Jumanji 3D: Welcome to the Jungle

Out Now On-Demand

The game has evolved.

Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan star in this continuation of the classic 1995 adventure fantasy film starring Robin Williams.

Four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji's world - pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they'll play as characters from the game: meek Spencer becomes a brave explorer (Dwayne Johnson); hulky jock Fridge becomes a tiny genius (Kevin Hart); It-girl Bethany becomes a bookworm professor (Jack Black); and unathletic Martha becomes an amazonian warrior (Karen Gillan). To beat the game and return to the real world with their lives, they'll have to start seeing things in an entirely different way.

Trailers

Directed by

Adventure, Kids & Family, Fantasy, 3D

119mins

Rating: PG Violence, coarse language & sexual references

USA

A reboot of a 1996 movie that was based on a book, with a plot that updates ‘boardgame’ to ‘video game’, then adds the title of a Guns n’ Roses song for good measure, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle feels more like an exercise in cross-promotion that a reason to go to the cinema. Surprisingly then, it’s a fairly pleasant little excursion, albeit as inconsequential as a puff of (campfire) smoke.

This version hinges on teen protagonists being sucked into the game and taking on the form of their heroic avatars, and it’s this aspect that’s wisely leaned on. Making an out-and-out comedy is the movie’s saving grace, as all the jungle adventure stuff is pretty forgettable.

There are plenty of think-pieces to be written about Jack Black playing a young woman trapped in a middle-aged man’s body, sexual appetite very much intact, and the biggest surprise is how non-judgmentally it’s handled. There are dick jokes, sure, but they manage to be inoffensive, and even kind of sweet.

The Rock, reliable charm-purveyor that he is, is great as a Jewish teen, projecting gawkiness and vulnerability (and throwing out the odd ‘oy vey’), in between the game’s operating system forcing him to ‘smoulder’ (ie be The Rock).

The film sadly blows some of its goodwill when it comes to Karen Gillan’s character. There’s something icky about having a shy teenage girl learn to be confident in a woman’s body when the camera keeps inviting us to leer at her toned midsection.

Kevin Hart is funny but gets sidelined, and an actor of Bobby Canavale’s stature deserves better than his barely-there villain.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is a fun lark, but despite its humour and occasional sweetness it still feels disposable. There are plenty of actual video games that are much more rewarding.

Hollywood Reporter

press

The film's main appeal is in watching familiar actors pretend to be ordinary kids grappling with their new selves.

Guardian (UK)

press

It’s a likeable film which borrows liberally from everything and everyone, and if it’s put together by numbers, well, then it is done capably enough.

Total Film (UK)

press

The action’s passable and Gillan makes a decent fist of an underwritten character. Otherwise, this Jumanji makeover’s a losing game.

Variety (USA)

press

It’s like watching the lamest Indiana Jones sequel ever imagined, minus Indiana Jones.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

Insane amounts of fun and yet never feels like you need to switch off to enjoy it…

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)

press

A rare, long-gestating follow-up that actually improves on the original.

TimeOut (New York)

press

Mostly great fun, with Jack Black outrageously entertaining as a teenage girl. But we need to talk about Karen. As Ruby Roundhouse, Gillan is stuck in less clothes than one of Rihanna's backing dancers.

Vulture

press

The movie has amusingly broad performances; good, bloodless scares ... and self-empowering life lessons too bland to be specious. You could do far worse.