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REBOOT NOT REMAKE PSEUDO SEQUEL OF 'JUMANJI 2'

Apocalypse Now homage poster RELEASED: 2017
A hybrid of TRON (humans inside a video game), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (a pulpy jungle mainline) and... well... JUMANJI... that ironically has the least to do with its sequel tag-titled WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE...

Which can't be held in our usual 80's-kid contempt of using CGI as opposed to classic practical effects since the original Robin Williams comedy adventure rode the wave of JURASSIC PARK's amazing computer technology, with rhinos, monkeys and other creatures replacing dinosaurs, only this time, instead of the jungle encroaching upon reality, four eclectic teens get pulsated inside of a JUMANJI video (as opposed to board) game...

Grade: B—
The device/gimmick of how each student's avatar is the polar opposite of their real selves ware's thin as jungle terrain animal or human adversaries are too few while exposition dialogue (repeating the games rules over and over) is much too plenty — they talk about doing more than they actually do.

Ironically, the initial teens are even more interesting than the grown-up movie stars... including an insecure Dwayne Johnson; the usual goofball minstrel act of Kevin Hart; a shy but sexy Lucy Gillan; and, sadly, Jack Black in yet another unfunny role. Not all bad since we're supposed to have the kids in mind throughout...

But the characters, suffering awkward moments from jumbled editing, share lazy chemistry within the perilous setting that, given the danger involved through semi-intriguing "levels of play," are as affable and breezy as one of those sleeping pill movies you rent on a Tuesday night. And yet, as twenty-year-later afterthought-sequels go, there's been much worse. SPOILER ALERT: The real shock is that a Jonas Brother, as a young pilot who was stuck in the game decades earlier (and survived in the hut built by Robin Williams's character), turns in the best performance, finally giving the four leads (and audience) something/someone to really care about.
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