When siblings Judy and Peter discover an enchanted board game that opens the door to a magical world, they unwittingly invite Alan -- an adult who's been trapped inside the game for 26 years -- into their living room. Alan's only hope for freedom is to finish the game, which proves risky as all three find themselves running from giant rhinoceroses, evil monkeys and other terrifying creatures.
Throw the dice and take a turn, Jumanji made the critics gurn.
Jumanji is directed by Joe Johnston and based on Chris Van Allsburg's short story of the same name. It stars Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce and Jonathan Hyde. The story is about a weird board game that when played unleashes hazards from the jungle with every throw of the dice. Once you have started playing you have to finish the game for normality to be resumed.
Simple in plot and coming off as an excuse to show off some impressive effects -said the critics - Jumanji defied the critics of the time to become a box office winner and a family favourite. Enough of a favourite to spawn a sequel (Zathura 2005), an animated TV series and a board game. In truth the film is reliant on the effects to entertain, with the cast (all competent and enjoyable) merely lurching from one perilous throw of the dice to another. But to call the film shallow is wrong and ignorant. There's flecks of bad parenting, peer pressure, grief and bullying, while the impact of a missing child on one town is a noteworthy addition to the story line. You wonder if those critics actually paid attention during their free viewings?
Yes it's berserker family fun, but it's not without worth in the writing either. Besides which, for the action set pieces and the laughs, they alone mean the film has its merits. 7/10
TriStar Pictures, Interscope Communications, Teitler Film, Sony Pictures by Joe Johnston, Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor, Jim Strain, Chris Van Allsburg.
Stars: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Hyde.
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Keywords: giant insect board game jungle disappearance recluse stampede based on young adult novel
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