A fresh adventurous sequel

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By 2017-12-31

By Nirupa Mohan
Ceylon Today Features

The much awaited standalone sequel to 1995's Jumanji, released recently. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, with the tagline "The game has evolved", is a fresh new film that has clearly taken a leap forward, transforming the board game themed film into a real life video game.

With movies like Jumanji, it's hard to make a sequel because trying to live up to viewer expectations can be a challenge. But with this film, Director Jake Kasdan, together with producers Dwayne Johnson, Mike Weber, Ted Field, Matt Tolmach, William Teitler and Matthew Tolmach, in collaboration with production companies Columbia Pictures, Seven Bucks Productions, Radar Pictures and Matt Tolmach Productions, clearly delivered.

The film takes the audience back to the world of Jumanji, filled with harsh terrain, recreated as a fresh gameplay environment and starring four very different individuals. These young stars play likeable characters with their own strengths and weaknesses in live motion picture themed game play with the characters having to complete different levels.

The fantasy, comedy, action film is based on Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg, "A game for those who seek to find, a way to leave their world behind, Jumanji". This time it features a story by Chris McKenna. The film is set in 1996 a year after the first film's year of release (1995), this time in Bradford, New Hampshire. Alex plugs in the console and starts up the a game with a Jumanji video game cartridge, and then the film cuts into present day, twenty years later, with four very different, high school student's ending up together in detention.

The story revolves around the four students, finding the old video game console, plugging it in, and as the game begins, they get pulled into the game. Trapped inside the game, in the world of Jumanji, as the characters they choose they must now play and complete the game or die trying. The game turns into a mission of survival and teamwork, if they want to return home. The game is filled with challenges at every step, becomes an adventure filled with dangerous obstacles at every turn, and is backed by good humour, rugged environments, and the need for swift and sturdy moves to overcome the rough dangers that surround them, if they want to progress.

Made with a budget which is expected to have been between 90 to 110 million dollars, the film earned just over 121.5 million at the worldwide box office, backed by positive reviews with 7.2/10 featured on IMDb, 3/4 on Roger Ebert and 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film stars Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Jack Black as Professor Shelly Oberon, Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, Kevin Hart as Moose Finbar and Nick Jonas as Alex, a cast that worked well together, adding their own individual character traits to their character roles. This is a movie that brings the video game plot to life, delivered with depth, while being a fun film for those who are young at heart, to enjoy a new adventure film.

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