I was surprised as heck when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, still doing relatively well at the box office, beat the new Star Wars movie to iTunes. Man, the significance of in-theater revenue dips with each passing second.
Well, I missed this in theaters, and I feel a relative amount of shame about that. As a critic, I should’ve raced out to see this box-office darling. Sometimes, I’m just a lazy asshole. Anyway, I’m not so lazy that I can’t click “download” and watch and stuff on my iTunes account, so I jumped into the latest from Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as soon as the damned thing showed up as rentable.
I can see why people flocked to it. It’s a lot of fun, and much more enjoyable than the Robin Williams original, a movie I enjoyed, even though it was definitely flawed. In this one, a bunch of high school kids in detention wind up in a video game (instead of a board game). They become avatars that don’t necessarily represent their real-life personalities: The geek becomes the muscle-bound explorer (The Rock); the cheerleader becomes a middle-aged chubby guy (Jack Black, killing it); the jock becomes a scientist (Kevin Hart); and the introverted girl becomes a badass akin to Lara Kroft (Karen Gillan).
The results aren’t groundbreaking, but they are consistently enjoyable, especially in scenes dominated by Black and Gillan. Gillan has a scene in which she is forced to flirt that is one of the film’s best.
This was a big hit, so a sequel is certainly on the way. I’ll probably see that one in theaters.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com, as well as on DVD and Blu-Ray.