Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fantastic film to settle on the couch with and make some popcorn for – the sweet and salty kind, of course.
It has everything you could want in a comedy and more as it has a star-studded cast, ridiculous scenarios to put them in, brilliant CGI and visuals, and most of all it has a fun plot – perfect!
The movie follows four separate characters who pretty much fit into perfect high school stereotypes; there’s Spencer (Alex Wolff) and Martha (Morgan Turner) who are the shy nerds, and there’s Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blaine), who are the pretty girl and the jock.
After all four get detention for varying reasons, they are shoved together and told to remove staples from magazines – which doesn’t sound like the best idea for weekend plans.
Almost immediately they get bored with this, and decide to look for something else they can pass the time with. Martha tries to be the good kid, continuing with her punishment, but the others manage to find a game called Jumanji and a console in their school's basement.
After hooking up the console to an old TV and picking their characters, they notice something isn’t right. All four of them get sucked into the game.
The result? They’ve all morphed into the characters they chose, donning their appearances and brining some awesome A-listers to the proceedings.
Kevin Hart plays Mouse Finbar, who is Fridge’s character; Jack Black plays Shelly Oberon, who is Bethany’s character (as she mistook Shelly to be a woman, rather than short for Sheldon); Karen Gillan plays Ruby Roundhouse who was chosen by Martha; and Dwayne Johnson is Spencer’s character choice.
The whole group is more or less mortified by their new looks, except Spencer who is now simply muscles with legs. Their reactions are nothing short of what you’d expect: Fridge is concerned he has shrunken a little; Martha is concerned her character doesn’t have much skin covered; and Bethany is more than upset to learn that she not only looks different, but is also a man – and a chubby one to boot.
Spencer quickly tells the group, being the video game expert among the, that since they now know they are in a game, they have three lives and that if they lose them all then it’s game over, for real. This is of course matched with Bethany being eaten by a hippo to prove this theory - which is as hilarious as it sounds.
From here on out, we follow the group as they realise they must complete the main quest in order to finish the game and get back to reality. They each find out they have special skills which will help them progress through each level of the game, along with weaknesses.
This scene is a perfect example of Hart and Johnson’s high-chemistry relationship, as Johnson’s character doesn’t have any weaknesses at all, while Hart’s has quite a few, including cake. This leads to him losing a life later on as he accidentally eats cake and blows up – but this could happen to anyone, right?
The film is a perfect interpretation of video game logic, plots, characters and design, as the jungle theme really plays well into the narrative. It also radiates comedy and good-heartedness – it is a pure joy to watch.
The dynamics between the student characters change throughout the film, which is so cleverly and subtlety done - you can slowly see each student change for the better.
Bethany realises she can be quite selfish and petty, Martha realises that she doesn’t have to be so recluse, Fridge realises that he and Spencer, who were childhood friends, should still hangout together despite him being rather popular, and Spencer realises that he is already a good person, and looking like his chosen character doesn’t mean anything.
From start to finish this movie is pure comedy gold. Every joke is perfect and it cannot be said enough how well Hart, Johnson, Gillan and Black portray the high school kids.
We need to highlight Black’s performance, though, as he does an absolutely phenomenal job playing Bethany; from his voice to his demeanour – it is absolutely on point and nothing short of hilarious.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is the ideal movie to watch with your family, partner, parents, anyone! With recognisable and well-loved actors, a simple yet fantastic storyline, comedy done perfectly, and a somewhat relatable message about being the best you can be, it really is a great movie-night choice!
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
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