“Jumanji” was released in 1995 starring the late, great Robin Williams and this 2017 release should not be considered a remake of a classic film, but a sequel paying homage to a beloved actor.
In “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” four unlikely teenagers have to work together to beat the game or risk being stuck there forever. All in detention on the same day, sentenced to cleaning out the school’s basement, football star, Fridge, finds an old video game system which tech geek, Spencer hooks up and selects his avatar, Dr. Smolder Bravestone; Fridge goes for Moose Finbar. Selfie queen, Bethany selects Shelly Oberon, and book smart Martha chooses Ruby Roundhouse. One by one the classmates get sucked into the game and enter the jungle as their characters, all of which are the complete opposite of their real selves.
As their roles in the game are revealed, each person discovers their strengths and weaknesses. Learning to adapt while overcoming personal insecurities proves to be challenging and hilarious! Nerd turned jungle hunk, Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) is the key to saving Jumanji with his speed and weaponry skills whereas jock, Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart) is slow with a cake weakness and a much shorter stature than he’s accustomed to, making for some laugh out loud moments. Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) is a dance fighting hottie, and Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black) is now an overweight, middle-aged man. Outrunning a crazed dirt bike gang set out by jungle villain Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale), they quickly realize in order to survive and conquer Jumanji, real-life differences will have to be put aside. Teamwork prevails as does a new admiration for each other, Jumanji is saved, and they return back to reality as friends who are changed for the better.
While all characters are hysterical, Jack Black gives a show-stealing performance playing a cell phone obsessed, self-absorbed teenage girl. A role completely different than he’s ever played and it made the movie that much more laughable.