Writer: Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor, Jim Strain (Screenplay) Chris Van Allsburg (Book)
Starring: Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, Bebe Neuwirth
Plot: When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.
Tagline – Roll the dice and unleash the excitement!
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Family Adventure
Story: Jumanji starts when a bullied young Alan Parrish finds a mysterious game called Jumanji he joins Sarah to play the game, he gets sucked into the game where he must wait for someone to rolls a 5 or 8 to release him.
26 years later orphaned children Judy (Dunst) and Peter (Pierce) move into the same house with their Aunt Nora (Neuwirth), the two discover the game and start playing, releasing Alan (Williams) from the game. Realizing there is only one way to fix the problems they have created, they must finish the game and bring Sarah (Hunt) back from her once nightmare.
Thoughts on Jumanji
Characters – Alan Parrish was a bullied school boy, trapped in the jungle for 26 years, he returns to him home town to finish the game he started. He is the best line of defence against everything that comes out of the game. He does have daddy issues because of how his father felt distant to him, he will learn to be the father figure he wants as the film continues. Sarah was the friend that joined Alan in the game, she has spent years in therapy to learn that it wasn’t real, forced to face the truth and play the game. Judy and Peter are the orphans forced to move town that just so happen to move into the old Parrish house, they have different ways to deal with the grief of losing their parents.
Performances – Robin Williams was the star of this movie, he was at his peak of family films and gets to have plenty of fun in this role as a character that never grew up. Bonnie Hunt is good as the traumatised character facing her fears. Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce do a good job in the children roles
Story – The story follows one young man that gets sucked into a board game only to be released as an adult, which will see him need to guide the rest of the players to finish the game. The story plays out like you need an adventure movie, as each enemy becomes deadlier for players and has a large variety of different potential effects. It is easy to follow and does touch on personal problems the characters have, Alan with his father problems, Sarah dealing with what she saw and the children dealing with the grief of losing their own parents.
Action/Adventure/Family – The action we see fits in hand in hand with adventure side of the movie as we have chase sequences and battles against the enemies. This does play into the family themes well too which is to see an unlikely family dynamic working together after their own personal problems.
Settings – The film takes place in New England town, it works for the film because of how the random creatures coming out of the game would never be seen there.
Special Effects – The effects are the weakest part of the movie because most of them have dated in a bad way.
Final Thoughts – This is a great fun movie that will keep you entertained from start to finish, it is one that is a must for the fans of the genre and Robin Williams.
Overall: Watch and enjoy with the family.