REVIEW: Jack Black and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson steal the show in vibrant adventure ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’

PUBLISHED: 10:27 13 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:27 13 January 2018

Kevin Hart, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black star in Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle.

Kevin Hart, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black star in Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle.

Archant

With a totally unlikely yet compelling cast and immersive cinematography, this ‘Jumanji’ sequel is a vibrant escapist adventure.

A group of teenagers bored with school life and facing detention are summoned into an adventurous video game, only, all is not as it seems. They’ve become the characters they picked to play, complete with new bodies, strengths, skills and weaknesses. Forced to fight off snakes, rhinos and jaguars - among other jungle nasties – they must beat the game to return to the real world.

Full of far-fetched escapism and subtle comic touches from Jack Black (the film’s standout) and Kevin Hart, it’s a clever concoction of fantasy, action, comedy and, of course, romance.

Visually, director Jake Kasdan’s reimagining of Jumanji is sweeping and colourful. But it’s the all star cast that really brings the movie to life.

Jack Black is great playing selfie-obsessed teenager Bethany who’s biggest worry is losing her phone and not being able to update her various social media pages. Kevin Hart, meanwhile, offers plenty of one-liners, but remains the punchline of a lot of the group’s jokes.

It’s strange – and genuinely hilarious – to see former WWE wrestler Dwayne Johnson play a completely different role than he’s usually typecast to. Instead, despite having The Rock’s muscle man physique, he takes on curly-haired video game-loving self-confessed nerd Spencer’s scaredy-cat characteristics.

Karen Gillan takes over the personality of Martha, a shy girl who hates P.E. in school – instead becoming a dance-fighting Tomb Raider-like character.

Like all action and fantasy movies, the story develops around building romances. And, though predictable, there’s a heart-warming sentiment about the importance of accepting yourself and being happy in your own skin.

Cinema is a form of escapism, and this Jumanji reboot is the perfect example of how easy it should be to lose yourself in a film.

Visit www.wisbech.lightcinemas.co.uk/jumanji-welcome-to-the-jungle for screening dates, times and to book tickets.

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