Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ★★★

Entertaining, but it felt like a cheap DTV sequel.

Now don't get me wrong, it definitely has the production values to outshine the first one, but the 1996 movie scored with all kinds of crazy spectacle, that got your blood pumping, although the FX were already by the standards of over 20 years ago pretty bad. Rhino stampedes through living rooms! Quicksand floors! Kid-to-monkey metamorphosis! Puppy-sized spider attacks! In this one, we spend way too much time watching the protagonists argue VERY LOUD about the topic of the minute, before they most of the time are chased by faceless stuntmen on motorcycles.

Now like I said, it's entertaining. Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillan (and Jonas) have great chemistry together and their characters have some nice, although very basic (Believe in yourself, don't be so selfish, etc), arcs.

The way the script needs to explain the most basic video game basics, is pretty cringeworthy (Did they put it in for the parents and grandparents who had to accompany the kids?) and the villain is again one of those, who look cool and have an interesting gimmick, but never do anything threatening.

Jake Kasdan has a surprisingly sure hand for FX and action scenes, but I guess it helped that he took his sweet time to make his jump to tentpole director, instead of jumping right into it on the heels of his breakthrough with ORANGE COUNTY.

Well, what I'm trying to say here is: It's much better than we all expected a video game themed 20-years-later sequel to a less than perfect 90s favourite to be, but it's not a homerun or even on the same level as the original and ZATHURA.
#082 in 2018