Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Overview


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Movie poster for the Jumanji movie.

Set in New Hampshire in 1996, a year after the events of Jumanji featuring the late Robin Williams, teenager Alex Vreeke (Mason Guccione) retrieves the Jumanji game board in the 2017 adventure comedy film, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Surprised by seeing it, Alex disregards the obsolete board game. However, the next morning, the game was discovered, and it mysteriously changed into a video game cartridge. Alex decides to play the game and is unfortunately teleported into the game itself.

Fast forward around twenty years later to 2016: four students by the names of Spencer Gilpin (Alex Wolff), Anthony “Fridge” Johnson (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany Walker (Madison Iseman), and Martha Kaply (played by Morgan Turner) are placed in detention with each other. They soon discover the video game that Alex was teleported into just two decades before while cleaning the room they are in.

Intrigued by the old game they had just found, Spencer hits the “start” button, and, unknowingly, all four are teleported into the game. Each student is now a new form of an individual that correlates to a character in the game with special skills and weaknesses. They soon realize that the game is very much life-threatening in that they only have three lives, and if all three are used, they could potentially die. This makes the situation much more scary and confusing. The only way to escape the game and go about their normal lives as high school teenagers is to obtain and return the “Jaguar’s Eye,” which allows for big-game hunter, Russel Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale), to manipulate Jumanji’s animals.

As the movie progresses, each group member is faced with more difficult challenges as the gaming levels increase. Some lose more lives than others. Comically, Alex (Nick Jonas) believes he has only been in the game for a couple of months. The group works together to break into a transportation shed, obtain a helicopter, and return the jaguar jewel. Upon landing, Alex loses his last life after a mosquito bites him, but Bethany (Jack Black) performs CPR in time and transfers one of her lives to Alex. The jewel was then returned, thus defeating the game, and the students are transported back to the real world, although Alex is brought back to 1996. Now married with a child, whom he named Bethany, history has been altered. The students, on the other hand, take the Jumanji game and destroy it once and for all.

Commercially, the film has been well received by critics and movie goers alike. It earned a box office of $883.4 million as of Feb. 11, since its release on Dec. 20 (Boxofficemojo.com) and has an approval rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes (Rottentomatoes.com). Sophomore Kara Vito commented, “I really enjoyed the movie, but nothing beats the original with Robin Williams… it will always hold a special place in my heart.” Senior Olivia Pipia agreed, saying, “I liked the movie a lot because Nick Jonas [adult Alex] is in it, and he is such a good actor!” Finally, senior Nicole Rosiak concluded, “Dwayne Johnson [adult Spencer] and Kevin Hart [adult Fridge] never fail to make me laugh! To see them come together in this movie was definitely a treat.”