The man-cub Mowgli flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don't have his best interests at heart.Written by
To those who still hold any degree of skepticism for Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book—Disney's live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kiplingclassic—I say just sing along to "Forget about your worries and your strife " That's a guaranteed earworm from this really good film. Complete with splendid sound design and flabbergasting CGI wizardry, director Favreau, with cinematographer Bill Pope, deftly crafts this spectacle not only to dazzle viewers but also to enhance its dramatic agenda.
With an excellent voice cast, The Jungle Book presents a colorful array of memorable characters. Idris Elba as Shere Kahn is chillingly formidable with his guttural threats. Ben Kingsley brings nobility and wisdom in the sleek jungle cat Bagheera. In her short sequence as the python Kaa, Scarlett Johansson delivers the film's backstory with a magnetic voice. Giancarlo Eposito's Akela and Lupita Nyong'o's Raksha supply the fierce patriarch and protective maternal vibes needed by their characters. Christopher Walken as the mafia-king orangutan waiting for extinction is an oddly delightful sight, especially when he starts to sing. Bill Murray as the manipulative sloth bear Baloo is a crowd favorite as he blurs the line between being annoying and adorable. Even the lesser animals (porcupine, pygmy hog, squirrel, etc.) manage to steal the show as sources of comic relief.
In his first feature appearance, Neel Sethi as young Mowgli is tasked with selling the wonder and portraying the humanity of this tale. Considering that he is basically working within the confines of his imagination and a green screen room for the entire film, he manages to make everything believable: the beauty and danger of the jungle, his kinetic and charismatic character, and his deep connection with the animals. Of course, this is owed in large part to Jon Favreau's direction's too. A magical scene in the film (and my favorite!): an infant Mowgli and Bagheera's innocently touches Bagheera's face. It's a sweet moment, a reminder that the there's a seed of humanity in each of us.
Although the film comes a bit dark, fans are not robbed of iconic songs such as "The Bare Necessities", "I Wanna Be Like You," and a jovial musical scoring for the film (thanks to John Debney). Old as it may, the story of The Jungle Book remains an affecting contemplation on the virtues of family, self-growth, and man's progress at the expense of nature. The Jungle Book successfully opens a new chapter in cinema's visual storytelling prowess. It deserves to be seen, and unequivocally needs to be experienced in 3D or better, an IMAX theater. It is immersive, it is enchanting, and it is wonderful.
Full review here: http://www.filmpolicereviews.com/reviews/the-jungle-book
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