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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Director:  Jake Kasdan
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  1.5

Four high school students in detention (Alex Wolff and the Gang) fire up an old 1990's video game console left for junk and end up teleported into the game "Jumanji" "playing" the four main characters of strongman Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), zoologist Mouse (Kevin Hart), dance fighter Ruby (Karen Gillan) and cartographer/archaeologist Shelly (Jack Black) who, according to the rules, must return a glowing jewel to a statue of a jaguar and "save the world" from mercenary Van Pelt (a campy Bobby Cannavale) in order to return to human form. Unlike other recent movies that rip off 'video game plots' (but don't acknowledge it) this is quite open about where it got its (sadly uninspired) ideas from - the humdrum action bits get squeezed between "comic relief" in which Hart becomes quickly flustered and barks wildly (and is 'done in' by pastries) and Black imitates a solipsistic teenage girl (his "real life" counterpart is Madison Iseman) while marveling at what a pee-pee can do. Little ones might be entertained, but it's a dead zone of inventiveness.

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