JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE turns the malevolent, magical game box of the original 1995 movie into a video game. Four teenagers get sucked into the jungle kingdom of Jumanji, where they reappear as four different adult characters. To get back, they must use their character’s strength to find a large green jewel stolen from a huge jaguar statue and replace it. To do that, they must overcome angry hippos, snakes, charging rhinos, and a bunch of motorcycle-riding goons working for the villain. Each character has three video game lives to complete their quest.
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is entertaining, with many funny, scary and exciting moments and appealing performances. It has a pagan, occult worldview where a video game has magical powers to change reality, but its premise is morally uplifting, with a light redemptive aspect. That said, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is not as exciting, clever or heartwarming as the original. It also has much more foul language and three scenes with lewd or inappropriate jokes. JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is a three-star movie. Extreme caution is advised.
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light pagan, occult worldview where a video game has magical powers to change reality, mitigated by some moral, redemptive elements promoting courage, working together, sacrifice, using your talents for good, people are encouraged to be the best that they can be, and a positive scene takes place at Christmas time plus some LGBT allusions (including a couple lewd moments) because a female cheerleader, who becomes a male video game character and her real self becomes attracted to a young man she meets in the video game world.
28 obscenities (mostly “h” obscenities but some “a” words, two or three “s” words, and two “d” words), 13 exclamatory OMG profanities), and jokes about the physical characteristics of male urination.
Some strong and light, sometimes scary action violence includes bad guys on motorcycles shoot guns and grenade launchers at the heroes, man in video game world gets eaten by a large hippo but falls back to the ground from the sky because he has three video game lives, other people die and fall to the ground from the sky because they have three video game lives, people are chased by large charging rhinos and a group of jaguars guarding a statue, people fall from trees and things, fight scenes, rhinos chase helicopter which can’t fly any higher until one of the heroes climbs on top of the helicopter and fixes a rod connected to the top rotors, venomous snake bites woman, etc.
No sex scenes but a comical reference to a male video game character getting physically aroused, some LGBT allusions because a female cheerleader gets trapped in a video game world as a male avatar, comic scene where a girl has to distract two guards using her “feminine wiles” but she’s very awkward at it, and a couple kisses.
No alcohol use.
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs.
Villain has stolen and lost a valuable jewel plus the protagonists fight among themselves, but they eventually work things out and come together to defeat the bad guys.
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is a sequel that turns the magical, malevolent game box of the original 1995 movie into a video game where four teenagers in detention turn into adult characters trapped in an updated version of the deadly jungle kingdom of Jumanji. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE has its funny, scary and exciting moments, but it’s not as exciting, clever or heartwarming as the original movie and contains much more foul language, along with several gratuitous, crass lewd moments.
The movie opens in 1996. A teenager finds the Jumanji board game on the beach where it was left. He takes the game home. Overnight, it changes into a video game version, and the boy disappears.
Twenty years later, four teenagers get into trouble at school and are put into detention after school. The teenagers include a nerdy teenage boy, a football jock who used to be the nerdy boy’s friend, a conceited cheerleader, and a sullen, snobbish female student who can’t wait to escape high school and go to college. The principal orders the students to clean up a storage room, but they find the Jumanji video game and pick four of the game’s five character avatars to play the game.
Magically, the game sucks them into the jungle kingdom of Jumanji, where they reappear as the avatar they chose to be. For example, the nerdy boy is now Dr. Bravestone, a muscular Indiana Jones character played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the female cheerleader becomes a chubby male zoologist and cartographer, played by comic actor Jack Black. Each of the avatars have special powers, but all but one of them also has weaknesses.
In order to get back, the teenagers must find a large green jewel stolen from a huge jaguar statue and replace it. To do that, they have to overcome get by angry hippos, snakes, charging rhinos, and a bunch of motorcycle-riding goons working for the villain, Dr. Bravestone’s rival, Van Pelt.
The good news is that each of the avatars has three lives to complete their quest. The bad news is that each of the avatars only has three lives to complete their quest.
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is entertaining, with a fair number of funny, scary and exciting moments. The adult actors carry the load of the movie. For the most part, they deliver appealing performances. They not only have to be the adult avatar characters in Jumanji’s jungle world; they also have to portray the inner teenager that’s inside the avatars. This results in some funny scenes. It also sometimes heightens the movie’s jeopardy.
That said, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is not as exciting, clever or heartwarming as the original movie starring Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, and Bradley Pierce, directed by multiple MOVIEGUIDE® Award winner Joe Johnston (THE ROCKETEER, OCTOBER SKY, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER). The movie has a pagan, occult worldview where a video game has magical powers to change reality, but its premise is morally uplifting and has a light redemptive aspect. Sadly, though, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE also has much more foul language than the original movie. In addition, there are three scenes with lewd or inappropriate jokes about the female cheerleader trapped in the body of the chubby, older male avatar. JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE goes too far. MOVIEGUDIE® gives the movie three stars and urges strong or extreme caution.
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