Movie Review – “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

JumanjiPlaying the video game “Jumanji” is not about winning. It’s about surviving.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is the sequel to the 1995 “Jumanji” film starring Robin Williams. The story is based on the 1981 best-selling children’s book of the same name. In this storyline, a group of four high school students are placed in detention together and assigned to clean out their school’s basement. They discover the “Jumanji” video game console, and after each selects an avatar of their choice, they are teleported into the game.
Once inside the game, they realize the avatar they choose is the exact opposite of who they are in real life. For example, Spencer (Alex Wolff) is a nerdy gamer whose avatar is Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson, aka “The Rock”), the formulaic courageous, smart, and masculine hero of the story. Then there is Bethany (Madison Iseman), the popular self-absorbed beauty who becomes Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon (Jack Black), a plump middle-aged intellectual man with a high-pitched voice.

The film is both genuinely funny and wholesomely entertaining while also delivering a solid storyline about self-empowerment. Scoring an acceptable 77% on the Tomatometer, audiences are even more enthusiastic with 90% liking it.

Jake Kasden directed this “Jumanji” sequel. Before this cinematic success, he was best known for his role in the much acclaimed “The Accidental Tourist” in 1988 and directing the commercially successful, yet not critically successful, “Bad Teacher” in 2011.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (112 minutes) is showing at the Marshall Cinema with a PG-13 rating for adventure action, suggestive content and some language. Call (903) 935-5662 or visit for a full list of show times. Plan to see, especially if you want to change the way you think of yourself in 2018.

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