With Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle seamlessly blending real action and CGI, it turns out one of the movie's biggest stunts wasn't created through the use of special effects.
It may have been 22 years after the action-packed original, but that didn't stop director Jake Kasdan pulling out all the stops to pump some A-list talent and adrenaline into the world of Jumanji. Dwayne Johnson was the de facto lead with all his Hollywood might, and while the 45-year-old didn't quite do a Tom Cruise to perform his own stunts, one brave artist was sent hurtling into the air in one of the movie's most daring action sequences.
The climax of the movie saw our four heroes in their avatar form heading to the giant jaguar statue to place the Jaguar's Eye gem inside it. As the forces of Bobby Cannavale's Van Pelt descend on the players, Johnson's Dr. Smolder Bravestone drove a motorcycle off the statue and performed an epic flip to land on the jaguar's head. Well, according to second unit director Jack Gill on the special features commentary for Welcome to the Jungle's Blu-ray release (via Cinema Blend), it was all real:
"Now this is something we've never done before. It's something that's taken a lot of rigging a lot of time to try and figure out where all the angles are going to go, but it's going to be fabulous because it's all real. We're going to have him jump a real motorcycle off the end of the statue, swing around the nose and land on the top, it's all one shot."
Admittedly, it was done on a much smaller scale, with wires and a green screen, but it was still done in a smooth single take. In fact, the only CGI used was to remove the wires that held the stuntman in place.
While movies like Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Justice League have been criticised for their almost lazy use of lackluster CGI, Welcome to the Jungle used it sparingly when it could've easily overdone it. With most of the movie being inspired by the culture of video games, it would've been easy to digitally recreate most of the big scenes without it looking too out of place. However, wanting to go for that Mission: Impossible feel, Kasdan seemed set on making Welcome to the Jungle as realistic as possible - just maybe not the giant attacking hippos or tame jaguars.
Along with some fresh ideas in this wave of reboot movies, the realism of Welcome to the Jungle is one of the many reasons it has fared so well with fans. The 1995 movie went on to be a cult classic, and instead of desecrating the nostalgic memory of Jumanji or Robin William's iconic role, Kasdan enhanced the legacy. Assuming that Johnson and co. return for the third movie, who knows, maybe the Rock will get to do his own stunts the next time around.
Source: Cinema Blend