To answer my own question – money.
The original Jumanji film came out in 1995 and starred the comedic genius of Robin Williams. Jumanji was set in both 1969 and 1995 as the main protagonist, Alan Parrish, began playing a board game he found named Jumanji. Alan was sucked into the game for 26 years, later freed by two new young players who found the game in 1995. The film has everything from adventure and love, to adult responsibilities and parenting. The fantasy adventure film transports audiences to a world when imagination comes to light. It’s amazing!
Fast forward to 2017 and we are introduced to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a sequel to the original film. My first reaction to the trailer was – What? NO! How could they add to one of my favorite childhood films? Blasphemy. The film is set to be released in December 2017 by Sony Pictures. This new Jumanji film is starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. The film is bound to be hilarious with this bunch but why must it come at the expense of such a classic?
The new film is set around four high schoolers who are sent to detention for misbehaving. While they are serving their sentence they discover a vintage video game console with a game inside, called Jumanji (of course – giving the outdated board game a modern twist). Once each kid decides on a player within the game the entire bunch gets sucked in. Chaos ensues from then on, which according to the trailer looks funny but lacks the emotion (and acting) of the original film.
Bradley Pierce, who played the role of Peter Shepherd in the original Jumanji stated that he thought the remake was “unnecessary and kind of insulting.” When the news of the film broke out it got many negative reactions as it was announced what many thought was too soon after Robin Williams’ death.
Despite the negative internet chatter, the film is set to have a very high opening weekend box office, attracting new audiences as well as the original Jumanji’s fan base (whether for the laughs or for the comparison). The differences between the versions goes much deeper than the cast, but to the core of the film’s underlying themes and all the way to the superficial level of the female character’s attractive figures that are all too shown off.
As a film-lover, and one that likes the classics as well as the garbage, I’ll admit, this is a film I will probably watch, but more for the fact that it is going to be funny. For me, it has nothing to do with Jumanji of my childhood, it merely shares a name and a mild similarity of characters sucked into a game.