Thoughts on Jumanji

I was very vocal in my skepticism of this movie, so I feel like I owe it a public apology: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is actually pretty good.

Despite the formulaic plot it’s a solidly enjoyable action adventure with an engaged, charismatic cast. The change of genre from urban fantasy to isekai has an in-story explanation that makes the movie work as both a sequel and a reboot that isn’t simply aping the original.

The four leads all turn in solid performances, and Jack Black playing a teenage girl isn’t used for lazy transphobic or homophobic humour. (That sort of laziness is reserved for the obligatory jokes about Kevin Hart’s height.)

Having video game experience gives our heroes some opportunities to exploit mechanics but it doesn’t fall into the common isekai trap of making the hero so powerful they should just roflstomp through the entire storyline. Even the character with no in-game flaws still has the basic drawback of being a teenager who starts on the wrong side of the Coming Of Age line.

It’s not an instant classic that you must rush out and see, but neither is it a cynical, soulless cash grab you should run screaming into the night to avoid.


movies

205 Words

2018-01-15 17:00 -0500