Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Director Jake Kasdan
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart and Jack Black
Rated PG
Score 3/6

Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.

For those of you who are wondering no I did not do any homework heading into Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle as I did not watch the 1995 original movie directed by Joe Johnston. I am very unfamiliar with director Jake Kasdan and even though Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle is a very watchable movie I cannot say with any degree of certainty that I am in a great hurry to watch any more of his movies. It was good to see that Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle wasn’t overly pandering with its nod to the original movie and it was good to see that the game from the previous movie evolved with society to ensure that it kept being played.
I will admit it, normally I do not have a lot time for Jack Black as an actor with the majority of his performances that I have seen I feel that he goes a little too over the top for my tastes. However, here with his portrayal of Bethany a teenage girl trapped in the body of a middle aged overweight man was very funny and was delivered with a degree of restraint that I did not think that Black was capable of. This is the first movie role that I have seen Karen Gillan in outside of her role in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and it is good to see that she has risk of being type casted. Dwayne Johnson’s acting has come a long way since his roles as The Scorpion King and Sarge. Madison Iseman’s portrayal of Bethany was great and proves that she is an actress to keep an eye on (at least for one or two more movies). I was also a little surprised to see that Rhys Darby was cast.