Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Jumanji Sequel Is Surprisingly Fun

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Jumanji Sequel Is Surprisingly Fun

Article excerpt

HERE'S a shocker: Hollywood has made a sequel to a movie from 22 years ago, hoping to cash in on the nostalgia and an existing intellectual property.

But here's the real shocker: It's actually really entertaining, throwing together four charismatic and funny actors -- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart -- in a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a direct sequel to the Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst movie from 1995, even if none of the original cast features.

A year after we leave Williams' Alan Parrish, the troublesome board game is picked up on a beach by a man who takes it home to his son, Alex. Alex, being a modern kind of teen, is a video gamer and dismissive of something that old-fashioned.

The magic in the game overhears this and, somehow, morphs into a game cartridge overnight.

Alex is sucked into Jumanji just like Williams' Alan did all those years ago.

Twenty-one years later, a group of teens is serving detention and cleaning out the high school basement when they come upon a box with the old video game console and Jumanji cartridge still inserted.

Conveniently, there are exactly four controllers and four game characters to choose from. As soon as they start the game, all four of them are sucked into Jumanji.

It's a clever evolution on the movie's part. Whereas in the original, when the kids from a later era find the game and Jumanji comes out to them, wreaking havoc on the town with giant mosquitos, lions and hippo stampedes, Welcome to the Jungle does the reverse and shows us the other side, of the place Alan spent 26 years.

Landing on their butts in Jumanji, the kids realise they've taken the form of the avatars they've chosen.

The nerdy Spencer becomes Dr Bravestone (The Rock), all bulging muscles and smouldering intensity, his character's special power. …

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