Oh my. When it was first announced that there would be a remake of the classic Robin Williams film, Jumanji, skepticism immediately set in. This was especially the case after it was announced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be starring in it. Now, we love The Rock here at Cinema Smack but definitely not for his movies. While we were leery about what this remake would entail, we never thought that it’d be what Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is judging by the first trailer.
In the original movie based on the 1981 children’s book of the same name, two kids in 1969 play a mysterious board game where the consequences are real. Animals emerge from the game with every roll of the dice and cannot be put back where they belong until the game is finished. Alan Parrish is sucked into the game during one of his early rolls and the game is forgotten until it’s found by a brother and sister 26 years later. They continue the original game and join up with the original two players to finish what they started.
In this new film, four kids stuck in detention find a video game and get sucked into the television like something out of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (sorry…). From there, they turn into the characters they chose on the select screen and they’re trapped in the jungle. Along with The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan star. Just reading those first three names together feels like overkill.
The problem with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, other than its name, of course, is that it misses out on seemingly everything that made the original film entertaining. Sure, Robin Williams was often funny but people sometimes forget that he could legitimately act. The story was full of adventure, humor, drama, and even terror at times. The characters never knew what would happen with each roll of the dice and there was a level of strategy involved in regards to them finishing the game. Dropping four people in a jungle with no real agenda just seems dull.
If, for whatever reason, you’d like to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, it will be released on December 20th. Check out the god-awful trailer and comment below.