I doubt anyone was really waiting for a sequel to 1995’s Jumanji, a movie best remembered for having Robin Williams and (at the time) impressive CGI. But here you go… a brand new Jumanji movie. And you know what? It’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
The board game from the original has become a video game… because you gotta get with the times. But the idea is still the same: kids play a game and get sucked into the game. The kids here are four high school stereotypes. There’s the nerd, the jock, the princess and the loser. But once they wind up inside Jumanji, they become game avatars that don’t necessarily correspond to who they are in the real world. Which is how come the nerd turns into Dwayne Johnson’s Dr. Smolder Bravesstone, football player Fridge becomes the tiny Kevin Hart, the loser becomes the sexy, hotpants-wearing Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), and the princess winds up as her worst nightmare, a chubby dude named Shelly Oberon (Jack Black).
It’s this playing around with stereotypes that leads to a non-stop barrage of jokes and quibbling that keeps on going. And the same goes for the messing around with video game tropes like how you have three lives in a game. Plus, the four main characters have a lot of chemistry going on and are obviously having a good time, which helps turn Jumanji : Welcome To The Jungle into a very enjoyable yet somewhat predictable flick.