What Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Could Learn from a ’90s Fantasy Novel

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review User Unfriendly Vivian Vande Velde

I can best sum up Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle by saying that I could have read the Wikipedia summary and not have missed any important beats. There are a couple of funny moments from the core foursome (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black) embodying archetypal teens inhabiting stereotypical video game characters, and a few begrudging callbacks to the 1995 film, but make no mistake: This movie is not worth a roll of the dice. I can’t really call it a sequel because most sequels at least pretend to care about the world of their predecessors; nor is it a reboot, since it’s not retelling the original story in a fresh way.

Similarly, the movie wobbles between acknowledging Jumanji at all and satirizing video games, without ever landing on a side. In fact, the more fitting spiritual sequel to Jumanji is User Unfriendly, Vivian Vande Velde’s 1991 novel ...

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review User Unfriendly Vivian Vande Velde
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review User Unfriendly Vivian Vande Velde
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review User Unfriendly Vivian Vande Velde
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review User Unfriendly Vivian Vande Velde
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review User Unfriendly Vivian Vande Velde