Guys!! Did you ever think Jumanji will have a sequel?
I had tucked the movie in my ‘fondest childhood memory trunk’ and never thought anyone will consider writing a sequel. Like, if no one thought about it, all will still be well with the world.
Anyway, it happened and you can only imagine my excitement when I saw on instagram that Jumanji 2 was being shot. What was even more exciting for me was the cast line up. I follow Kevin Hart on instagram but went ahead to follow him on Snapchat as well just to catch ‘behind the scene’ snaps and of course count down to it’s release in December 2017.
I did not get to watch the movie last year, but it was still showing last weekend at the cinema, my plus one was a 9 year old kid so I happily bought our tickets, grabbed our free popcorn/drinks and headed in.
The opening scene took us back to 1996 and the thumping sound from the Jumanji Board Game. An ‘unlucky’ Man found it lightly buried in the sand (by the beach), picked it and decided it was a good find to gift his son.
As I had expected, the son mumbled a ‘Who still plays board games’ when he was given the Jumanji game and went on to continue playing his video game. I will like to believe Jumanji heard him, because at that point the board game magically transformed into a video game.
After this scene, we were taken to present day and four college students (2 boys and 2 girls) had to face detention. They were sent to an isolated room and had to clean up the space. As curious teens, one of the boys, Spencer (who later became Dwayne Johnson) found a video game console with the Jumanji cartridge. Excited, he convinced the other three students to play the video game with him. They all picked a fictional character and once connected, all four of them entered the Jumanji Game amidst thumping sounds and screams.
At this point, I sat up and was ready to watch the adventure unfold as they all found themselves in a jungle. Spencer (nerdy and bullied in school) turned into a buff and built archeologist called Doctor Bravestone. This role was played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Fridge (cool and buff dude) turned into a short and small bodied Zoologist called Moose Finbar. This role was played by Kevin Hart. He was also made to carry Bravestone’s backpack throughout the adventure.
Bethany who is your typical millennial and social media enthusiast turned into a Male Cartographer Professor Shelley Overton played by Jack Black. Imagine a beauty queen in a male body…horrific!!
Finally, Martha your regular tomboy at school who never thinks she is good looking turned into Ruby Roundhouse, a really pretty and scantily dressed vixen (Killer of Men). This role was played by Karen Gillan.
With this new twist, I like that their new characters were completely different from their old personality. It was difficult for all four students to get a hang of their new body. You should see Martha try to take catwalking lessons or Bethany trying to learn how to pee with his/her new male member. Spencer had the most fun because he went from boring nerd to a smoldering hot bodied Dwayne Johnson. Of course, Fridge who was the ‘IT guy’ in school hated his new body because it had become small with no six packs in view.
The director of this movie tried to bring in the millennial touch and I like that they thought about adding scenes that will be relatable to a current day young adult.
All characters had super powers and could perform different stunts with their strenghts and weaknesses. They also had three lives which means anytime they died in the game , they get another chance to live until all three lives are used up. They realised this when a hippo whisked Martha away but she showed up unhurt minutes later.
In true super hero style, all four characters had to work together to defeat the Villian Van Pelt which was played by Bobby Cannavale. They eventually completed their task (to find a stolen jewelry and place it on Jumanji’s eye) but this was after surviving a near helicopter crash, evil bike riders, hippo chases, fighting jaguars, escaping snake bites etc.
I like that there was a bit of romance in the movie as well. Bethany had the hots for Alex played by Nick Jonas (a kid who had been stuck in the game for 20 years), Martha and Spencer started a relationship in the game and it continued after the game ended.
Kevin Hart brought his A game to this movie in terms of comedy and each character did a good job depicting their humorous side.
Should you watch this movie?
If you watched Jumanji as a child, then you should enjoy watching the sequel. If you did not, you should still see it. Both movies can stand on it’s own as it has been over two decades since the first Jumanji aired.
This movie is rated 13 but you can still watch it with younger kids, just be sure to have a ready made answer when you are asked what happened to Bethany when she had a ‘hard on’ situation. My 9 year old company did not get the joke, she asked me and I cannot remember how I was abke to change the topic. She did not ask a second time.
If you decide to take kids to see this movie, here are things you should have in mind.
- There are scenes were seduction was being promoted.
- There are kissing scenes.
- Swear words were very present in the movie.
- There were jokes about the male manhood and guys having a hard on.
- There was also a scene were they talked freely about alcohol.
Off my head, those were the scenes that got me worried while watching with my 9 year old family friend. If I recall correctly, the Jumanji movie shot two decades ago did not have scenes were we had to close out eyes. It was more of a scary movie in my opinion but I still enjoyed it then.
Asides the worrisome scene for the kids, this movie promotes teamwork and all four college students encouraged themselves when it looked like they were about to give up. They got to understand the need to build on eachother’s strength and even weakness as seen when Martha allowed herself get bitten by a snake.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (directed by Jake Kasdan) depicts adventure in the millennial era, it is packed with comedy, adventure and a bit of ‘bearable’ action. I guess with parental guidance, it is a great choice for family viewing.
Share your thoughts
Have you watched any of the Jumanji movie?
What is your favourite childhood movie?
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