10 Things I Like and Don't Like (and some in between) About Jumanji (spoilers!)

January 04, 2018

FYI: I've never watched the original, so excuse me if I don't know anything. Which is true, most of the time (if not all).

I like Zach Lowe, so I'm gonna steal this formatting. A little backstory: I really didn't want to watch this movie, so of course I was forced to (luckily). Let's give a rundown of my experience:

1. Jack Black

Jack Black is my star of this movie, no doubt about it. I don't think I've laughed this hard at movie in quite a while. He does a hilarious white valley girl impression, which coming from the frame of Jack Black is just incredible. The flirting scene is incredible - I should really take lessons from him, even though I'm a guy. Yeah, maybe that wouldn't really work all that well.

2. Kevin Hart

As great as Jack Black is in Jumanji, Kevin Hart is just as awful. Like, you don't understand, usually I dig his schtick but this was just straight up intolerable. Instead of giving a rendition of Fridge in a 5 foot 6 body, he instead gives a half-assed miserable Kevin Hart performance. He did nothing but come off as annoying (more annoying than the annoying white girl), and not at all funny. Maybe I'm just tired of his inane, discount Chris Tucker screaming - hopefully he got some talent by osmosis from Jack Black. The picture above kinda represents my overall opinion of him.

I guess him being drunk was kind of interesting. I feel like he's the type of dude to get fucked up every time he drinks and pisses everyone else off. You know what, I probably actually don't like him.

3. The Game Characters

I kinda wish the role of the characters made a little more sense. Like, whoever is the cartographer would have the most boring ass time of his life playing this video game. Like holy shit, your only job is to read a map? Or, as a zoologer, your only purpose is like 10 minutes of the entire movie to play with a snake and some elephants. Goddamn, whoever gets to be Dwayne Johnson is one lucky fucker.

Also, how would the game work? Would it be split screen? Would it be top down? Not very important, just curious. I know my college class about movies with games is gonna have a field day with this movie.

4. The Rock

He's like, high key the usual Dwayne Johnson in a movie. Don't know how else to put it. Perfect, buff dude who has some stupid problem like being scared of squirrels. Eh. Like, he's just kind of a bland character in general, with a knack for giving cheesy ass lines. Not much you can do about it.

5. Climb When You See the Elephant

That scene was dope. Ruby exploiting the game by suiciding and getting the gem to the top of the mountain? Genius and very ballsy. I wish my video games let you do stuff like that. Although I gotta say, the CGI was god awful for when Bravestone was driving up the mountain.

6. The Pilot

If Jumanji was a real video game, whoever plays the pilot is gonna have a miserable time. While all his friends are split screening and messing around together, he has to waddle around by himself for a long ass time. Nice way to get left out.

Also, I feel like the margarita scene was like totally useless. Like, I get they had to do obligatory team bonding or something like that, but I feel like they could have done it a lot more succinctly, and cut a couple minutes off the movie. Maybe I'm just a hater - that could be true too.

7. Ruby Roundhouse

Really liked her character. Dance fighting seems like something really awesome I'd want to have. And having a snake as your vulnerability is something I feel like everybody should have, so I don't think you're really losing anything.

More seriously though, I really dig her characterization. The vast majority of movies always do something like the awkward guy gets the hot popular girl (see: Spiderman) or awkward girl gets hot guy, so this movie was really refreshing. Watching her try and flirt with the guards was absolutely incredible, with the "sexy" walk: I'm still smirking thinking about it.

8. The Bowling Ball

When they break the game using the bowling ball, does that mean there won't be any more sequels? Although, with the magic of Hollywood money maybe somehow the game will reassemble itself or something. I hope not.

9. Stereotypes

This movie just absolutely loves its stereotypes. Awkward nerdy guy plays video games, football player doesn't do his homework, basic white girl loves taking selfies, and awkward emo girl is weird in high school. I guess that's how you make money in Hollywood nowadays. Well, I thought it was funny as shit, so maybe I'm guilty too.

10. How did he get a black eye??

Russel Van Pelt's (the bad guy) eye makeup is like absolutely atrocious. To my limited makeup knowledge (see: none), it looks like he grabbed some spray paint and just went to town on his face. Possessed by the jewel? More like, possessed by the god of the worst makeup I've ever seen. And I don't think I'm exaggerating.