The first wave of early reactions to Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle are in, and they are looking very positive. Following in the footsteps of one of the most beloved family films of all time was never going to be easy, but it looks like that star-studded cast – along with director Jake Kasdan and five credited writers - have pulled something highly enjoyable out of the bag with this belated sequel to the Robin Williams classic.
The movie approaches the Jumanji mythos from a fresh angle, using a very immersive video game (where the young players must inhabit the bodies of adult characters) instead of a board game. The film’s stars have been talking a big talk about the film, with Hart praising the comedy and The Rock describing his character as his “most bad-ass” role to date. Much has also been said about how Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle connects to the original film, with everyone involved hoping, presumably, that this relaunch can build on the goodwill of the 1990s original and cash in on that lucrative nostalgia market.
Strong reviews and positive word of mouth hype will go a long way to help this movie achieve its goals. And now that the social media embargo has lifted, the studio heads at Sony/Columbia will have their first reactionary data to go on. Judging by these first Twitter responses, there will be a lot of high-fives at the studio today:
Happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. It's fun and funny in equal measure, and makes smart use of its great stars. Not much of a universe-builder for a fantasy sequel, but definitely a reinvention that works. pic.twitter.com/2I0vPg4zt3
— Eric Eisenberg (@eeisenberg) November 27, 2017
Now that the social embargo for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is up, I will say that Jack Black's performance is perfection personified and deserves 12 Oscars. pic.twitter.com/4wu3Q4wYIB
— Rebecca Pahle (@RebeccaPahle) November 27, 2017
And YO I love @karengillan!
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) November 27, 2017
— Zachary Ryan (@ZachariusD) November 27, 2017
Just saw @jumanjimovie and it was action-packed n hilarious at the same time. Luvedddd it! Thanks for the big aloha @TheRock and #JackBlack!!! See y’all tmr at the junket ?????? pic.twitter.com/ukEF4RoNad
— Erin Lim (@erinlimofficial) November 27, 2017
Saw #Jumanji! It's light on nostalgia (besides a handful of Easter eggs), but a lot of fun. The body swap stuff is SO good. Could watch Jack Black play a teenage girl stuck in Jack Black's body, or @TheRock newly discover his muscles, forever. #WelcomeToTheJungle pic.twitter.com/yRIoQsWASV
— Mike Rougeau (@RogueCheddar) November 27, 2017
Was expecting the worst but have to admit the new #JUMANJI movie is a lot of fun. I’d even say it is one of the best “video game movies” ever made, maybe under only King of Kong, Scott Pilgrim, Edge of Tomorrow & Wreck It Ralph (none of which are adaptations).
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) November 27, 2017
Now that is a strong response. When the most divisive thing about a film is who to name as the standout performer, there mustn’t be much to complain about. The Rock gets a lot of mentions in those Tweets, but there is also a surprising amount of praise for Jack Black. Fans of the musician/funnyman’s unique comedic oeuvre will be pleased to hear that he’s back at his scene-stealing best here. Perhaps this could mark the start of a Jack Black renaissance.
Many might have thought that the body-swap element looked weak in the trailers, but it is clearly garnering a lot of laughs in the finished film. However, of course, only time will tell whether or not this sequel stands in the same Hollywood hall of fame as the original Jumanji. These reactions are a strong start, but if it wants to earn true classic status, audiences will need to support the film as well.
Keep it Screen Rant for all the latest Jumanji news.
Source: Various (See Tweets)
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) release date: Dec 20, 2017