Welcome back, cinematic adventure seekers! For this session of the Face-Off we will be celebrating the release of superstar Dwayne Johnson’s new movie, RAMPAGE
, by looking at his biggest domestic hit, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. It’s only befitting we do what many have already done and compare it with the original film, so this week we have two jungle-themed adventures going head-to-head, both filled with stampeding rhinos, vicious jungle cats, and disease spreading mosquitos. Get your explorer gear on, because it’s JUMANJI
vs. JUMANJI WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
The original film from 1995 is a children’s classic that found dangerous creatures and jungle stuff emerging out of a board game. Robin Williams led the hit film that’s looked at fondly by 90s kids and anyone with a fondness for CGI monkies. The sequel, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, reverses the formula and brings it into the modern age by bringing four characters into the world of Jumanji, leading to very silly and exciting situations with plenty of one-liners and learned lessons.
Be prepared to venture into this Face-Off, because like Jumanji, once you begin, there’s no going back until you’ve finished the whole thing! Muahahaha!
Bonnie Hunt as Sarah Whittle
Kirsten Dunst as Judy Shepard
Bradley Pierce as Peter Shepard
David Alan Grier as Carl Bentley
Jonathan Hyde as Van Pelt/Sam Parrish
Bebe Neuwirth as Nora Shepard
Patricia Clarkson as Carol Parrish
Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse/Martha
Kevin Hart as Frankline “Mouse” Finbar/Fridge
Jack Black as Dr. Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon/Bethany
Bobby Canavale as Professor Russel Van Pelt
Rhys Darby as Nigel Billingsley
Alex Wolff as Spencer Gilpin
Madison Iseman as Bethany Walker
Ser’Darius Blain as Anthony “Fridge” Johnson
Morgan Turner as Martha Kaply
Nick Jonas as Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonaugh/Alex
and Colin Hanks as Older Alex
A young boy, Alan Parrish, is having a no good very bad day when all of a sudden he discovers a mysterious board game when it calls to him from the dirt. After beginning to play he gets sucked into the game and remains in a dangerous, wet jungle for almost three decades. He’s then brought back to the real world when new players pick up the game, and they all must keep playing so as to set the world right, and send the jungle back from whence it came.
Okay, like a lot of kids movies, the script is not a reason to watch this movie. Character development and logical motivations are about as one dimensional as you can get. For example, the main reason Judy and Peter keep playing the game is so that everything can go back to normal so their Aunt Nora doesn’t get mad. But what needs going back to normal at this point? The dirty kitchen? The monkeys and mosquitos are already gone! Just throw the food away and run a rag over stuff. Though we get some great moments with Robin Williams’ Alan, once the action gets going everyone simply walks through one set of emotions, with bonds being formed suddenly at the end. Williams gets the good lines, which is good because he and effects are the only real reason to make this movie afloat.
The mysterious and deadly game of Jumanji has been discovered once again, and after morphing itself into a video game, it claims another soul. Years later, several kids in a BREAKFAST CLUB-esque scenario find the game while in detention (How did it get there? Who knows). They soon find themselves sucked into the game and playing as the avatars they choose. If they are to leave Jumanji they have to traverse the jungle and defeat the game, and in the process learn something about themselves. Friendship!
The sequel finds a fresh and clever way of bringing the series into the modern day, this time by actually putting the characters inside the game with a body-switching twist. Though the mission is pretty cut-and-dry, this setup gives the character’s better incentive to work their way through the game, and one that fits into the more fantastical premise. The characters each have distinctive personalities, which clash even more when they’re thrust into bodies and roles they would never assume in the real world. Thus, their journey is vastly more entertaining than a by-the-numbers action flick, and the scenario allows for the characters to discover sides they never knew they had. The character of Fridge doesn’t get the same level of development as the others, and Hart’s presence as the over-the-top funnyman remains unchanged throughout. But, the movie cranks out jokes like the jungle does mosquitos, and it keeps the movie lively and engaging, even if things end on a predictable note.
Burying the Game
Shoe Factory Accident
Alan Parrish and the Bullies
Finding the Game
Playing the Game
Alan: “Jumanji: a game for those who seek to find / a way to leave their world behind.”
Finding the Game…Again
Lion in the Attic
Judy: “What happened to you, you shave with a piece of glass?”
Alan: “What happened to you, the Clampetts have a yard sale?”
Alan: “You think that mosquitos, monkeys, and lions are bad? That is just the beginning. I’ve seen things you’ve only seen in your nightmares. Things you can’t even imagine. Things you can’t even see. There are things that hunt you in the night. Then something screams. Then you hear them eating, and you hope to God that you’re not dessert. Afraid? You don’t even know what afraid is. You would not last five minutes without me.”
Playing the Game, Again
The Hunter Van Pelt
Discount Store Chaos
The Vines Grab a Cop Car
Alan: “What, are you crying? You don’t cry, all right? You keep your chin up. Come on, keep your chin up. Crying never helped anybody do anything, okay? You have a problem, you face it like a man.”
Sarah: “Well, a little rain never hurt anybody.”
Alan: “Yeah, but a lot can kill you!”
Alan: “Stop giving me things that come apart!”
One Last Roll
Back to the Past
A New Future
The Game Lives On
New and Improved Jumanji
Meet the New Crew
Detention All Around!
Spencer: “Jumanji: a game for those who seek to find / a way to leave their world behind.”
Sucked Into the Game!
Ruby: “Why am I wearing half a shirt and short shorts in the jungle?
Oberon: “No! I’m an overwieght, middle-aged man!”
Finbar: “I got a backpack on! You don’t get in water with a backpack, everybody knows that.”
Oberon: “I, like, can’t even with this place.”
Nigel Billingsley – NPC
The Cut Scene
Roundhouse’s Epic Kick
Bravestone: “Get on my back!”
Finbar: “I would rather die!
Bravestone: “You have to get on my back!”
Finar: “Nope, I’m gonna die!
The Life System
Oberon: “Martha, come look at my penis!”
Spencer/Bravestone vs. Fridge/Finbar
Bravestone Lays the Smackdown
Finbar: “Am I still black?”
Dr. Bravestone Unleashed
Meet Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonaugh/Alex
Alan Parrish’s House
90’s Kid Alex
Martha Embraces Her Skill Set
Finbar: “You do NOT want to know what’s under those rhinos! I saw things I can never unsee, things that touched me!”
The Final Level
Bravestone Gets Brave/Squirrel Fail
Van Pelt’s Ambush
Finbar: “Zoology, bitch!”
The Gem is Returned
Alex’s New Life
Destroying the Game
- Rotten Tomatoes: 53% (Audience Score: 63%)
- IMDB: 6.9
- Metacritic: 39 (User Score: 7.7)
- $100 million domestic ($262 million global)