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'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' is Rated "A" for Adrenaline Filled Fun

'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' is Rated

"What the heck, Sampson?" someone out there is saying. They would say to us to pretend that you could hear the drumming.

Did you have to travel a lot to film "Jumanji"? "I think it's the breakout character of the film". While this may have been a parallel to Martha's outcast status in real life - she was able to be more "out there" in the video game - it felt insulting to me as a woman.

The days of direct sequels are still with us - Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins practically at the next moment after The Force Awakens concludes - but the major studios in Hollywood have concluded that there are other, possibly more profitable methods of bringing properties they own back to life.

But of course, readers already have judged me.

Is Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle good? My main long-term takeaway is that it's a weirdly dark, downbeat, kind of mean-spirited movie for something that was aimed mainly at kids at the time - right down to starring Robin Williams but keeping him in "somber serious drama mode" for nearly the whole thing despite being a big FX-driven fantasy movie. A jogger retrieves it, gives it to his teenage son, who ignores it in favor of his brand-new PlayStation. Gillan, after all, is playing a '90s video-game heroine. Not quite. But they are sucked into the game's universe, a jungle where Spencer becomes huge muscle-bound archaeologist Dr. Xander Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson); "Fridge" turns into diminutive, although amusing knapsack-carrying, wise-cracking zoologist Franklin "Moose" Finbar (Kevin Hart); Martha becomes tall, shorts- and leather-halter-clad "commando" Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan, "Guardians of the Galaxy"); and Bethany gets gender- as well as body-switched into cartographer professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), who does not know how his man parts work. It's as if a John Hughes movie were suddenly dropped into an Indiana Jones film, and thanks to these actors, that combination works.

I found the stereotypes too overplayed to the point of predictability. With just this one shot, a person can readily grasp the level of intense, testosterone-building action and ideas that take place within this film.

Johnson said: "I want my kids to have fun with the movie and really have a great time when they watch it and enjoy us body swapping and playing teenagers".

The chemistry of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart was undeniable in buddy comedy Central Intelligence previous year, so the re-pairing of these two was a given at some point, and once again they do not disappoint. With its smart casting and lively action sequences, this version of the game is an overall upgrade.

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" recalls a couple of other films that predate the old "Jumanji" by a decade.

The breakfast club fires it up, selecting their avatars. Like the 1985 John Hughes classic, "Jumanji: WTTJ" forces together students who would otherwise never interact with each other in any meaningful way to amusing, touching effect - though in strictly PG fashion.

The other film is "The Goonies", a 1985 romp featuring kids on the run from bandits through a risky Indiana Jones-style adventure, complete with the first stirrings of adolescent sexual awakening. Get a piece - or at least peek - of this latest offering from "The Rock". "That's where this film comes in, we get to see exactly where he went and what it feels like and what it looks like I guess that's the biggest difference". Generally, he's cast in mindless action fare like the "Fast and Furious" films or disaster porn "San Andreas" or total dreck such as "Baywatch".

Should you go? Acting makes this spiritual sequel worthwhile.



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