Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - 4 Stars
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle brings the laughs, action, adventure and heart - a perfect combo for a great night out.
Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game's jungle setting becoming the adult avatars they chose.
A sequel to the 1995 film Jumanji the film quickly and simply establishes how the game evolved from a board game to a video game. The Freaky Friday twist where the young characters end up in the bodies of older people (avatars in the game) is fun and provides great laughs. Jack Black as a self-obsessed teenage girl is one of the highlights of this film. The whole adult cast is excellent essentially playing dual roles - Dwayne Johnson leads the team, but Karen Gillan gets the best action sequences. Kevin Hart has exceptional comedic timing, but villain Bobby Carnevale is under-developed. Nick Jonas is probably the weakest actor, but also gets the least screen time.
The action sequences look excellent, the plot holds up (for a sci-fi/action film) and the dialogue is well-written. The jokes are on-point and the characters develop over the course of the film.
Overall a surprisingly excellent adventure thriller with lots of laughs!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Sony Pictures