Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) – Virtual Reality Adventure Transcends Reality

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) – Virtual Reality Adventure Transcends Reality

Twenty years ago, a little film called Jumanji made its appearance at the box office. Starring Robin Williams, the film is, to this day, one I’ve never seen. Fast-forward to seeing the trailer for the 2017 reincarnation, and I’ve discovered a new comedy to get lost in.


Through a stroke of misfortunes, four teenagers find themselves in detention together. Spencer (Alex Wolffe) is the super smart nerd who agrees to do the homework of the popular football player, Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain). Unfortunately for both guys, they’re caught by the teacher. Then there’s Bethany (Madison Iseman), the pretty and popular girl who believes she’s nothing without a perfect Instagram filter. Finally, there is Martha (Morgan Turner), an anti-social girl who earns detention after talking back to her PE teacher. While stuck together, the one thing they have in common (curiosity!) gets them deeper into trouble. 

Opening an old video game, they wind up transported to a strange place they’ll learn is called Jumanji.

In this strange jungle where everyone seems to be robotic and programmed to give game-appropriate information, these kids find they’re not themselves. Spencer is now a muscled, combat skilled man called Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson); Fridge is now s small in stature shell of his former self called Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart); and Martha is an attractive woman who can defend herself with ease, she’s now Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). The final member of the quartet, it’s Bethany who’s change is most drastic. Instead of the sexy professor she assumed her avatar would give her, she is a middle aged man, Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black).

True of every film or story, Jumanji isn’t going to be a good fit for everyone. Jumanji was one of those films (as far too many are) that I planned to see in theaters because it looked as if it’d be a good time. As the conclusion always seems to be, I didn’t get around to seeing it on that big screen. Eventually the DVD arrived, and I settled in to watch it one Saturday night, expecting to be giggling for a couple of hours.


Funny is certainly one word that can be associated with this film. The humor is in the same vein as “slapstick,” but then this is kind of a necessity when you consider the characters. Each one is a teenager in an adult’s body. To use humor that didn’t border on silly wouldn’t have melded the story as effectively. One example of this is late in the film when two characters decide they want to be each other’s first kiss. The scene is incredibly awkward (in a laugh-out-loud kind of way), but it fits the actual mentality of the characters.

Not only are the character’s fun to experience this adventure beside, the cast who portrays them is fabulous. (Can we take a moment to appreciate Karen Gillan being in this cast list. I love seeing her in something outside of Doctor Who, where she is fantastic.) I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and find the role reversals interesting. The popular kids became incarnations that aren't anything like them. Then the nerdy kids became the opposite of their high school social standing. It’s a clever twist on the story, and a unique story cue to help in teaching the characters their valuable lesson.

Those of us who don’t mind the commonplace slapstick-like humor will discover a fun adventure awaits inside Jumanji.

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can purchase Jumanji on DVD and Bluray or you can rent/own on Amazon Video.

Content: Crude humor is the main reason for the film’s PG13 rating. There are several jokes about Bethany turning into a “man,” and the new challenges she faces as a result of this. Minor and commonplace profanity is used a few times, and there is some “adventure” violence or tense moments (threats like snakes crop up). 

8 comments

  1. Loved this movie! It's rare to find such an entertaining comedy which isn't cliché or too crass.

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    1. I agree. This one was so fun - in fact, I'm already ready for a re-watch. :)

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  2. I watched this movie in the cinemas a while back and really enjoyed, it was hilarious! Lovely Review :)

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    1. I agree, Kristin - SO funny. One I'll enjoy re-watching now and again. Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate this. :)

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  3. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. :)

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    1. Me too, Lauren - SO much fun. Plus, I really liked the cast together. :)

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  4. Really enjoyed this and wasn't expecting to either - Jack Black stole the show I thought but they were all good :D Can't believe you've not seen the original though, very different to this one but one of my all-time favourites!

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    1. The cast in this one really works well together I thought. I know, right? I feel like I should watch the original now! Who knows. Perhaps eventually I will. :)

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