Jumanji is directed by Joe Johnston, as two kids unleash a magical board game, its animals, other dangers and a man that has been trapped inside of it for several years, they need to finish the game to set things right, the film stars the late Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunst.
If you ask me what I think of when you say fun 90s movie, Jumanji would be one of my top picks, a great fantasy adventure film with an awesome premise and some exciting ideas which work in tandem to create a really fun story. And Robin Williams helming things is great, he’s awesome as now adventurer and survivalist Alan Parrish who was trapped in the board game but freed by Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter Shepherd (Jonathan Hyde) and Williams is every bit in his element as the seemingly wild but intelligent man with his mannerisms and a generally enthusiastic perfromance.
While Dunst and Hyde give decent performances as the Shepherd kids, the fun element of the movie works well because it’s simply the kids and Alan and other adults aren’t really that integral to the main plot, the kids enthusiasm and willingless to go along the adventure makes for a great watch, despite all the dangers and Williams really brings out his childlike sense of fun as well in the role. The premise is executed really well with the various scenarios the characters find themselves in, in the family home and outside of it as various animals and a hunter are released from the world of Jumanji and the spectacle of seeing said animals in the modern day and throughout the Shepherd house was something only Jumanji could really do.
And also the effects for the time were actually quite good. It’s just great adventure fantasy and the modern day setting actually makes it work even better for me, as you see people react to the various animals running amok and deal with them in ways that they can – often by just running away and there is a notable humorous tone running through the movie, it’s a family film after all and has its comedic moments.
While the plot may be a bit predictable and one you can see going along a certain path as well, there are tense moments involving the Exterminator and Alan for example – a big game hunter from Jumanji that chases Alan around trying to shoot him and these scenes are done well. And another thing done well here is the lore and world of the game itself with its various rules, features and creatures which are surprisingly interesting and work as a magical board game, the set pieces are well done and seeing characters play the game and things happen in the real world was a creative idea.
Jumanji is a lot of fun and a great idea one well, with a memorable, lively performance from Robin Williams and good performances all around, it’s a good family film and one of the better adventure fantasy films out there.
. Well executed premise
. Fun, creative set pieces and board game rules which add spice to the plot
. Engaging story