Old glories never die, or so they say about the classics. It's been 22 years since Robin Williams delighted us with one of his best performances, time seems to have had no effect on that great work. Hollywood however seemed to be somewhat restless with one of its most popular brands, and could not pass up the opportunity to recover it by perpetrating a new reboot in commercial interests. "Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle" is the most explicit result to date of an effective blockbuster to fill a gap in the premiere calendar. Sony Pictures launches into the pool of dollars with a Dwayne Johnson more Dwayne Johnson than ever, and an obvious absence of any glimpse or reference to the original 1995 film.
Directed by Jake Kasdan, "Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle" retrieves the original game board that Williams went through, to narrate a modern version of the story in which technology plays the leading role. On this occasion the protagonists will not be immersed in a demonized board, but will be trapped in a video game. A group of young people will meet in the punishment room after school time, and they will happen by chance with a NES and the same game in which two decades before another boy named Alex has already been trapped. When selecting the characters, the group of boys will enter the virtual world of Jumanji characterized according to their choices, and they will be given the mission of saving that reality in order to return home. Watch it online to see how it ends.
What can be said about a film that concentrates Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black in the same space. Although "Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle" could have been considered as a deconstruction of the genre, it surprises from a much more classic and conservative approach. Disregarding everything that made the original film famous, Kasdan decides to go bluntly towards the most childish public with a plot without any depth, full of jokes and hilarious moments, and bearer of the clear mission of entertaining without the slightest intellectual effort. In that sense although the story manages to maintain a constant and pleasant pace that is benefited by the interpretation of the protagonists, it does not stop looking like a roller coaster on a Sunday day.
The script here does not try to appear to be something it is not. Dwayne Johnson likes the public and likes constantly, maybe too much. The Rock is tougher than ever and the truth is that it works within the range of effectiveness it has already shown in the past. This however generates an imbalance with respect to the rest of the actions that are certainly blurred by the presence of the star. Special mention deserves Nick Jonas, whose poor presence in the film is only explained from the commercial point of view. As for the rest, both Karen Gillan as a beautiful girl, as Kevin Hart in the role of sidekick, demonstrate the full potential of his stereotyped conscious characters.
"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" smells like blockbuster (from the bad side) on all four sides. The story does not surprise or pretend, with a villain of the most predictable and Manichaean, and a general structure of the most classical. The film recalls those proposals of the early 2000s as "Tomb Raider" or "Night at the museum", which proved effective at the box office, but they did not go beyond being simple candies of their years. For the most that will be remembered to this reboot will be precisely its connection with the original film, with which it shares only name and a prelude around the game.
If you are a fan of the 1995 film, and you expect to see some of the magic of your childhood, this movie is not for you, but if you want to have some innocent fun, then watch it now.