Recreating a Robin Williams classic is a difficult task, but Dwayne Johnson and company do something pretty interesting in this first Jumanji trailer.
Of course, Robin Williams is a legend. There’s no argument there. He was both a talented comedian and an outstanding dramatic actor. If we’re going to argue about anything, it would be which of his films are the best. But for a certain generation, 1995’s Jumanji will always make the cut because it was fun, inventive and let Robin Williams be as zany as he wanted.
So when the news first broke that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson planned to return to the game, we all hesitated. Unlike Zathura, which is the same concept as Jumanji with the exception of being in space, Johnson immediately made this reboot super high-profile. He used his newfound stardom and social media leverage to sell the pitch. Then, he created a big cast of “all-stars,” with Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, hot off of Guardians of the Galaxy.
But things have changed since Johnson’s reimagined Jumanji went into development. Now, Johnson’s recovering from Baywatch (another reimagining of sorts) and some bad press regarding Fast 8. Though, I don’t think the latter hurt him as much as it simply pointed out that not everyone in the entire world loves The Rock.
Now it’s time to ask whether Jumanji will help or hurt that. Let’s watch the trailer and I’ll give you answer.
Check it out:
If we’re going to solely off this trailer, boy, Johnson’s in trouble. And not in a fun “oh no, I just got sucked into a game” type of trouble. I mean, there are some positives: Jumanji is trending right now, so it made some buzz. Plus, it looks kind of like another Jack Black film, Goosebumps, which made a decent amount of money.
But it does not come anywhere close to the original film. Furthermore, it shouldn’t even be allowed to call itself a sequel. It just seems like a really bonkers concept that’s going to play around with stereotypes instead of this subtle romance and concept of family that the first Jumanji used. Just the fact that someone said, “It’s a video game, so that means we all have special skills” bothers me. It makes me feel like the film will be too high concept to warrant a decent explanation.
Back in September, The Rock asked us to trust him and I’m really trying to. It looks like the movie wants to be a lot of fun, but it’s flying too close to the sun and soiling the good Williams name. Luckily, we can at least trust it to be funny and amusing.
Jumanji opens (the week after Star Wars: The Last Jedi!) on Dec. 22, 2017.