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Jungle Book, The

Director:  Jon Favreau
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  2.0

Orphaned Mowgli (Neel Sethi), who is raised by wolves in the jungle, has to leave the pack when tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba) appears and announces he wants the boy dead - it's out of revenge for Mowgli's father burning his face with the "Red Flower" (fire) - so the stealthy (and lucky) lad makes friends with super hungry, super lazy bear Baloo (Bill Murray) ... and eventually has to return to his 'family.' The first half of the movie is fun and light, with the bond between the wolf family and Mowgli coming across as genuine, only to fall into Action Movie Mode for the second half, in which character development is secondary to chasing and climbing, using (crisp) CGI to impress while interest in the story lags (the section with King Louie seems like a throw-in and just an excuse for a battle in the temple). The creatures are richly detailed from a visual standpoint, however, and whoever thought to cast Murray as Baloo deserves some kind of award (and whoever programmed the bear to act like Murray needs a Golden Keyboard and Mouse ... and probably some more Monster Energy Drinks).

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