2.5/5

Filling the shoes of Robin Williams’ 1995 Jumanji was never going to be an easy task, despite the fact that the audience for 2017/18’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sequel would be a completely different generation. So, for that reason, we’re going to be kind to the sequel based on the fact that the original Jumanji can never be beaten anyway.

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Karen Gillian, The Rock, Jack Black and Kevin Hart star in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and, at first, it seems an odd combination of actors. After all, you would not expect The Rock to have a romantic interest in a film with Karen Gillian, the Scott who starred alongside Matt Smith’s eleventh Doctor in BBC’s Doctor Who. But it happened. And, in the end, it was fine. Gillian and The Rock star as Ruby Roundhouse and Dr Bravestone respectively, acting as video game characters, but also as high school teenagers who accidentally got themselves sucked into the video game adaptation of Jumanji, the terrifying board game which was the subject of the 1995 hit.

The idea of a video game was pretty good and it distanced this Jumanji from the original one, making it easier for an audience still captivated by Robin Williams’ portrayal of Alan Parish to stomach and a new audience who’ve no idea about Williams to identify with the game. As one of the first lines of the film asks, “Who even plays board games?”

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Robin Williams as Alan Parish

Overall, the re-make was successful. The film hasn’t flopped at the box office, and it wasn’t a pain to get through. But the characters were. They were obvious and stereotypical. Of the two female teens, one was self-obsessed and one was given the video game character of ‘man killer’ to represent the fact she wasn’t self-obsessed and hated physical exercise. Of the two black characters, one was overtly sassy and one was in trouble at school. Not one of them had anything on Alan Parish or Sarah Whittle (played by Bonnie Hunt).

All we’re saying is, a bit of depth in this Jumanji wouldn’t have gone amiss.