Could there be a trilogy with the new Jumanji? A Late Movie Review & Thoughts

19 Jan

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

More eyes were on Star Wars: The Last Jedi last month than Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. After all, it’s tough to beat the Robin Williams classic. When compared to movies of today, the effects are dated and a lot of blue screening was done to get animals to overlay with the human actors. The 1995 film had elements which played around with the themes of taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Flash forward to the 2017 film. The premise skirts around a few of the original themes, but instead simply have fun with it. The world is expanded upon and it feels like Temple Run, the mobile and online game. If anyone plans on taking the treasure, they better be darn sure they can escape! Instead of a board game, the product transforms into a video game and sucks new people into its world, like the 1982 film TRON.

In reality, the characters in this film are social outcasts. When they find the game, they transform into avatars of renown. Spencer (Alex Wolff) becomes the muscleman Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Anthony Johnson (Ser’Darius Blain) turns into zoologist Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, (Kevin Hart); Bethany (Madison Iseman), turns into a cryptographer (Jack Black) and Martha (Morgan Turner) becomes a commando Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). The reason why she is wearing skimpy clothes is explained and had this world been one of Jurassic Park, I’m sure no one would be running in heels either.

This movie is one of those Michael Bay type of films where you want to turn your brain off and try not to understand the logic. This fact includes always enjoying how The Rock gives his all to any type of role he plays. Black is definitely having fun with his character, who is having a gender identity crisis. Gillan very clearly trained hard to get ready for her role. Both she and the stunt team involved made her moments literally kick ass. With that in mind, this product is a lot of Tad the Explorer style fun!

As a proper sequel with easter eggs for those eagle-eyed, the references are obvious. This world is like Narnia series. Youths enter a portal and get whisked away to adventure. The world has its own rules and the villain of the piece, Russel Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale) is simply nasty! He very nearly stole the show.

With reports that this movie is outpacing The Last Jedi, movie analysts must be scratching their head. The Disney owned Lucasfilm product has a huge fan base. Although reactions have been divided for this film, not a lot of naysayers have emerged for action-comedy. For a sequel, there’s less wow-factor to react to. While the big science fiction film still wins as the total grossing film, this fantasy product can hold its own.

Could there be a franchise for Jumanji? This world is a well constructed one, and it begs the question of how many players this realm are trapped. I like to know how many board, video or virtual reality games exist in the ‘real world.’ If more of these lost heroes exist, can there be more stories to come? Perhaps this realm is like the trilogy, The Matrix. A third film to answer these nagging questions is needed!

4 Stars out of 5

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