Just in case this needs to be said, which I doubt, but I’m not affiliated or associated with any movie corporations or any of the Jumanji movies.
Four high school teens discover an old video game console and are sucked into the game. Each teen is dropped into the jungle that is Jumanji, in the bodies of the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that they don’t just have to play Jumanji, they have to survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they have to go on the most dangerous adventure, risking each of their lives.
I was skeptical about a Jumanji sequel. I did not want to see this movie. I grew up with the first Jumanji and sequels don’t tend to be as good as the first. Jumanji without Robin Williams? (May he rest in peace.) The first one was brilliant. I kept hearing about how great the sequel was from multiple people. Eventually I caved to see if it was up to all the hype.
This second Jumanji did it’s own thing in a comedic way all the while nodding to the original film. They had the common sense to know that they couldn’t just duplicate the first movie with different people, but still had to deliver the connection between the two movies without it being forced or disjointed. Which had been what I was afraid of with a second movie being made so many years after the first.
I thought how is the game being changed to a video game going to make it better? That’ll ruin everything, or so I thought. I was wrong, but only because they did it in the best way. I’m not always a fan of reboots of movies either, because it feels like saying that the original is outdated trash and no longer relevant. Which is rarely ever true.
The movie manages to achieve character development for each character, while encountering crazy obstacles. The different actors for the game avatars successfully portray the real life characters outside of the game, despite having to play the two different roles simultaneously. Admittedly, the new version of the villian, Van Pelt, isn’t as menacing or terrifying as the original character. However, for me, this did not derail my experience. I loved that Alex/Seaplane McDonough had been staying in Alan Parish’s jungle fort…abode?…home?…dwelling?… That inner happy voice of mine screamed, “I know something they don’t know!” I love a story were I have history knowledge that the story’s characters aren’t privy to.
Inconsistencies that don’t really matter, but I noticed anyway:
The game transformed into a video game without lightning or anything (I mean Weird Science anybody? Come on guys.) to act as a catalyst, besides Alex commenting to himself, “Who even plays board games anymore?” Not to mention it wasn’t even on top of the game console. No big deal.
Also the four teens were able to destroy the game at the end of the second movie, while in the first it seemed the only solution that had been available to anyone, ever, was to try and conceal the game where it hopefully wouldn’t be found. That being said, obviously there would be no movie if the story hadn’t played out this way.
Plot hole arguments around the internet:
I read in a couple articles that some viewers believe Jumanji-Welcome To The Jungle has provided some plot holes based on differences between the two movies. I believe I can explain these two plot holes.
First: How time passes within Jumanji. The argument is that in the first movie Alan Parish grows older while stuck in the game, but in the second movie, Alex seems to be unaware of the time that has passed both physically and mentally.
I believe this is because Alex is in an avatars body, while Alan was in his own body. Also once the game evolved from a board game into a video game the time that transpires would also be different. In a video game players don’t usually grow older unless that is the object of the game. For example the Sims game objective is to play their lives out however you want. The objective inside Jumanji the video game was to complete the game levels until the last level and return the stone back to the jaguar. Time doesn’t need to pass for the avatars to pass the levels just certain situations and events have to be achieved.
Second: How Judy and Peter did not remember their experience with Jumanji, while the four teens in the second movie did remember. While in both movies the elder children who started playing the games always remember what happened no matter what and are returned back to the time they first started to play the game after completing the game.
Judy and Peter started playing jumanji after their parents went on that trip and died, so it’s possible they’ll get their memories back when they become the same age as they were when they first joined the game in 1995. Which they weren’t the same age when they encountered Sarah and Alan again at the end, because their parents were still planning that trip. It also seems that Sarah and Alan would’ve altered that timeline as well, in the end, because they both advised the parents against the trip.
Additionally, Sarah and Alan’s lives are connected to Judy and Peter’s, because when Alan’s timeline is altered by being in the game it directly impacts Judy and Peter’s timeline. Same goes for when things are set straight, Judy and Peter’s timelines are back on course, but still eventually connected.
The timelines mostly stayed the same in the second movie, because Alex’s presence inside or outside the game made no impact on any of the four teens lives. So nothing would’ve changed except Alex’s situation and timeline. The game would’ve returned all of the participants back to their previous times and places. If the timelines had no impact on the others, then it’d be less likely they would forget their experience in Jumanji when nothing in their timelines had changed.
I liked this movie a lot. So none of these lengthy explanations or inconsistency notions mean I have any problems with the plot or any of it. I just enjoy trying to make sense of it all, for my own fun.
Jumanji-Welcome To The Jungle is able to provide an enjoyable movie experience without compromising the first movie. It’s almost better that they had to play the entire game while inside Jumanji, instead of being sent there as a “go to jail” sort of game roll of the dice. Because it doesn’t feel cheap, like a replica movie that could never be the same as the original.
We learn from the sequel that Jumanji isn’t just a game, it is also place or alternate world. It might not be actual back story to the game, but it feels a bit like it either way. Two worlds in one story, who doesn’t love that? Welcome to the jungle? I love it.