Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karren Gillan, Danny Devito, Danny Glover, Awkwafina, Nick Jonas, Morgan Turner, Colin Hanks, Alex Wolff, Rhys Darby, Bebe Neuwirth, Rory McCann, Madison Iseman, Ser’Darius Blain, Dania Ramirez

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(5-Okay Film)

Fun. Familiar. Mediocre.

Robin Williams’ Jumanji was a big part of my childhood and an entertaining adventure film to this day. I didn’t expect much from its reboot, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, but it proved to be a diverting, amusing good time on its way to close to a billion dollars earned worldwide. Naturally, they’d make another one and naturally, it’s less surprising and inspired than its predecessor. The four principals-Spencer, Bethany, Fridge, and Martha-have returned to the real world. Though they’ve gone on to their own paths, they stay friends and plan to reunite for Christmas break. Spencer, however, is struggling in the real world with insecurity and willingly puts himself back in the thrilling world of Jumanji where his friends are forced to follow after in order to rescue him. There are a couple of twists this time around. One is that Spencer’s grandpa, played by Danny Devito, is pulled into Jumanji along with his estranged business partner, played by Danny Glover. The second is the video game characters, played by The Rock, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, are occupied by different players this time around. The Rock and Kevin Hart are old men. Jack Black is a black jock. The movie moves quickly, is fun without being especially funny, and manages a serviceable amount of pathos between the Glover and Devito characters, but I can’t help thinking that each new Jumanji film is getting progressively less interesting (pardon the oxymoron).

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


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