This week #SonyPictures revealed at CinemaCon that its much hyped Jumanji reboot, starring ubiquitous action hero/social media god/modern-day Bruce Willis imposter The Rock, has been given the new title Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.
Sounds a lot like something you might call a movie if it was going to be a new franchise-starter, don't you think? And while skepticism from those who remember the fairly demented original might not be quelled yet, reactions from critics who saw the first #Jumanji footage screened at CinemaCon are encouragingly positive.
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"Dumb Fun... The Audience Ate It Up"
As per the description from Gizmodo, the footage begins with four high school kids being ordered to clean the school's basement, where they discover a mysterious, ancient video game called Jumanji. Their avatars in-game are The Rock, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart, and the series of trials they need to complete to get out become increasingly wilder and more dangerous. As in a video game, each player has three lives. A third death in-game means death for real.
Gizmodo describes the vibe of the movie in more detail:
"The whole thing has a kind of Indiana Jones for kids vibe. Lots of jungle settings, lots of action, running and jumping. Slow motion fights, flame throwers, machine guns. Basically, 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' looks like dumb fun, a good mix of action and laughs with a really great cast. The audience ate it up and it was the main topic of conversation after the presentation, and that’s over Spider-Man: Homecoming."
The Hollywood Reporter was amused by the fact that the pretty girl's avatar in-game is neither pretty nor female, but in fact Jack Black. Karen Gillan's character is dressed like a super-skimpy Lara Croft to parody the fact that that's what female characters looked like in video games in the '90s. Jumanji actually sounds pretty smart.
If Welcome To The Jungle sounds fairly insane, so is its release date — it's going up against Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 22, 2017. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Expect the first trailer sometime before the end of May.
Will you be trekking to the jungle for a taste of Jumanji this Christmas, or is this remake an act of sacrilege?