I have to start with the fact that I didn’t think I would like this film. Being of a certain age I, of course would say I prefer the original film starring the wonderful Robin Williams. How could they possibly do a re-make and it be even slightly as amazing? Well, I was wrong to go into the film with a negative outlook.
Not only did they manage to bring the idea of Jumanji to a new audience (an audience that maybe don’t understand the joy of a board game), and make it compelling, funny and exciting, they succeed in wowing the critic in me.
I can’t say it didn’t help that some of my favourite comedy actors were starring, I don’t care who you are, a film with Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, can’t be awful.
The film begins far, far away in time (1996 to be precise), with a teenager who comes across a video game called Jumanji, he pushes the cartridge (“what’s a cartridge?” says anyone under 30), selects his character, and promptly disappears.
Back to present time, four very different teenagers are thrown together in detention, forced to do their time in a basement of the school. Here is where they come across the ancient games console, bored of their task of taking the staples out of old magazines they decide to plug it into an equally ancient television, you know, one shaped like a box. Their adventure begins, transformed into characters of the game, the geek is now a muscle bound adventurer, the vapid, selfie taking mean girl is now a middle aged male cartographer, the jock is a diminutive zoologist, and the nerdy girl is a martial art expert.
Following the character in their quest to win the game was a pleasure, it was ingenious, funny, exciting and ultimately very entertaining.
This is one for the parents to make the excuse that their kids wanted to see it, not a waste of time at all.