Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

636866-jumanji-dwayneThe trailers for this movie set the bar so unbelievably low that I thought Jumanji could not possibly disappoint. The only surprise this movie has to offer is that it is a sequel not a reboot. Otherwise, it is completely by-the-numbers, including lots of CG animal stampedes and even more cliched character growth. In short, it is the perfect counter-programming for liberal propaganda like Spielberg-Streep-Hanks snoozers about fake news. More on that later.

The rules of Jumanji were well-established in the first film and Jumanji so compulsively follows those rules that it’s scary. The only difference between the two movies is that Jumanji 2.0 takes the form of a video game rather than a boardgame. That way, there can be lots of jokes about video games, which comes in handy because the main character is a video gaming nerd so when he becomes the Rock we can be reminded that he is still a nerd and he can explain to the other characters and the audience how video games work.

I can’t remember if Jumanji 1.0 had as much explanation about board games but I feel like even it aimed slightly higher than this. I guess that’s why it is a “classic” that has now spawned a “franchise”. Putting those words in quotes is the only thing keeping my head from exploding.

I hate to play the movie snob card and honestly, I never imagined I would be this guy, but there are a ton of really good movies in theatres right now, it being Oscar season and all, and Jumanji is not one of them. Nonetheless, Jumanji is by far the biggest box office draw right now. That’s not surprising, North America, since we are just the worst right now (LIKE, THE WORST), but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Let’s resolve as a continent to stop making bad decisions in 2018. Let’s do things differently. Let’s stop dumbing things down. Let’s start thinking critically. Let’s challenge ourselves. Let’s watch films like The Post, The Shape of WaterLady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, instead of mindless, vapid and soulless fare like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Saying no to Jumanji is one small step toward a better world.

 

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35 thoughts on “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    1. Sean Post author

      That’s something I definitely am struggling with right now. A big budget movie can be good cinema at least in theory. I definitely did not have the same concerns about The Last Jedi as I did with Jumanji. And maybe that’s beside the point anyway. My concern is not that Jumanji exists, it is that so many more people would rather see Jumanji than say, The Shape of Water. Wouldn’t it be great if we as an audience made it profitable for studios to make original, thought-provoking movies, especially during award season when some of those movies actually get a bit of attention?

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  1. Christopher

    Sometimes we need that guy.
    The stupid thing about the original Jumanji is that it jumps from 1969 to 1995 then back to 1969, creating a temporal paradox. History is changed, and the message seems to be “Even if you cause mass death and destruction, kids, you can just go back and start over.” It was a cheap ending, which isn’t surprising considering most of the budget was obviously blown on special effects.
    Anyway this seems like a perfect illustration of the principle that history repeats itself: first as farce then as ludicrous farce.

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  2. mymindspeaksaloud

    I’m going to be that one person to comment and say: I actually really enjoyed Jumanji😂 maybe it was predictable at parts and there wasn’t anything completely shocking about it, but it was funny and still entertaining despite of this. But I guess it’s not for everyone!

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    1. Screen Zealots

      We unabashedly loved it. It’s not that it’s a fine piece of art but for what it is (a corny, big budget popcorn flick for the masses), it excels tenfold. I had a blast, Matt had a blast, and we were smiling like dumb kids throughout. It’s everything a movie like this is supposed to be. Take it for what it is, and forget about getting the normal moviegoing public to choose an artsy thinkpiece like “The Shape of Water” over something irresistibly silly like “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” Many people only see a couple of movies a year and they want to be mindlessly entertained, so let ‘em have movies like this.

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  3. J.

    A big no thanks from me… looks dreadful and I reckon I’ve seen enough dreadful films.

    Also, I was thinking that The Rock guy likes movies called Welcome to the Jungle.

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    1. Jay

      I think this is a big reason behind its success. It’s not terrible, and it’s one of the only family-friendly movies in theatres right now.

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  4. Liz A.

    Movie studios make these movies because we go and see these movies. Although, we go and see these movies because that’s what the movie studios are making. Vicious cycle.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. calensariel

    I see your point, kiddo. But I would add that sometimes mindless fare is good for the soul. And if it makes me laugh (which I don’t know as I haven’t seen it yet), that’s good medicine. A relief from all the crap that’s going on.

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  6. reocochran

    I would get this from the library and show my grandies to entertain them! 😀 🎈 I would not spend money on it, am looking forward to Phantom Threads coming out with Daniel Day Lewis. When I wrote that I feel it is wrong name. . . Funny how our mind slips away at late night blogging, Jay!

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  7. curious•pondering

    I would agree that it shouldn’t win awards…..any, but I did have a few laughs curtesy of Jack Black. It wasn’t as kid friendly as I thought which was unfortunate as I had quite small children with me. A lot of cursing and talk of Jack Black’s penis.

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  8. Lloyd Marken

    Wow you’ve taken a leaf out Jay’s style book with this review Sean and I love it. 😉 I’m hearing this ain’t actually bad but would recommend Shape of Water and am interested in seeing Ladybird way more.

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