Jumanji: Your Average Video Game?

Jumanji: Your Average Video Game?

Sydney Burns, Assistant Editor

Video games for some of us are a big part of our daily lives, but do we ever think about the world inside of them? The new film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle depicts a strange story of four teenagers who are trapped inside of a video game, forcing them to delve into the video game world. They have to complete all of the levels as the avatars, which are practical opposites of their actual selves, that they chose for the game. There is the brave Dr. Smolder Bravestone, the dance-fighter Ruby Roundhouse, the zoologist Moose Finbar, and finally the map-expert Professor Shelly Oberon. The main mission of these teenagers is to save Jumanji in order to return to their real world.

This film includes some common video game themes, but adds its own twist to the video games we see today. A common theme that is shown in this movie is the “hero” character of Dr. Bravestone, a figure that Jumanji relies on because of his valor. But overall, this movie is more unique than typical. For example, the strengths and weaknesses of the characters are peculiar yet humorous. A key downfall of Moose Finbar is notably his weakness for cake and a strength for Ruby Roundhouse is her skill of dance-fighting. Finally, the obstacles that the characters had to endure throughout the game surpassed anything that I had seen in a video game before. This includes a sea of venomous snakes, an army of jaguars, and a human-eating hippopotamus. The scenery, action, and multitude of character personalities combined together to create an enjoyable story.

Aside from the outlandish action, the fact that the game characters gave the teenagers a different perspective on life was a special aspect in this film. A teenage girl was given a chance to see a real and danger-filled world outside of her phone screen, all the while being trapped inside a man’s body. A young boy who didn’t consider himself brave was given a chance to be in the body of daring Dr. Bravestone. The opposite personalities of the avatars serves a meaningful purpose in the development of the teenagers as characters.

Overall, the tone of this film is light-hearted, even though I lost count of the number of jump-scares that hit the audience. The actors were perfectly cast to their roles, especially Jack Black as Professor Shelly Oberon because of his added comical flare. This film is action-packed, filled with laughable moments, and kept my eyes glued to the screen. It is an excellent fusion of the video game concepts we see today and a modern-story that no one has seen before.



Work Cited

Columbia Pictures. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. 2017. Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Digital Productions Inc., www.sonypictures.com/movies/jumanjiwelcometothejungle/. Accessed 28 Dec. 2017.