JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, A.K.A The Best Soft Reboot Ever

Kevin Hart, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black in ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’.

I like to keep somewhat of an open-mind when it comes to watching films. I said I like to, it doesn’t always happen that way. That being said, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing this movie. We are currently living in an age of remakes. Everything is being rebooted or getting unnecessary sequels. It has become such a trend that I saw an article last week that was literally titled “We Are Getting An Ace Ventura, Young Guns, and Major League Remake”. Three completely unrelated movies. Three movies that don’t need a remake (and we really don’t want one). One question springs to mind when I see that a movie is being remade: Why? As in why do we need it? Why is it necessary?

However, shortly before this movie hit the theaters, The Rock went public and said that this movie wasn’t a remake. It was a sequel. A sequel that revamped the franchise, otherwise known as a ‘soft reboot’ of the 1995 original with the incomparable Robin Williams.

Let me say one thing before I go any further. Despite how it sounded at the beginning of this article, I’m ok with reboots. I may crap on them sometimes, but there have been good remakes. One of my favorite reboots of a franchise are the Abrams ‘Star Trek’ movies. That doesn’t mean that it is necessary to reboot everything. That being said, I had a few concerns. For instance, I was worried that it wouldn’t honor the original. People like to say they don’t have to, but I think it’s almost necessary. You’re remaking an already existing franchise. Show a little respect. I also didn’t think they were going to honor Robin Williams, especially after watching how ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016) “honored” Harold Ramis. And one of my main concerns was that this was just going to be another Rock cash grab. Sorry. I had to say it. Don’t get me wrong, I like The Rock a lot. That doesn’t mean what I said is any less true.

Turns out I was mistaken.

‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ was honestly one of the best movies of 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would even go so far as to say it is in my top 5 of 2017. I loved the concept and the execution. The cast was amazing. I can go on and on.

The plot in a nutshell is that four students at a high school are sent to detention and are tasked with cleaning up a supply room. That is when they find an old, Atari-style video game called Jumanji. After choosing characters, they are sucked into the game and they take the form of those characters. They soon learn of the peril the game brings as they try to retrieve and replace a legendary jewel.

Before going any further I’m going to say 🚨 spoiler alert 🚨 for a quick spoiler. Nothing too major, but I thought I would just be courteous.

Nick Jonas’ character, after rescuing the group of teens, takes them too a fortress he’s been living in. He reveals to the teens and to the audience that this was the fortress of a man named Alan Parrish, a.k.a. Robin Williams’ character. It was a beautiful, subtle moment that was filled with a lot of heart that honored Robin and the previous movie.

Robin Williams as Alan Parrish in ‘Jumanji’.

I know, like I said before, it was a sequel, but it is still a soft reboot of a franchise and that being said, it’s the most original reboot ever made. It’s compelling, funny, and you care about the characters. I would highly recommend you go and show this movie some love.