The Griffin

Lighthearted film provides quick laughs

Reproduced with permission of wooden writing

Reproduced with permission of wooden writing

Johnny Chen, Staff Writer

Recently released “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” directed by Jake Kasdan has been receiving credit for its incredible humor since the beginning of its release. However, that has been the most notable praise that it has received from movie critics around the nation. With a decently received original “Jumanji” movie directed by Joe Johnston to beat, Kasdan had quite the film to beat, and fortunately for him, he accomplished it through his remarkable use of humor throughout the entire film.

The plot begins with four American teenagers who were placed in detention together: Spencer Gilpin, Anthony “Fridge” Johnson, Bethany Walker, and Martha Kaply. While clearing out the school’s basement, the four find Jumanji, a five-player console game. After choosing their characters, the four students are sucked into the game. Within the video game, the players were soon assigned to save Jumanji from a villain by returning a gem to its original location. Along the way, the characters comically build up relationships, love, and even meet fifth player named Alex who has been in the game for around twenty years.

The first hint of humor was portrayed as soon as the players landed in the game. Spencer Gilpin, a weak nerd, was now Dr. Smolder Bravestone – an extremely strong, well-built bald man which is the exact opposite of who he is in real life. Fridge, a football star, had become an extremely small Moose Finbar. Martha, a shy girl, had become Ruby Roundhouse, a totally badass girl who was master at dance fighting, and Bethany, a self-absorbed girl, had become an overweight short male named Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon. With the characters’ confusions over the opposites that they had become, a crucial aspect of humor that would be carried out throughout the entirety of the movie is introduced, along with basic concepts of the game that they were playing. Humor continued to be built up with following scenes such as Martha’s attempt to flirt and Spencer blowing up from eating a piece of cake.

Indeed, humor was the reason that the movie had been so enjoyable to watch for audiences of all ages, and the movie was sure to keep you laughing throughout. However, other than the humor, the plot was too predictable. It was a cliché in which two main characters fall in love with each other and their relationship deepens as they continued adventuring through the game. It was so easy to predict who was going to die next and lose a life just based on who had more lives in the game. If one person had two lives while others had one life, it was sure that he or she would be the one to die next. In the end, the villain was defeated even though he didn’t have much screen time or special powers, and a personal connection to the main characters were extremely hard to build up due to abundance of comical and fantastical elements in the movie.

Overall, it was a joy to watch, and it is a good one for those looking for a quick laugh or looking to brighten up the day. However, due to the lack of pathos and predictable plot, don’t expect to go on an emotional journey or have a life-impacting film influence who you are.

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