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 Post subject: JUmanji 2017
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:15 am 
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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle review – a crowd-pleasing romp
3 / 5 stars

Body-swapping, a wisecracking cast and a dazzling effects-laden package add up to a game-world movie that outshines its 1995 predecessor
Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black in Jumanji.
‘Tailor-made for holiday audiences’: Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black are the game avatars of four teenagers catapulted into the cursed world of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Photograph: Frank Masi/Sony Pictures
Mark Kermode

Mark Kermode

Sun 24 Dec ‘17 09.00 GMT

Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 children’s book Jumanji spawned a weirdly saleable 1995 movie in which Robin Williams escaped from a board game pursued by rhinos, elephants, monkeys and lions which then ran amok in Brantford, New Hampshire. This “continuation of the story” smartly inverts the premise of the original, welcoming us to the jungle as we follow four young players into the game, where they must meet various next-level challenges to secure their safe passage home. Wholly superior to Joe Johnston’s wildly uneven big-screen predecessor (and indeed to Jon Favreau’s related Van Allsburg adaptation Zathura: A Space Adventure), this crowd-pleasing romp combines boisterous action with coming-of-age comedy, all delivered in a shiny FX-laden package tailor-made for holiday audiences.

“Who plays board games?” asks an unsuspecting Brantford teen after opening the recently unearthed Jumanji box, which promptly mutates into a video console plug-in – with transportive results. Years later, nerdy Spencer (Alex Wolff) finds himself in Breakfast Club-style detention with popular jock Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Instagram-addicted queen bee Bethany (Madison Iseman) and studious introvert Martha (Morgan Turner). Advised by their school principal to learn “who you are, and who you want to be”, the misfit quartet start fooling around with “an old-school Nintendo game” which promises thrills for “those who seek to find a way to leave their world behind”. A few ill-informed role-play choices later, the foursome are sucked into the digital vortex, and reborn as alter-ego avatars in the cursed world of Jumanji. Which is where the fun begins…

Wolff’s allergy-prone geek becomes Dwayne Johnson’s bulked-up archaeologist/explorer Dr Smolder Bravestone (“Where’s my hair?”); the previously imposing Fridge turns into Kevin Hart’s diminutive zoologist/weapons-valet Franklin “Moose” Finbar; and Martha acquires dance-fighting skills (“Is that a thing?”) as “killer of men” Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). Most rewardingly, having chosen “curvy genius” Dr “Shelly” Oberon as her in-game persona, Bethany transforms into Jack Black’s cartographer Sheldon (“I’m an overweight middle-aged man!”) who promptly gets eaten by a hippo, only to return with one less game-life to play.
(Continued) ... eek-review
Need to see this.

History is just one damn thing after another.

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