Film: “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” trailer misses the point of the original
If you’ve seen this trailer, then you probably feel the same way I do. It would’ve worked better without the “Jumanji” brand, because it appears to miss the point of the original.
“Jumanji” is not “Ghostbusters.” The 1995 film currently holds a brutal 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not much of a legacy to destroy. However the 95 film developed cult status and is remebered fondly by many adult millennials today.
As a kid, I really enjoyed this movie, but it scared me. That was appropriate because it was a film about confronting your fears. The board game and its mysterious effects became an allegory for fear of the unknown.
This was achieved by giving us, the audience, just a taste of the unknown here and there. “Jumanji” never flooded us with fantasy because that would defeat the purpose of its overarching story.
“Welcome to the Jungle” should’ve been named just that. As a harmless kids film this could still work. It can also still bear themes of “fear of the unknown” using the formula of placing characters somewhere unfamiliar.
However it appears the subtlety of the original is lost. This film seems bombastic about its approach to fantasy elements, which is cliche of many kids films today. Be loud, no louder!
The billing of Johnson, Black, and Hart should’ve been enough to sell tickets by itself without the Jumanji brand. Unfortunately it appears that this is another case of higher powers inappropriately profiting from nostalgic branding.