With the flood of reboots in recent years it probably isn’t too much surprise that Jumanji is recieving a new installment as well. And though we’ve been promised that it will not be a reboot, it’s really starting to feel like one to many fans who are less than impressed with the upcoming movie’s first trailer. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will feature Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan as the main characters, a group of teens who have landed themselves in detention in the beginning of the trailer before being sucked into the new video game version of Jumanji.
In the trailer released today on YouTube (video below) you see we’re starting off with a group of teens who would normally have nothing to do with each other, a jock, a nerd, the popular girl, and your average teen girl. These teens must clean out the school’s basement for detention when they get sidetracked after finding an old video game console and the video game version of Jumanji. They have just picked their characters for the game when they suddenly find themselves being sucked into the game where they reappear as their chosen game characters (Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan). Nick Jonas also makes an appearance in the trailer, though it’s still unclear what his character’s role is.
In just these first few moments, you can see just how much they have changed to “modernize” the idea of Jumanji, or at least that’s how many fans see it. Though the movie was promised to be more of a sequel than a reboot, with a tribute to the late Robin Williams character Alan Parrish from the original 1995 movie, it’s still not falling in line enough with the first film for a lot of long-time fans.
The Game Has Changed, Big Time
“The game has changed, but the legend continues” keeps popping up on Facebook and Twitter along with posts from places like Sony promoting their new movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. That statement really couldn’t be more true; the new movie starts off with the most obvious change of all between the original and the supposed sequel to the 1995 Jumanji. That major change being the fact that Jumanji is no longer a board game, but instead a video game.
This is the first thing that has fans feeling that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is actually going to be more of a reboot than anything else. While it will have many call backs to the original movie, it feels like they are trying too hard to modernize the story to ensure interest from a new generation of Jumanji fans, but it may end up costing them some of the original fan base in doing so.
The Premise Of The Original Jumanji Seems Lost
The next major issue for many Jumanj fans, as mentioned in an article posted by Geek.com is the fact that in the original movie, most of the excitement stemmed from the game coming into the real world. With each roll of the dice, new jungle animals from monkeys, to a vicious lion and so many others come out of the game and wreak havoc on the home and the city; and that doesn’t seem to happen at all in the new movie based on what we’ve seen so far.
Rather, in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, we see the teens being sucked into the world of Jumanji, hence the title. Instead of being kids and a pair of adults trying to complete the game to reverse the chaos and restore the world to normalcy, it appears to be the teens, in their video game avatars, playing through the jungle, likely in attempts to both stay alive and to return to the real world. While the idea is interesting, and we’re supposedly going to see them guided through the game’s jungle world by notes left behind by Robin Williams character Alan Parrish, it just doesn’t line up enough with the original to really call this a proper sequel.
After all, if you remember the end of the 1995 Jumanji, then you remember how they had shown the game washing up on the shores in Paris as two girls walking along the beach suddenly her the drumbeats we all know are coming from the game to lure them in. If this were a true continuation wouldn’t it pick up there, or at least attempt to connect this ending to our new video game version? There is still a chance we will be surprised and they have thought of this, but so far, there is nothing to make us believe that is the case.
Will Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle Do The Original Justice?
The biggest question here is will the new movie do the original the justice it deserves 22 years after the original release? Right now, a lot of fans are not even sure how to feel about the reboot/sequel of one of their beloved movies of the ’90s. As a stand alone movie, and even as a reboot, it looks like it will be a pretty funny and entertaining story, with lots of comedic opportunities due to the body switch from the teens to their completely different avatar bodies.
However, as a sequel to this movie might not be exactly what fans of the original had hoped for all these years, and yes, we’ve been hoping for a Jumanji sequel for a LONG time. Unless perhaps there will be more back story that better connects the two versions of the Jumanji game, the original board game and the new modernized — but still retro by the look of the console in the trailer — video game version. Until the movie actually comes out this December, we can only hope for the best and make guesses based on the trailers that may released between now and then.
Check out the trailer below for yourself and tell us what you think in the poll. Are you excited for the Jumanji sequel, or are you afraid that Welcome to the Jungle will be a flop in compairson to the original?
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon]