Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review

FILE - This file image released by Sony Pictures shows Kevin Hart, from left, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black in


FILE - This file image released by Sony Pictures shows Kevin Hart, from left, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black in "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle." Columbia Pictures says Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, that the Johnson-led “Jumanji” is estimated to have earned an additional $36 million, bringing its total to $244.4 million. (Frank Masi/Sony Pictures via AP, File)

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Jumanji is a 1995 adventure film directed by Joe Johnston based on the 1981 book by Chris Van Allsburg. In 2017, a sequel was made entitled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, directed by Jake Kasdan. With actors such as Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas, you are bound to see a familiar face on screen.

The movie begins in 1996, when teenager Alex Vreeke is given the Jumanji board game by his father, which has now turned into a video game cartridge. When he plays it, he gets sucked into the game. 20 years later, four high school students, Spencer, Fridge, Bethany, and Martha,  are in detention together when they find the video game and are also teleported into the game. They all take on the bodies of the character they selected, and quickly learn they are in the video game with only 3 lives. Eventually, the four students find Alex who is also in the form of his avatar. Working together with their powers, the five of them escape Jumanji and return back. Alex is dropped back in 1996, and later meets Spencer, Fridge, Bethany, and Martha in 2016.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a sequel to Jumanji, but the storylines are flipped. In the original Jumanji, young boy Alan Parrish goes into the game, and escapes 26 years later. When he returns, himself and the children who found the game are forced to deal with all of Jumanji’s challenges in the real world. In the video game Jumanji, everyone was taken into the game, keeping the real world safe.

For fans of the original Jumanji, there are some elements from the original in this sequel. For example, it features the same classic Jumanji board game box, and it is found on a beach where it was left. Alex, who is stuck in the jungle in his avatar for 20 years, even lives in Alan Parrish’s tree house from his time in Jumanji. I do however wish they would have incorporated the original characters or obstacles more in this movie.

I recommend this movie, whether you have seen the original Jumanji or not, it is sure to leave you smiling, as well as on the edge of your seat. Overall, I would give Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 4.5 out of 5 stars.