JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

By Lara Owolabi

Ok, so: Jumanji 2.

Yes, I know: 2!

You’re probably thinking, why? After 22 years (yes, it’s been that long) why did they make a second film? Of course, for those that loved Jumanji, on the other hand, they would have been elated when the trailers for this film started popping up everywhere. I couldn’t wait to see it either!

Over the Christmas holiday, I decided to watch the film, after a long-awaited period of anxiousness to see what it was about. Firstly, it was amazing! Hilarious and on the edge of my seat amazing; especially since it had Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson in it. The duo brought great things to the film with the aid of Jack Black and Karin Gillan who, in return, smashed it.

Before I jump into the deep end, I should probably let you know that there are a ton of spoilers I’m about to dish out, so now would be the time to stop if you can’t handle it.

The beginning of the film starts with a scene of a teenage boy playing a video game in 1996, and his friend finds Jumanji and brings it over to his house (who plays board games anymore?) The teenage boy ignores the board game until he is woken up by a thumping sound (we all know the famous Jumanji calling) – the board game is now suddenly a video game! Who said old things can’t evolve? As expected in the movie, the teenager is sucked into the game, before time passes and we are brought to 2016.

20 years later, the teenager’s house is known as the ‘freak house’. This is obviously related to the fact that the guy suddenly disappeared, and his parents must have freaked the f*ck out; I would too if it was my kid.

We encounter four teenagers, a group who get themselves into different, unfavourable situations are sent to detention where they must pick all the staples out of old magazines in an old and dusty classroom. Before we know it, they have found the Jumanji video game neglected on a shelf in the corner and decide to bring it out and plug it into a game console. This is where the real fun begins!

They each pick characters before the two girls and two guys are sucked into the game, and embody the characters they picked while in the real world. Like any other video game, each character has a set of strengths and weaknesses: for example, one of the character’s weaknesses is cake. The audience and the players are told the back story of Jumanji – yes, this is the same jungle that little Alan (Robin Williams) got sucked into in the first film – and, to put it simply, the jewel of the jungle has been stolen by bad guys, and it is up to the characters to return the jewel and save the jungle!

On the hunt for the jewel, however, it is soon discovered that there are five different levels with each one being harder than the last. As the team fights through each level, it is soon realised that they each have only three lives and, if they lose all three, they die in the game and therefore in real life.

The film captures the essence of what it means to discover oneself, and also bond with people you may think you have nothing in common with. Even though the challenges are scary and life-threatening, it really brings the group together: two of them fall in love, and the popular girl learns to be more grounded, and even sacrifices herself by giving up one of her life-lines.

Since I’ve already given many spoilers I won’t ruin the end of the film for you, but it is definitely worth the watch and will make you laugh, and maybe even shed a little tear.

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JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE