Jumanji is genuinely funny. The best one-liners were not reserved for the trailer. They just keep on coming. Along with some slapstick, a perfect cast, some digs at society and non-stop action, this blockbuster is going to be worthy of the money it would have made anyway.
The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and a surprisingly sweet Nick Jonas are all perfectly cast. The mismatch between their teenage selves and the avatars they unknowingly choose in the game makes for most of the hilarity. Trapped inside The Rock’s muscular frame is a gangly, nerdy Jewish teenager. Watch out for the “oy vey” being casually dropped. Trapped inside Kevin Hart’s small stature is a brawny football player constantly looking for the top two feet of his body and the closest fight. Jack Black, however, steals the show. He nails it as dainty, blonde, self-obsessed teenage girl stuck in the body of a fat, middle-aged man. Learning to pee standing up is a sweet, yet hilarious, moment. (It has handles!)
Even though the film has lots of heart and tender moments between the characters, it is not schmaltzy. That is a big feat for a Hollywood blockbuster. On top of that, Jumanji comments – without getting preachy – on the phone-obsessed youth of today, being the arrogant cool kid in school, and even using your body to get what you want. (Bethany/Jack Black teaches the nerdy Martha to use her walk, hair and smile to distract boys. In the end, she uses her dance-fighting skills, instead.)
Jumanji is good, old-fashioned entertainment guaranteed to put you in a fantastic mood.