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‘Jumanji’ remake delivers new humor

Bryce Kobe, Staff Reporter

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The much anticipated sequel to the 1995 Jumanji (starring Robin Williams) was finally released in December; an agonizing 22 years after the original.

With an all star comedic cast of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan, Jumanji was expected to do well in the box office, and as of January 10th, it has grossed over $500,000 worldwide.

While fans of the original may not enjoy the less serious tone that this cast projects during the film, I found the humor was enjoyable.

The beginning harkens back to the first installment of the adventure, with the classical board game transforming into a video game cartridge and allowing the story to progress past the old days where teenagers played board games. There are several more references to the original throughout the movie, but they may be harder to catch.

After the opening scene, the main characters are introduced. Before long, the movie starts to have a familiar feel of The Breakfast Club, as four completely different students end up in detention together. That familiar feeling soon departs, however, as they decide to try playing a video game and are transported into the jungle land of Jumanji.

The students end up in different bodies, but keep their original personalities. The small nerdy kid is transformed into a muscular, fearless hero, played by Dwayne Johnson. The star football player, formerly towering over the others, becomes Kevin Hart (only 5’4”). The nerdy, rebelious girl is turned into an attractive dance-fighting expert, played by Karen Gillan. And last, but far from least, the popular, selfie-obsessed girl is transformed into an overweight, middle aged man with a beard, flawlessly portrayed by Jack Black.

I think one of the best aspects of the movie was the humor. It revolved around the characters in the movie and the plot itself, and made very few references to the real world, meaning the movie will still be funny in 20 years. The cast, all having significant comedic experience, executed the script perfectly, however, when they eventually return to their real bodies, the humor abruptly disappears, as  much of the dialogue feels forced.

My only quip would be that the themes of teamwork, love and saving the world are rather clichéd, but that is only to be expected from a big budget comedy movie made for teenagers. The plot may have been a bit thin and predictable, and it may have shallow humor, but it does have deeper message of understanding and empathy. The entirety of the movie is about walking in someone else’s shoes, and by the end of it, the characters are significantly more mature and complete as people.

In conclusion, if you are expecting a movie with sophisticated humor and themes that rival Shakespeare, you will be disappointed. Otherwise, the movie was funny, well written, an the cast performed exceptionally. 8/10.

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‘Jumanji’ remake delivers new humor