God love Dwayne Johnson.
If you haven’t been living under a rock these past few days, you might have seen that the first trailer for the upcoming shameless remake of Jumanji dropped a few days ago. It’s the first look at the film since the internet went crazy over Karen Gillian’s skimpy outfit in the first picture of the cast. For those who haven’t seen the trailer yet, it gets explain very briefly.
I came into the trailer with the exact same amount of derision and cynicism that I felt when I learned of a remake all those months ago. Jumanji is a film that I treasure and I would easily consider it in my top five movies of all time. The very mention of the word sends me back into my wide eyed childhood when I first fell in love with movies. Seeing the still of a mass produced, sugary Hollywood flick was almost rage-inducing. And this is coming from a fan of Both Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillian’s midriff.
The trailer sets up the premise of the film and the main deviation from the original’s plot. Four high school kids are given are made to clean out a dusty old store room in their high school. They stumble across a video game called Jumanji (Get it?!) And when they start the game they get sucked in and inhabit the avatars that they have chosen. Each avatar is a lovable cliché that is juxtaposed nicely against the characters that inhabit them. (Cue brief explanation as to why Karen Gillian’s world stopping midriff is on the show.)
The trailer is quite vague about the plot points that happen during the movie. Once the premise is established and The Rock brandishes his trademark eyebrow raise. The whole trailer seems to showcase a bunch of random hijinks that involve Kevin Hart being funny, Karen Gillian being sexy yet funny, Jack black being ‘Jack Black’ Funny and Dwayne Johnson being ripped and funny. The whole trailer reeks with this honesty which almost says “This film is going to be two hours of your family film actors dicking about in the jungle for your enjoyment. We hope you have fun.” And I suppose that’s where I arrive at the point of this review. Despite my narcissistic film critic-esque condemnation of this trailer, I think I’m still going to see this movie.
Granted, it’s going to be a film full of cheap laughs performed by actors whose schtick is well established and will not change very much during the movie. That being said. The charm behind it seems to have a disarming effect on me. I feel like as long as I go into the cinema ready for some harmless laughs and some family fun, It will be worth my money.
I think the main reason films like these piss me off is because I can’t help but think about the fact that these actors are essentially dicking about for millions of money and it’s glaringly obvious that they go home feeling like the dogs bollocks, despite the fact that they are contributing to an increasingly lazy film industry that capitalizes on tired motifs and cheap family humour.
But god love Dwayne Johnson.
You can watch the trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle right here.