The new ‘Jumanji‘ is released from nostalgia for the version of the nineties to become a family adventure film with its own personality and an unexpected ‘queer’ touch.
What is the ultimate meaning of a game?
In 1995 , ‘Jumanji‘ turned an innocent game over a mysterious board into a fantastic adventure in which the elements of the pastime took on a real dimension. In that film starring Robin Williams , the jungle invaded the house of the protagonists, two orphaned children who shared tribulations with that man returned from a wild world and lost in time . In the new version that opens this Christmas, are the protagonists who move to the jungle, the same game through. This is not the only change that those responsible for ‘Jumanji: welcome to the jungle‘ operate with respect to the adaptation that Joe Johnston signed of the book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg . Like or not fans, a current movie can not be considered a sequel or a ‘remake’ of the first version . In fact, one of the first points in favor of this new version is his refusal to appeal to direct nostalgia in relation to the first ‘Jumanji‘. The film by Jake Kasdan is released from any vassalage to function as an adventure film for the whole family with its own personality.
The starting point remains the same. The protagonists run into a toy with an outdated appearance that responds to the name of Jumanji. If in the first one it was a board game, now it will be an obsolete version of a video game that opens the doors to an adventure bigger than life. Although ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle’ does not refer directly to its predecessor, it does recover a certain spirit very typical of the cinema of the eighties and nineties . After the prologue in which we see a teenager of the time end up swallowed by the Jumanji board mutated in video game, we jump to our time. As if we were in an updated John Hughes film , four very different teenagers, the timid Alex, the nerd Martha, the athlete Fridge and the presumed Bethany, end up sharing time and space of punishment in the institute.
A situation that could lead to a ‘remake’ of ‘The club of five’ or a new variant of that jewel cult of teenage film passed by the beat of the postmodern fantastic that is’ Detention. Bloody punishment ‘, by Joseph Kahn. But here the four students end up sucked into another dimension and land in the jungle of Jumanji. With the particularity that each one has adopted a new personality according to the avatars of the game. Thus, the discreet boy now appears muscular as Dwayne Johnson, the studious young woman also presents a more warlike and sexy appearance (“why do they make me wear shorts and T-shirt in the middle of the jungle?”, protests in a metacommentary about the forced image of video game heroines that has no more travel) by the actress Karen Gillan , while the athlete becomes a rather pot-bellied zoologist ( Kevin Hart ) and the popular girl of the class is inside the body of Jack Black .
This very characteristic resource of the adolescent comedy, that of the character that ends up in a foreign body, allows a rereading of ‘Jumanji’ that also fits with one of the contemporary meanings of the playful practice: that of adopting other identities, whether in virtual reality , role-playing games, video games or even through the ‘cosplay’ . The comic gear therefore injects a dose of humor to the ‘Jumanji’ of the XXI century that did not have the last millennium and in step points a shy but healthy claim ‘queer’in all this. Through the game, the protagonists end up exploring new horizons of their own identity that had not been raised from the roles imposed in their normal lives. Of course, Jack Black as the cute girl locked in the bones of a cartographer is the one who gives more comic bellows to the subject, especially when he starts to feel attracted to Alex , the young man who got lost in Jumanji in the nineties.
The first ‘Jumanji’ maintained some connection with ‘Gremlins’ not only because of the presence of those unparalleled monkeys that, in the manner of Stripe and his followers, sowed chaos in the typical peaceful American community . Also by the dark grounds linked to the absence of the parents and to the verification of a lost time that seemed irrecoverable. ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle’ ignores this more depressing background and diminishes the role played by Robin Williams, who plays Nick Jonas. And if the grace of the jungle invading an entire town disappears in this second installment, to compensate, the film adopts a tone of neoclassical adventure sockshare 2018 movies to the ‘The return of the mummy ‘that feels good and makes it a perfect Christmas entertainment .