A Dynamic Reversal of a Beloved Film

written by: Andrea Drake


Almost anyone will admit that they love Robin Williams; it’s practically a fact of life.  Between Flubber, Dead Poets’ Society, Aladdin, and the classic children’s book-based, Jumanji, Robin Williams has made an impact on audiences everywhere.  In fact, he made such a splash with Jumanji that recently filmmakers decided to make a continuation of the film that we all know and love.  In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, “The Rock,” Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, and Karen Gillan join forces to defeat the evil that has entered into the game Jumanji.

This new version of the movie has an interesting dynamic– in fact, it’s a reversal of the old film.  In the 1995 version of Jumanji, the game pieces come out of the board and stampede and wreak havoc through real-life.  The catastrophe comes to life in the kids’ everyday environment and turns everything upside down.  However, in this new 2017 movie, the kids go into the video-game instead.  The 4 juvenile delinquents are mysteriously removed from their ordinary life and thrown into an unfamiliar jungle where they have to battle enemies and forces of nature– and they only have 3 lives to do it before it’s game over. Each kid becomes the avatar they chose, which adds a whole new level of acting skill for Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas,  Kevin Hart, Jack Black,and Karen Gillan.

One thing that Savannah Johnson, a sophomore in the Digital Cinema program at OKWU, expressed that she really liked about the film was that the acting was so dynamic.  She says, “Each actor is good on their own in films they have been in previously, but watching them come together in this film and intermingle is so exciting and hilarious.”  

Watching the adult actors pretend to be teenagers from all different walks of life was so intriguing– and they did such a good job representing each one.  Dwayne and Kevin’s character’s petty attitudes toward each other was so natural and believable.  It felt like typical, unimportant, high school arguments between friends.  Jack Black and Karen Gillan did such a great job playing the avatars for the two girls.  They both captured the personalities of the girls playing, and they didn’t miss a beat.

Of course, nothing could replace Robin Williams, but Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (rated PG-13) served well as a continuation of the film.  If you’re looking for a good watch, this should definitely be on your list.