Jumanji is a thoroughly decent film, mostly due to good production values and Johnston’s direction.
It’s sort of hard to talk about the film due to the plotting. The film’s not real time, but the present action is still short… or not. In some ways, it’s twenty-six years, in others, it’s a day and a half and, in even others, it’s five minutes. Or three hours and five minutes. It’s not a problem for the film, which is just an amusement. There’s no attempt at any depth, just competent presentation of depth in the moment.
Jumanji doesn’t even work in a way one could take it seriously.
The casting is solid, though Bebe Neuwirth gets the short end of the stick. Adam Hann-Byrd is rather good. Robin Williams is fine, even if the script loses track of how to treat his character after a certain point. David Allen Grier and Bradley Pierce are both good. It’s hard to believe, between Pierce and Kristen Dunst (the kids in the movie), Dunst is the one who still acts professionally.
There’s a nice little James Handy cameo.
The film just has a good feel to it, something James Horner’s music helps.
The special effects are fine. While from the early days of CG, Jumanji would be impossible without it… as opposed to using CG instead of practical effects.
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