The story of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle picks up just a year after the original board game story. This time, it has become a video game and instead of the Jungle destroying the real world, the game sucks in four teenagers – a nerd, a jock, a diva, and an introvert – who work as a team to finish the game. They will have to survive the increasingly difficult levels to get out alive. During their course, they come to realise their true selves making this action comedy a little bit coming of age story too.
When you get Dwayne Johnson paired with Kevin Hart, you will always get a good entertainer. We learned that from Central Intelligence in 2016. This time, the addition of Jack Black has only added to the fun quotient. All four leads, though looking their age and their character in the game, get the awkwardness of the teen ages right. Black’s portrayal of an Instagramming diva, complete with the flip of hair, learning how to handle being a middle-aged man, gets the most laughs.
Sure the jokes are obvious, sure we know The Rock is going to save them all, sure they all will realise who they are in a run-of-the-mill way – for example the nerd will know that there is no fun being a jock, the jock will come to know nerd is actually his best friend, diva learns compassion and introvert gets confident. The pace of the story goes win a level-have a realisation-win the next level-another realisation coming right up! It’s cliches galore. But the easy writing by Chris McKenna of Spider-Man: Homecoming holds your attention through and through.