There are certain memories from our childhoods that we try fiercely to protect. Our first trip to Disneyland, our first time riding a bike — and, yes, the first time we saw a movie that should never have been marketed to children in the first place.
“Jumanji” came out in 1995 and it still ranks today among the top 10 scariest children’s movies of all time. The plot pitted innocent children against bloodthirsty lions, unforgiving swarms of rabid monkeys, board game-induced post-traumatic stress disorder,and human-sized mosquitos who were probably carrying the Zika virus.
Twenty-two years later, Hollywood has decided it’s time for a sequel.
The new film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is a glittery, high-tech version of the original. Set in the present, it’s a video game, not a board game (welcome to the new millenium, losers!) that sucks four innocent children into a situation they didn’t sign up for. Once inside the game, the kids transform magically into adults, played by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. They are tasked with escaping the jungle — or facing no uncertain death.
It appears that the dark overtones of the original have been replaced by the wacky humor of the cast full of comedians, which is probably a response to the generation of children ruined (in a good way) by the first one.
Still, it leaves me nostalgic for the days when kids could play outside without supervision and watch movies about a board game whose primary purpose was to inflict human suffering on minors.
You can check out the trailer below:
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter at @arr_scott