When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the United States. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
In a brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji - you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves - or they'll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break.Written by
The classic Disney movie TRON (1982) is a major influence behind the movie. Spencer, Fridge, Martha and Bethany are sucked into the world of Jumanji when they play the Jumanji video game and they learn that cannot leave Jumanji and return to the real world when they finish the game and complete their quest. Disney, the production company behind TRON (1982) bought Marvel Studios that produced and released the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017). Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). All 4 movies starred Karen Gillan as the cyborg Nebula. See more »
Right after Alex meets the others, they ask him what's going on. He replies, "my bad", which was not a popular expression until the 2000's, and he has been in the game since 1996. In fact, this phrase was in popular use before 1996. For example it is used by the character Cher in the movie CluelessSee more »
Professor Shelly Oberon:
Seriously, I can't even open my mouth around you. You don't even know me, but you, like, decided you hate me.
Look, I just think you live in, like, the "hot popular girl" bubble, you know, where everybody either treats you like a princess or like an object. Maybe it makes you a little self-absorbed or something?
Professor Shelly Oberon:
That's fair. But do you think that maybe the reason why you are so judgy is because you are like afraid that people are not gonna like you, so you've decided not to like them first? I'm...
See more »
The credits for the main game characters are accompanied by an animal:
In 1995, Joe Johnston ("The Rocketeer", "Captain America: The First Avenger") directed "Jumanji" - a quirky, fantastical and dark film starring the late, great Robin Williams that got a rough critical reception at the time of release, but was embraced by the public and has gone on to be a modern classic. So when it was announced that a sequel was in the works 22 years later, my first reaction was "Oh no... is nothing sacred?". It's fair to say that I went into this flick with extremely low expectations.
But I have to say that - given this low base - I was pleasantly surprised. It's actually quite a fun fantasy film that I predict that older kids will adore.
Initially set (neatly) in 1995, a teen - Alex (Nick Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers) unearths the board game Jumanji where it ended up buried in beach-sand at the end of the last film. "Who plays board games any more?" he scoffs, which the game hears and morphs into a game cartridge. Cheesy? Yes, but no more crazy than the goings on of the first film. Back in 2017, four high-school teens - geeky Spencer (Alex Wolff, "Patriot's Day"); sports-jock Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain); self-obsessed beauty Bethany (Madison Iseman); and self-conscious, nerdy and shy Martha (Morgan Turner) - find the game and are sucked into it, having to complete all the game levels before they can escape.
But they are not themselves in the game; they adopt the Avatars they chose to play: Dr Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson, "San Andreas"); Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart, "Get Hard"); Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan, "Dr Who", "The Circle"; "Guardians of the Galaxy"); and Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black, "Sex Tape", "Kong"). Can they combine their respective game talents - and suppress the human mental baggage they brought with them - to escape the game?
There was a really dark time-travelling angle to the storyline of the original film - the traumatic start of Disney's "Flight of the Navigator" was perhaps also borrowed from the concept in the book by Chris Van Allsburg - and an attempt is made to recreate this in the sequel. The first film rather pulled its punches though in favour of a rather Hollywood ending: will this be the case this time?
The film delivers laughs, but in a rather inconsistent fashion - it is mostly smile-worthy rather than laugh-out-loud funny. Much fun is had with the sex change of Bethany's character, with Jack Black's member featuring - erm - prominently. The characters all have strengths and weaknesses, like a game of Top Trumps, and this also entertains. But the most humour derives from the "three lives and it's game over" device giving the opportunity for various grisly ends, often relating to the above referenced weaknesses.
Given the cast that's been signed up, the acting is not exactly first rate although Karen Gillan shines as the brightest star. But "it's not bloody Shakespeare" so ham-acting is not that much of a problem and the cast all have fun with their roles. Dwayne Johnson in particular gets to play out of character as the 'nerd within the hunk', and his "smouldering look" skill - arched eyebrow and all - is hilarious. Rhys Darby, looking so much like Hugh Jackman that I had to do several double takes, also turns up as an English game-guide in a Land Rover, and Bobby Cannavale ("Ant Man") is Van Pelt, the villain of the piece.
There has been much controversy over Karen Gillan's child-sized outfit. But she is clearly a parallel to the well-endowed Lara Croft, and young male teens didn't play that game for the jungle scenery! She is meant to be a hot and sexy video game character, and man - does she deliver! Gillan is not just hot in the film: she is #lavahot. This makes her comic attempts at flirting lessons (as the internally conflicted Martha) especially funny. Hats off to her stunt doubles as well, for some awe-inspiring martial arts fight scenes.
Fans of "Lost" will again delight in the Jumanji scenery, surely one of the most over-used film locations in Hawaii if not the world!
Where the film gets bogged down is in too much cod-faced philosophizing over the teenager's "journeys". This is laid on in such a clunky manner in the early (slow!) scenes that the script could have been significantly tightened up. And as I said above, the script - written, rather obviously, by a raft of writers - could have been so much funnier. Most of the humour comes from visually seeing what's happening: not from the dialogue.
Directed by Jake Kasdan (son of director and Star Wars/Raiders screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan) it's really not half as bad as it could have been or as I feared, and I would gladly watch it again. For it's target audience, which is probably kids aged 10 to 14, I think they will love it. And, unlike many holiday films, the parents won't be totally bored either (especially the Dads, for the obvious misogynistic reasons outlined above!).
34 of 79 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this