Fans of the original Jumanji became more than a little concerned when they learned the classic Robin Williams movie was getting a sequel. Now, we finally have an idea what the actual movie will look like. The first trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is here. and so far, it's got everything we would hope to get from a modernized version of the story. It's got humor, it's got action and it's got a fantastic cast. Check out the trailer below.
From early on, indications were that the new Jumanji was going to update things a bit, by making this version of the game that sucks you into it a video game rather than a board game. As such, we see four kids stuck in detention come across an old video game console, complete with wood paneling to give it that classic Atari 2600 look. The teenagers are pretty much classic stereotypes, the jock, the nerd, and the egotistical hot girl, but that's sort of the point, as their stereotypical video game avatars put each one into a very different character. We sort of guessed that was how it was going to go, but the execution we see here certainly works.
From the setup we see the characters trying to make their way through the jungle, thus the title. In the original Jumanji, it was all about bringing the world of the game out into the real world. However, here, we're actually seeing what the world of the game itself looks like. We now get an idea what Robin Williams character was going through the entire time he was stuck inside the board game. What's there, is stampeding rhinos, an ancient temple or two, massive cliffs, and, for some reason, roving motorcycle gangs that look like they belong in Mad _Max_.
In many cases, it seems like the best "video game movies" are those that take the concepts behind games, and use them to their advantage, as opposed to taking an actual game and trying to make a more cinematic story. That appears to be the plan behind Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The trailer makes a reference to the characters each having special skills and one can guess that these abilities will lead to each one having to do certain tasks. We also see Jack Black's character get attacked by a hippo and we're guessing that scene either ends with the avatar surviving, but with less health or with Black "dying" only to respawn thanks to an extra life.
Baywatch notwithstanding, the action-comedy is where The Rock tends to shine and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle looks like just his sort of movie. The rest of the cast is also top notch. While many might not be convinced that a follow-up to Jumanji was necessary, it looks like it might make for a fun time at the movies this Christmas.