I remember the original Jumanji film back in the 1990’s with Robin Williams, and it was one my favorite films of my childhood. When I first heard of this sequel (originally thought it was going to be a “remake”) I thought it’d be a huge train-wreck. But when it came out in late December of last year, word was actually surprisingly good. It did really well at the box office, it even dethroned Star Wars: The Last Jedi from the top spot for one week.
The film takes place after the events of the first film. You don’t see any of the old characters like Alan Parrish or the Shepard siblings, but the Jumanji game-board transforms itself into a video game console in order to lure unexpecting pawns to play the crazy “game”. A group of students find it in the school storage room and play it. Before they know it, they are transported into the game itself. They all start to freak out as they realize that none of them look like what they do in real life.
The nerdy Spencer Gilpin becomes the muscular Dr. Smolder Bravestone. The football jock Anthony “Fridge” Johnson becomes the zoologist and weapons-expert Franklin “Mouse” Finbar. The shy Martha Kaply becomes Ruby Roundhouse. And the popular blonde Bethany Walker becomes the fat middle-aged man (to her horror and shock) named Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon. They know they have to finish the “game” of Jumanji before they can go home. But Spencer realizes they only have three lives, and once they are up, it’s a very fatal game over.
I can actually see why Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle surprised us all. As an action film, it’s rather okay, but the comedy in the film is very likable. I think Jack Black especially did a wonderful job, you honestly could believe that there was a preppy blonde in his “avatar” and that led to some comedy gold. I will say that the two Jumanji movies feel like much different films, but I like them both. However I do still heavily prefer the original than the sequel. That being said, I hope they don’t make another sequel, they might have lucked out with this one but I can’t really seeing a third movie being that good.