Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) Poster

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This ain't your Disney Jungle Book, and that's wild
francescobrosolo6 December 2018
In performance-capture maestro Andy Serkis' hands, Legends of the Jungle is a darker, more surprising version of The Jungle Book. Get ready to leave behind the jungle of your childhood imagination. You know, the one where you slumber peacefully in a tree bough, waterfalls ain't nothing but slides and you can float downstream resting on the upturned belly of an amiable bear.

It's impossible not to keep comparing Serkis' version of this classic story to Disney's 2016 live-action remake of its own 1967 animated family favorite. In Disney's remake, the animals are remarkably photo-realistic. But Serkis is purposefully trying to achieve something entirely different. The motion capture is used to make the animal characters deeper, richer and almost more recognizably human.

This no doubt presents more of a challenge for the actors than straightforward voice work, and as a result the animals are expressive and affecting. They're more well-rounded and relatable than their Disney counterparts, even if they're not as instantly charming. Christian Bale's nuanced performance as Bagheera the panther and Benedict Cumberbatch's ferocity as tiger Shere Khan are standouts that translate particularly powerfully through the performance capture.

But as you'll have guessed from the film's title, it's not all about the animals. In Disney's version, Mowgli felt more like a narrative device drawing the animals of the jungle together so we could hear their stories. In Serkis' hands, Mowgli is less of an ensemble player. His character development is central to the plot, especially in the second half. The movie feels like a coming-of-age tale as the man-cub seeks to establish his identity as not quite human, not quite wolf -- simultaneously both and neither.

It did come as a surprise when, bang in the middle of the film, the plot veered wildly off course from the familiar narrative the Disney films established atop Kipling's work. Some may hate this startling divergence, but I enjoyed the sudden realization that I didn't know exactly what was going to happen next, especially after being lulled into a false sense of security by familiar opening scenes.

Serkis has made a visually arresting film that Netflix is lucky to have gotten its hands on. It has more than the bear necessities required to put it on your watch list, even if it is lacking the music.
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Close To Beating Faverau's Version
JohnnySlayer1 December 2018
After watching this, I felt really surprised on how good it was. Don't expect it to be too similar to The Jungle Book. Mowgli is a more adult oriented film with some dark tones which I appreciate. I was very more focused on the actors. Everyone stands out. Even some actors that have small, but important roles. The CGI was the only thing that got under my skin. Some scenes had excellent visual effects, then exceptional, and then just plain horrible CGI. It feels like an unfinished film and took me away from the movie for a while. Maybe Warner Bros cut the films cost when they decided to go to Netflix. I feel really sorry for Andy Serkis. If Warner Bros would have let Serkis finish Mowgli. It would have been better than Disney's version and Andy Serkis would get more praise when he clearly earns it.
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Disney take note
iammcgale7 December 2018
15 minutes into this movie and Benedict Cumbebatch puts Idris Elba's Shere Khan too shame. This is a very different take on the Kipling and is better of for being different. I do think it's a pity WBs chose not to release this in theatres but being a Netflix release will reach far more people. I highly recommend this movie.
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Andy Serkis is the most underrated talent in Hollywood!!!
vandrist6 December 2018
Andy Serkis can do it all without drawing much attention or praise to himself. He can act, great voice actor and he's proven that he can direct. Even though they did the remake of The Jungle Book two years ago and I almost always hate remakes so close together. I would gladly say that I am wrong about this one. It was done perfectly and was a completely different spin on it. I would be glad if Andy got another chance at directing another Disney movie, Great job with this one!!!
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Totally loved it!
sharifahzahira7 December 2018
I had high hopes that this version of Mowgli would be something different than the Disney version. And after watching, all i can say is that the production team has done a terrific job!

Awesome storyline, awesome casting, awesome CGI and boy, Andy Serkis as the director, i must applaud! Loved Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and Cate Blanchett as Bagheera, Shere Khan and Kaa respectively. Rohan as Mowgli was very convincing. Just that i think I missed how the hunter came in the 1st place.

I'll watch it again absolutely.
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Much better than the Disney version in my opinion.
Eiriksterminator7 December 2018
As usual the critics have no taste, and their opinions don't match up with the general populace (aside from a few weird individuals who gave this movie a "1"...Yes, very much worth taking This movie is better than the Disney version, not the other way around. Credit where credit is due, the Disney version has more realistic CGI (though the characters look more menacing in this version than in the Disney one, so that's a plus), possibly as a result of a better budget, though maybe not. Everything else though, is better in this version. It's much more faithful to the books. It is much darker and more mature than Disney's version, which to some I suppose might be a minus, while for the rest of us it's a huge plus. Depends on what you're looking for in the movie. Most importantly, the voice acting in this version is waaaayyyy better than in Disney's version (I'm really shocked and in disbelief to see that one reviewer thinks the voice acting in Disney's version was better, like, what?). Benedict Cumberbatch is absolutely perfect as Shere Khan, and blows Idris Elba's performance, which was already very good, out of the water. Cate Blanchett as Kaa (who thankfully has much more screentime and relevance to the story in this version) is soooo much better than Scarlett Johansson that it's not even funny. She has a much more powerful presence.

Don't get me wrong, I like Disney's live action remake of their movie. It was good, and I enjoyed it. But this one is definitely the superior of the two. If you want to watch a darker and more mature version of the story without all the jolly Disney songs, give this one a watch. Personally I absolutely loved it.
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nickdinicola2 December 2018
Andy Serkis had a fantastic dark take on the legend of Moglwi. Finally Netflix produced a good movie that strongly differs from Disney's version of Jungle Book.
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Never been so excited to watch Jungle Book or its Re-telling
The_Sonuverse7 December 2018
I've always been fascinated by how Warner Bros re-tells the stories.. I was awestruck after watching The Legend of Tarzan and Since very first day of this film. I have been excited for each and every update about it, til today's release on Netflix. I would have loved to even watch it on Big Screen, I really wish I could. Andy Serkis as the director of this film had made it worth waiting for. And the voice cast is so astounding, Christain Bale as bageera, Andy Serkis' Baloo, and luscious voice of Cate Blanchett as Kaa.. Cant get enough of it.

If I have to describe all this in a simple way, I'd say that you'd be able to relate with the characters, all of them, Especially how you engage with the story and look into the eyes (you'd know it when you watch the film).
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stop Remembering the Disney adaption and enjoy this film
benplees8 December 2018
Excellent film, really enjoyed this adaption, just stop waiting for hthe songs to start, and don't worry that it's slightly different flow to earlier adaptions and simply enjoy this film. Shame Netflix didn't release it in 4k. Would love to purchase this in disc format.
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Loved it!
msbarnes038 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I thought I loved the other Disney version of this, but man I truly loved this one! Very very sad about Bhoot, i'm definitely going to bed with a heavy heart tonight, all he wanted to do was fit in & yall just had to do him like that after Mowgli yelled at him. The only thing I liked better in the other one are the way the animals looked, but this one was more intense. Great movie, but i'll be texting my sister in law tomorrow telling her not to let the kids watch this one lol jk...kinda
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I'm an Indian and I loved it
therashidrk7 December 2018
I don't know how it is better than the Disney version, it just gives me the right vibe. It's more about jungle, it's more immersive. It's more like how Rudyard Kipling would have wanted. The music is fantastic. The hard work is visible. Watch it. You won't be disappointed..
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Right idea, wrong execution
premkrmufc6 January 2019
The story of this film has a lot of heart and purpose. Andy Serkis really explores the 'human' nature of things. Everything else about the movie seemed rushed, indecisive, and sometimes incoherent. The editing of scenes was particularly below par. The music was forgettable and so were the action sequences. Strangely some CGI is extremely impressive starting with Baloo, on the other hand some characters were like overlays in real environments. The film had a lot of potential with its mature approach to the classic, but in the end was quite a let down.
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lush jungle, terrific voices
ferguson-67 December 2018
Greetings from the darkness. If your idea of "The Jungle Book" is Phil Harris' Baloo singing a bouncy and memorable rendition of "The Bare Necessities" in 1967, or Christopher Walken voicing a giant orangutan in 2016, then be forewarned about this latest version of Rudyard Kipling's classic stories ... it's dark and, at times, terrifying. It's rated PG-13 to keep young kids away, so please keep your young kids away! One additional warning: this version is spectacular to look at and listen to.

Of course the story is quite familiar to most, but two things really stand out here: the amazing voice acting of the world class cast, and the look of the lush jungle with its vivid colors and textures. Director Andy Serkis is renowned for his stunning motion-capture work in such franchises as PLANET OF THE APES, LORD OF THE RINGS, and Peter Jackson's KING KONG (2005) ... along with many others ... and for this project, he combines his motion-capture Baloo with top notch CGI, and the live performance of young Rohan Chand (THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY) as Mowgli, the man cub.

The voice acting is worth raving about. We first hear Cate Blanchett as Kaa, the ancient python, and within the first two minutes of the opening, we are captivated. Other standouts include an unnerving and intimidating Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, the always-threatening Tiger, Christian Bale (periodically lapsing into Batman voice) as the growling black panther Bagheera, Naomie Harris as Nisha the mother wolf, and a terrific Peter Mullan as lead wolf Akela. The deep cast also includes the voices of Jack Reynor, Eddie Marsan and Tom Hollander, while Matthew Rhys ("The Americans") appears as the hired tiger hunter, and Freida Pinto (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) appears as Mowgli's caretaker in the man village.

Many scenes are particularly captivating - some are exciting, while others quite scary. The "no rules" monkeys are comedic relief ... right up until they kick off one of the darkest segments of the film. And there is an ongoing theme of the fine line between being 'special', 'different', or a 'freak', and the lessons learned here would be valuable for kids ... if this were a kids' movie ... which it's NOT! Although it's difficult to discern the intended audience for this film, it's quite a visual spectacle and entertaining from beginning to end.
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Great potential, poor execution
lewiswalters9514 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A few things bothered me about this film. The script seemed slightly lazy, either that or the editing made it feel chopped. The performance for the main character was iffy at best and his character arc in certain parts is quite strange. But the main thing that's stuck with me, BHOOT.

I can't stop thinking about it. Why oh why did they kill off this character? Especially in the way they did it. He's the one character that you want to rise above all of the harsh treatment throughout the whole film, especially after the scene where Mowgli literally breaks his heart into two. The next thing we see of him, he's just dead all of a sudden, like wtf?

If this was the only criticism of the whole film then I could let it slide, but this is the main highlight of the poorly executed script from a film that showed a lot of potential
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CGI, darker themes sever 'Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle' from Disney classic
bigblack20096 December 2018
Gross, vaguely threatening and surprisingly complex, "Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle" is nothing like the Disney film. Directed by Andy Serkis, this modern take on the classic tale "The Jungle Book" is dirty, bloody and surprisingly mature for a children's story.

The movie opens with a graphic scene showing an abandoned baby boy covered in dirt and alone in the jungle. Then, the humble, but eerily rugged and wild-eyed, panther Bagheera grabs the child and brings him to a family of wild wolves, who take him in and refer to him as a man-cub named Mowgli.

The wolves are very kind to Mowgli, but as the boy grows up, he learns the hazards of being a human child among wild animals. He's beaten up, thrown around and faced with bodily harm that is at times hard to watch.

Even harder to watch is the intensely detailed animation. The CGI animals in "Mowgli" are intricately graphic, and it is clear Serkis sought to make them look wild and dangerous. Baloo the bear, a loving mentor to Mowgli, is nightmare-invoking; he is heavily fanged, very dirty and completely unnerving. His hungry eyes and guttural voice make it difficult to see him for the good guy he is.

Baloo's cringe-inducing, overdone appearance doesn't come close to matching that of Shere Khan. He is the tiger who hates humans and is on a mission to destroy Mowgli. He is scarred, walks with a hideous limp and is always followed by a mangy-looking, agitatedly smiling hyena.

Along with the dirt, blood and shock, the movie's mature themes make it worthy of its PG-13 rating.

There is an unforgettable human complex in this film that pulls it into a new level of understanding. Throughout the movie, Mowgli struggles to find his identity and where he belongs. He's just a boy trying to choose between two families who both need him: his family from the jungle and a human village he grows to love.

"Mowgli" also brings in the idea of man versus nature through the appearance of a British poacher. The animals Mowgli considers family are all in danger of hunting, deforestation and other modern problems. The animals fight for their lives, and they need Mowgli's help.

From that conflict comes another theme: nature versus nurture. Mowgli battles with his inherent want to be with his own kind and his loyalty to his jungle family and upbringing as a wild animal. Does he side with the human village or with his jungle family? These are questions that even most adults wouldn't be able to answer in a similar situation, much less a young boy.

With its disturbing graphics and overall mature themes, "Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle" is not a movie meant for the Disney classic's original audience. This movie took the idea of a children's story and re-envisioned it, gearing it toward more mature viewers. Although the animations were at times difficult to watch, in the end, like a Disney movie, it was heartwarming and satisfying.

Bravo Mr Serkis! Well done!
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I really was liking this movie until its dark twist.
jorgeluissal16 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I was really enjoying this flick , great plot, it was holding it's own, I wasn't even thinking on the Disney version, till that blasted dark twist

It wasn't necessary to kill Bhoot, he was an adorable character, yes dark and brutal that was the aim but a thing like this can ruin the whole experience, the pup was always cheerful and supportive and then boom here's it's head on a spike, not cool, it should have been a more meaningful death, or no death at all.
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Can't recommend this movie highly enough
jimthething8 December 2018
I really enjoyed the recent Disney version of The Jungle Book, and I thought it would take some beating. This version, which is more a collection of Kipling's Mowgli tales is darker, more in the spirit of the original stories, and, for me, the better movie. I've rarely rated anything 10/10 because I believe there's always room for improvement. With Mowgli though, I don't think it could have been done better.
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darker than the disney version but thats a good thing for me personally
calvinruddisan7 December 2018
Don't expect to see the light hearted Disney plots in this one,if you're one of those people who wish to see yet another typical movie for kids,stay away from this one,it is darker in tone and much more mature than the Disney one,in a good way of course..
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brookeman8 December 2018
If you don't mind crying for 20 minutes, this is a great film.
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Could be better
ercfunk-445-9500469 December 2018
It seems to have most of the elements that could make it a good movie but falls just a little short. One of the things that's odd is the CGI. It's not bad quality as the textures and color look good, but the shapes seem off. Shere Kahn's head seemed oddly wide, the wolves looked cat-like, Baloo looked like a post apocalyptic bear or something. The story and acting were decent.
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luciabcn8614 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I can't even think about the majority of the film because I'm just heartbroken about Bhoot. Poor little Bhoot. I spent the rest of the movie since the scene where Mowgli broke his friend's heart worrying about him and waiting for the make up scene, only to find his head on a stick. I don't understand what kind of sick plot twist this is. Doesn't the director realise there are animal loving happy-ending desiring viewers out there? I mean i might expect it if it was some war movie or such like, but its the jungle book. I kind of thought cute innocent animals would be safe. Not happy. I desire a post-credit confirmation that at least it was not Bhoot in the hunter's collection but some other albino wolf. And poor Bhoot's mum who was trying to protect his feelings. I mean sheeesh. Not cool Jungle Book. Not cool.
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Rudyard Kiplings Jungle Book.
kobrasec7 December 2018
Loved it! Don't expect any of the usual Disney sugar coating, this is the jungle book as Rudyard Kipling intended. The CGI was a little shaky but that could be forgiven as I'd imagine these Netflix movies don't have quite the same budget as the Hollywood blockbusters. Well worth the watch, well done.
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alex_faldo7 December 2018
Dark, real. Really nice to watch. It keeps you in front of the TV. I unjoyed every minute of this film. Mowgly for adults. Amazing.
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Darker and grittier Jungle Book tale.
Badsharkmoviefan_1187 December 2018
This is a much darker and grittier "Jungle Book" tale. Very much different from Disney's version. No song and dance musical numbers here. Not suited to children certainly not younger kids anyway.

It's different enough to Disney's version to make it worth watching. You don't feel like you're watching a cheap imitation.

The visuals are great but not quiet Disney great but expected from a lower budget. I don't feel the story was quiet as strong. A solid 7/10 (Jungle Book 9/10).
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Incredible Experience
rajvikram-057177 December 2018
Beautiful film... Stunning visuals..Better than Disney's Jungle book...this one is more realistic with strong Emotional scenes....A must watch.
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