One of the most amazing things that can happen in a movie theater is when the viewers leave pleasantly surprised and utterly belated by the film they just saw. “Jumanji” is exactly the film that does both of these things.
I went into this film with absolutely no expectations, because I am usually not a fan of remakes or reboots. However, “Jumanji” felt like an entirely new movie that is a roller-coaster ride from start to finish, and it did not disappoint.
The first “Jumanji” film was released in 1995 with the late-great Robin Williams at the helm. Because of this, I felt that no other “Jumanji” movie could ever live up to the first installment in any way. After I left the theater, I walked away thinking the complete opposite. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is the definitive “Jumanji” movie, and it more than lives up to the “Jumanji” name.
“Jumanji” is led by a very strong cast that is headlined by none other than Dwayne Johnson in the starring role. Following him are Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, and these four go on a wild adventure, meeting characters played by Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale, who round out the cast with strong performances.
Together, the whole cast creates hilarious situations and act together wonderfully. Johnson’s natural leading persona mixed with the humor of Hart are always welcome, and Black and Gillan play off each other perfectly as well.
I was not expecting much out of the script in “Jumanji”, because all of the advertisements ahead of the movie made it seem like just another family comedy to make some money over the holidays. However, I found myself laughing at far too many jokes with way too many truly funny scenarios.
It is no question that Hart is the leading funnyman of the movie, but Johnson, Black and Gillan were all able to hold their own in the funny department.
Sure, there were times when “Jumanji” felt overly cheesey or where a joke did not register with the audience, but these instances were few and far between. Where the movie really triumphs is in its ability to bridge the gap between young and old, and this creates a truly comical and very enjoyable movie that far exceeded the expectations that viewers had for the film.
I left “Jumanji” with a giant smile on my face, and I cannot wait for the inevitable sequel that is bound to come our way in just a few short years.