Terrible sequel of fan favorite worth the watch

Cameron Neiblum, Contributing Writer

As a highly-anticipated sequel to an extremely loved movie, “Jumanji: Welcome to  the Jungle” brought back the heartwarming action of “Jumanji” fans have been waiting for. Well, for most fans at least.

“It is exactly what it seems to be: an obesquious waste of time that feels like a relic from twenty years ago and will be forgotten almost immediately,” movie critic Walter Chaw said. “It’s not even worth this conversation.”

What Chaw does not take into account on this movie is the conversation, laughter and thoughtful attitude director Jake Kasdan’s movie spurred among young and old viewers alike.

Moviegoers who have a knack for action and a love for Robin Williams will recall the 1995 action and adventure family film, “Jumanji.” The classic film tells a fantasy story of a board game coming to life, bringing jungle animals and people out of the game into the real world. For years, fans have wondered when Hollywood would release a sequel as the ending of the original left fans hanging with thumping jungle music with the board game half-buried on a sandy beach.

Now, 23 years later, the wishes of “Jumanji” lovers have been fulfilled with “Jumanji: Into the Jungle,” released Dec. 22, 2017. It has sold more tickets since it came out than any other movie this season, according to a worker at the Movies at Meadville.

Prospective moviegoers wonder to what degree the new movie will compare to the original. Some students at Allegheny College commented on the movie, saying it looked “dumb” and that the comedy was “meant for children.” Others, however, said it was “hilarious” and well worth the wait from the original.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” was “actually really great,” and that movie lovers should “give it a try,” according to an employee from the Movies at Meadville, Katie Hillman.

For many, it came as a shock that the new movie was more of a comedy than an action film. This even made some original fans drop the movie from their radar.

“It kind of spoils the whole theme of the original,” Allegheny College alumna, Kris Troy ’16, said.

Though the new movie does fit more into the comedy genre than action and adventure, stampeding CGI rhinos, video-game influenced fight scenes and deadly helicopter catastrophes with jaw-dropping settings in Oahu, Hawaii, still add the elements of adventure original fans are looking for.

“Jumanji: Weclome to the Jungle” includes an element of something for everyone. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, playing Spencer, and Karen Gillan, playing Martha, have a budding comedic romance. The two classically attractive actors grasp the awkward, relatable and endearing tensions of a high schoolers experiencing their first love.

Later, Nick Jonas, playing Alex, draws in a more sentimental, sorrowful storyline to bring out a deeper side to Jack Black’s character, Bethany. Kevin Hart, playing Fridge, brings out the heart of the comedy by being the comedic relief between the romance, adventure and sentimental scenes of the movie — though all the characters certainly add in a good dose of humor in their own way.

One aspect of the movie that many viewers may not take into account after seeing the movie the first time, is the depth and symbolism. At one point, Jonas’ character says how afraid he is to go to the transport area since he only has one life left. This can be seen as a symbol for moving on in life. The same motif is brought up later, when Johnson and Hart’s characters share a moment discussing how important it is to always have courage and bravery since people only have one life, and it is best to live it to its fullest than to just play it safe to “stay alive.”

Undoubtedly, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is not a groundbreaking film, and to some it may even be a “terrible movie.” Putting judgments on the averageness of the film aside, the movie is truly hysterical and sweet, and will keep the audience planted firmly around the middle of their seats. The movie has a compelling and emotional impact on its viewers that have them leaving the theater feeling heart-lifted and satisfied. You only have one life  do not waste this moment. Get up and go see “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” in your local movie theater today.