Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
If “The Jungle Book” is like taking a trip to Disneyland, then “Mowgli” is a hike straight into unknown woods with nothing but some duct tape and a Bowie knife.
The abiding darkness and occasionally graphic visuals will likely reduce its appeal as talking-critter family fare — think growling nighttime campfire tale instead of sun-dappled spectacle — but it makes for a welcome swerve from the Mouse House’s fun-zone approach to these timeless stories.
The filmmakers are clearly trying to bring an uncommon maturity to the fantasy film, and in many respects they succeed. While not everything here works, what does is impressive.
It’s intellectually intriguing and well-acted, but the inconsistent visual effects undermine the necessary suspension of disbelief when it comes to mixing live-action humans with talking CG animals in such a serious and somber adaptation of the Kipling classic. Still, it’s a thoughtful and dramatic interpretation, which sets it apart from most incarnations of The Jungle Book.
Slant Magazine
While the film’s perception of the politics of the jungle is often profound, the same cannot be said of its take on the human world.
For every scene of dazzling wonder, there’s another of outsized horror; for every big cat who looks ready to jump off the screen, there’s a wolf that appears bizarrely unfinished. There is little middle ground.
The whole movie feels oddly stranded and dramatically inert, despite the obvious passion that went into making it.
No songs at all now, and not much fun.
Andy Serkis' decidedly non-Disney Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle may have intended to offer a darker, grittier take on the classic Kipling stories, but the end result proves to be more of a murky muddle.
As an actor, Serkis may be the industry’ mo-cap master, but storytelling through performance is a different skill than writing or directing.

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