The Flickering Myth team react…
The first trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle landed online yesterday [watch it here], but what did our writers think of it?
Shaun Munro: It doesn’t inspire much confidence that this is anything more than another soft reboot nobody really asked for. At least it looks like it might lean into the satirical potential of the character-swap premise and the nature of video games. The Rock will probably be fun, but I’m expecting mediocrity.
Tai Freligh: It actually looks quite entertaining. I like the premise and am curious to see what happens. I have enjoyed previous Rock/Hart outings and this one looks to be more of the same. I’m glad they didn’t straight up reboot the original because it stands on its own. I don’t know if there will be any cameos from the original or not (hello Laura Dern!), but it would be nice if the late great Robin Williams was somehow honoured in the movie.
Scott Watson: It looks like it’s going to be a big old brash and loud popcorn flick that the kids will love. From my perspective, I’m with Tai that Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hart are usually a solid pairing and I don’t really mind Jack Black being Jack Black again. The stereotypical high school personalities made me groan out loud right enough as did the pseudo atari 2600 Jumanji console. I remain to be convinced.
Tai Freligh: I forgot to mention that I got a wicked Breakfast Club vibe from the beginning of the trailer. As long as it’s not a big part of it, I’m willing to overlook it.
Ricky Church: Well that is… something I guess. Looks mildly entertaining and I do agree the satirical elements could play nicely in this. I did enjoy the reveal that Jack Black is actually a blonde high school girl in this. Not totally sold on the video game premise, but at least its not straight up copying the original and trying to do something new. Hart is a hit and miss for me, but I do like the Rock on most of his films and this pairing looks fun. Overall, I’m not expecting much and this trailer didn’t convince me why I should see it in theatres instead of waiting for Netflix.
Eric Bay-Andersen: Actually looks potentially fun – seeing Jack Black channeling a stuck-up teenage girl has comedic potential straight away! Generally against money-grubbing remakes, but at least they’ve done something different with this. Although, given that Jack Black gets eaten and (I assume) killed by a hippo, the stakes can’t be very high? Maybe since it’s set in a video game they each get a certain number of ‘lives’ – who knows.
Helen Murdoch: Looks like a great popcorn flick that will tick all the boxes. I absolutely love Jack Black and The Rock. Looks like they’ve gone for a slight spin to not tarnish the original which is good.
Ben Robins: Surprisingly on board with it. Fully expected to go into a hate-fueled meltdown after the first pictures, but I’m totally impressed by the tone and the video-game avatar switcheroo isn’t a bad idea either. Great to see Karen Gillan in another big movie too – bring it on!
Anghus Houvouras: So terrible. Once you see [it’s from] Sony, you have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting: something that will fight to achieve mediocrity. I already dedicated 1000+ words to the problem with Dwayne Johnson’s attempt to become a human franchise, but let me take a few more to tell you about this awful trailer. 1. BOARD GAMES ARE SO 1990s. It’s a new Jumanji, so get that shitty board game out of here and get with the electronics! It’s a video game, yo. Video games are what ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE INTO THESE DAYS. 2. A trailer that assumes you’re so stupid you won’t understand the characters become their avatars. They actually had A FLASHBACK IN THE TRAILER. If you need to include a flashback in your three minute trailer, you ‘re either bad at making trailers or you think your potential ticket buying audience is dumber than a box of dead parakeets. This is such a prime example of the debilitating illness that franchises and reboots have become to studios who have no idea what to do with them: take something familiar, like Jumanji. Update a concept that didn’t need updating: instead of the game coming into our world, the kids will go INTO THE GAME. Write a couple of big stars a nice check and hope for a nice return. I mean hell, it certainly worked for Ghostbusters. Seeing Sony before a film is no longer an announcement; it’s a god damned warning label.
So, surprisingly positive (Anghus aside). Despite a lukewarm reaction upon its annoucement and the first image inspiring zero confidence, the first trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has turned it around. We’ll see what happens when the film is released later this year.
In the brand new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the tables are turned as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji. When they discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of, they are immediately thrust into the game’s jungle setting, into the bodies of their avatars, played by Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji –Jumanji plays you. They’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in the game forever…
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is set for release on December 22nd 2017 and sees Jake Kasdan (Sex Tape) directing a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson (The Fate of the Furious), Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence), Jack Black (Goosebumps), Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Rhys Darby (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Nick Jonas (Scream Queens), Alex Wolff (The Sitter), Madison Iseman (Still the King), Morgan Turner (Remember Me) and Ser’Darius Blain (Star Trek Into Darkness).
(Article originally appeared on Flickering Myth)