Who would have thought that the sequel to a much-loved classic would, in my opinion, turn into such a stand-alone powerhouse!?!
Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle, does just that.
Not only is it a virtual non-stop ride of hilarity and laugh-out-loud moments, and it is, but the chemistry among the adult cast members is practically flawless and lends to the easy banter and overflowing, genius, COMEDIC DIALOGUE which just SHINES. Every look, every gesture, every note from The Rock, Kevin Hart and Jack Black are perfection in that at no time do you doubt they are who they are supposed to be. Karen Gillan is adorable and gorgeous at the same time. The obvious fun they are having, despite what I imagine to be uncomfortable filming locales, is palpable, and as an audience member, _if you allow yourself to be_, you WILL be swept up and transported by it.
So, why ANY low ratings?
While the first Jumanji was 'fun', underneath the fun, there were dark layers. There is none of that here and perhaps, this is where some of the disconnect from its detractors comes from. Unlike the original Jumanji, Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle is a fun, and funny, film throughout.
In closing, quite to the contrary of what a couple of reviewers are saying about Robin Williams, such as: 'he'd be rolling over in his grave (over this movie)', Robin Williams was one of those rare and amazingly special individuals who found joy and humor in most everything, and who chose to share that with those of us who are lucky enough to be witness to some of the favorites he left behind. Personally, I find it in very bad taste and verging on offensive, that those who seem to not share the capacity to laugh or live the way he did, or the ability to laugh with the rest of us, and who lack the gift of both being able to give or receive the very humor which exuded from Mr. Williams, would dare say he would be doing anything other than laughing riotously while munching on some popcorn and watching this film.
Thank you, Robin Williams, for the precursor which was so fantastic, it brought about an equally wonderful sequel.
You are missed.