Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle begins in 1996, just one year after Alan Parrish’s adventures, when Alex’s dad finds the Jumanji board game on the beach. Alex isn’t interested in the game so it transforms itself into the height of game popular – a video game. He plays it and mysteriously disappears. Flash forward to present day, we meet a group of high school teens who discover the video game while in detention together. They attempt to play it, but instead end up getting sucked into Jumanji. Together they must work to defeat the villainous Van Pelt to win the game and go home.
You can watch my full review of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, below:
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black, this cast is star studded! The actors really rise to the challenge as they play against type with Johnson as the shy and nerdy Spencer, Hart as the 6 foot something basketball player Fridge, Gillan as the insecure Martha, and Black as the beautiful, popular, and self absorbed Bethany.
When we first learned Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle was coming to fruition I will admit I was a bit skeptical. Was it a remake? How could they dare compete with Robin Williams? I’m pleased to say that the film plays more like a sequel and is a beautiful tribute to the original film. The most obvious reference to the first Jumanji is when we learn that Alex (Nick Jonas) has survived in Jumanji for so long on his own by staying in treehouse Alan Parrish built himself. He has even tagged it with “Alan Parrish was here.” But if you look deeper, there are way more call outs to the original Jumanji than just that one moment! In fact, from elephant-related Easter eggs to our aptly named villain Van Pelt, I would even go so far as to say they were insinuating that Alan Parrish was symbolically guiding them through the jungle safety.