TL;DR – A film that is as fun as ever, but shows that more does not always equal best.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
A couple of years ago a surprise occurred, we got an unnecessary reboot that not only was a proper follow up to the last entry but also was a strong fun film in its own right. I had a wonderful time with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which meant I was looking forward to its sequel. Well, I missed it at the cinemas but now is the time to jump back in and discover the world of Jumanji (insert drum sounds here).
So to set the scene, a while has passed since the group had their last adventure with Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) having left town to go to separate colleges. But Christmas time is here, and the whole group is coming back home to Brantford, New Hampshire, but all is not well. For some, their lives have not matched that one time they were in the game. So when one morning Spencer does not show up for dinner, and the drums sound, the rest of the group rushes over to his house only to find the game to be broken, and there might not be works as well as the last time.
TL;DR – This film is an hour and a half of pure fun, and probably the first video game film to work in a very long time, and some of the best casting I have seen in a while
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So to be honest right from the start this was a bit of a surprise. It has not been a good year for remakes in 2017, for example, The Mummy (see review) or the Ghost in the Shell (see review) all fell a bit flat on release. Add to this, it has been over twenty years since the first film, and all the information in the lead up to its release did not display Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in a flattering light at all. Indeed, it felt like this was going to be another case of reheating an old franchise rather than trying to do something new, and we are getting a bit tired of this. However, none of this came to pass, instead what we got was a fun romp through the jungle, with superb casting, and sense of knowing exactly what it wanted to do and succeeding in it.
TL;DR – A beautifully animated film with real heart and warmth, that elevates it above most ‘kids’ films that you see in cinemas.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Before we start, let’s be honest for a moment, it is not that hard to make a successful kid’s film. Kid’s love simple slapstick humour, vibrant colourful characters, and hey chuck in a sing-along CD and a toy line and you’re set. Indeed parents like anything that they can sit their kid’s in front of so they can have a moment of peace to clean up the carnage that kids leave in their wake. This is why Angry Birds will be a financial success and parent’s cabinets are filled with DVDs of whatever Cars knockoff is going at the moment. Making a successful kid’s film, not that hard, making a good kid’s film, well that’s another thing entirely. However, after last week’s Zootopia and this week’s Kung Fu Panda 3 we can see that it is possible to create a kid’s film that is both successful and in fact really quite good. Indeed it is a really good time for animated films at the moment, and kid’s films in general, because people are actually taking the time to create thought-provoking quality work, see Inside Out, Wreck-it Ralph, Big Hero 6, How To Train Your Dragon, literally anything by Studio Ghibli and indeed today’s film Kung Fu Panda 3.