is mosquito bites, which is bad for him since the jungle is teeming with mosquitoes. He is credited as “Alex”. He lives in a treehouse built and once occupied by Alan Parrish (previously portrayed by Robin Williams and Adam Hann-Byrd in the 1995 film Jumanji).
- Bobby Cannavale as Russel Van Pelt, a corrupt explorer seeking to control the “Jaguar’s Eye”, whose power he is demonically possessed by. He is the boss of the film’s video game scenario; Jonathan Hyde played a different version of Van Pelt in the 1995 film.
- Rhys Darby as Nigel Billingsley, an NPC guide in the game.
- William Tokarsky as Bread/Cake Vendor, an NPC food trader.
- Rohan Chand as Boy at Bazaar, a young NPC guide.
Going in to see “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” I didn’t expect much. A few friends had told me Jack Black’s character steals the show, and he sort of did. The rest of the cast though, was spot on in this sometimes hilarious, all-ages, action, and adventure film. It was nothing like the old Jumanji, which was refreshing. Too often Hollywood just remakes the older version of films, but that is not the case here. There are similarities, but the main difference is this version is video game based, and the action takes place in the world of Jumanji, not in the players living room. I give this one 5 stars because at no point was I bored or left scratching my head. And it was definitely worth the price of a premium ticket. All in all, this movie is a riot of unexpected fun for the whole family to enjoy.” – MR