Juamanji: The Next Level (2019) Film Review

One thing leads to another and several of the original crew end up back in the game – although not exactly the same group. But the world has changed, there are desserts and angry ostriches, a different bad guy and a whole heap of different fun.

My big issue with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was the lack of women and the way the few females in the film were represented… while this is still extremely male heavy, a few things have improved. We’ve got Awkwafina, which is delightful, she’s marvellous. Then a few of the sense with the women are a bit better. I mean, there’s still a long way to go, and there’s a huge setup for a sequel at the end. Maybe they could get a few women on the writing team… maybe even just one?

Jumanji (1995) Film Review

Having watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle which disappointed me with the lack of women and the poor representation of women, I followed through on my commitment to re watch the original, and man, I was so glad I did.

Alan (as a child, Adam Hann-Byrd, as an adult, Robin Williams) and Sarah (as a child, Laura Bell Bundy and as an adult, Bonnie Hunt) discover Jumanji in a building site and accidentally start playing. On their first rolls, Alan gets sucked into the game and Sarah is chased from the building by bats. Skip to twenty-six years later. Orphans Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) move into Alan’s old and abandoned house with their Aunt Nora (the wonderful Bebe Neuwirth) and discover the game. Alan, now an adult, comes back and they track down Sarah so they can finish the game and everything will be restored to how it was. And with each roll, more threats come from the world of the game to torment them.

This is how you make a kids film. It’s a great plot, the characters are fabulous, there are several female characters, the teenage girl does what she needs to survive rather than squealing and wimping out. Having a brilliant cast, including the wonderful Robin Williams and a young Kirsten Dunst helps, but it was clever, strong writing, and a real adventure. Looking at the credits, most of the production team were men. So, blaming the appalling nature of the recent remake on the fact that that production team was also mostly men is not valid. What’s happened in the last twenty years? I don’t watch as many kids films these days, but do we still have kids films that do better by us? I’d love suggestions.