Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a comedy adventure about kids who get sucked into a video game. But everyone watching it knew that was going to happen going in; we’re just there for the spectacle.
Verdict: it was fun, but it’s nothing special, and it relies on cultural stereotypes a little too much for its jokes, especially around its single black character. I do enjoy actors getting to play characters that don’t match their appearance (at one point Dwayne-The-Rock Johnson gets to gleefully cry “I’m a nerd!”), and that was probably the main draw of this movie. Well, that and the (minor) twist around Alex, including the opportunity for all the 90s references I remember from Animorphs.
I have to say I preferred the conceit of the old Jumanji, where the jungle comes to the house instead of the players being transported to the jungle. But I also just re-read Wikipedia’s plot summary of the old movie and I don’t remember basically any of it, so maybe I’d find the original thin as well by this point.
Actually, there’s nothing really related to the original Jumanji movie here besides the name. But if I ignore that and just take it as the “high school kids have to mature and work together to get home” genre, it was perfectly fine, with only a few cringy jokes that, well, are still part of mainstream comedy. I suppose I was whelmed.