It's been a long time between games when it comes to Jumanji. The board game that sucks its players in until they finish first hit our screens in 1995 with a young Kirsten Dunst and a wonderful Robin Williams leading the cast. The original movie is still loved by audiences today, so I signed up to watch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with great anticipation.
The premise is slightly different from the original. This Jumanji comes in the form of a retro-style video game that sucks the players in once they've chosen an avatar. Where the original movie had elements of the jungle entering the real world on every roll of the dice, this version has the players completely immersed and playing in the Jumanji world as the characters in the game.
The storyline is pretty simple. A group of kids are stuck in detention, find the game and decide to play it to pass the time in detention. No points for guessing what happens next. The aim of the players is still to finish the game which comes in the form of several quests in order to be returned to the real world.
The movie itself is full of laughs, which is I guess what happens when you assemble a cast like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan who play the avatars that the kids choose. The kids, pre-game are pretty great too with Alex Wolff, Madison Iseman, Ser'Darius Blain and Morgan Turner also doing their part to bring the laughs. Nick Jonas also appears in the film. The cinematography (especially in the jungle) is pretty majestic and despite these guys obviously running around scared in the jungle, it definitely looks like a beautiful place to be.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle doesn't quite have as much of the magic as the original, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun. It's suitable for adults and kids alike, but I'd probably avoid taking very young kids as they may get a little scared. Due for release on Boxing Day, this movie is a great choice to take the family to wind down post-Christmas Day.