Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Jumanji 2 - welcome to the jungle

This is a ‘something for everyone’ kind of flick. The concept of Jumanji was introduced to us by Robin Williams starrer movie with the same name in 1981. However, this not a sequel – it is a reboot. So it’s a standalone movie which would make sense in its own way even if you have not watched the original.

Jumanji is a board game which converts itself to a video game and calls out to the world with its drum beats and takes the players into its own world, to be released back only when the game is finished. With this premise, four youngsters gets pulled into the game and gets turned into Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan.

The entire experience is an Indiana Jones style fantasy-adventure loaded with hilarious comedy. Jack Black as the mean girl turned middle aged cartographer (map reading expert) is amazing, Kevin hart pulls of his usual high pitch slapstick comedy with grace, but the expected show stealer is Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Bravestone. ‘The rock’ is fantastic as the videogame playing self-doubting teenage nerd.

The story isn’t just another over the top action comedy, it does not only focus on the saviour and his sidekick and love interest. It does justice to the characters individually and also to the creative premise. All the game avatars are very well defined including the NPCs (non playing characters)

Director Jake Kasden has done a commendable job and part of the credit goes to the writing by Chris Mckenna. Cinematography by ‘the maze runner series’ expert Gyula Pados is a treat to watch. Mark helfrich edits the movie to less than 2 hours and that makes all the difference.

Verdict – watch it for the ‘smoldering’ look.


Rock On 2


RockOn was released in 2008 which was directed by Abhishek Kapoor. The main reason for its success was the fiery rebel music and the story itself and of course the smart direction. But RockOn2 is a complete contrast. The director was changed, glamour added to the cast and of course the entire movie genre became different. This is no longer a musical journey instead this is a complete masala movie with too many boring songs.

Aditya (Farhan Akhtar) and his husky voice both relocate to Meghalaya and that’s not for the scenery alone. Joe (Arjun Rampal) is now a successful (read wealthy) club owner and reality show host with a bad haircut and KD (Purab kohli) is narrator of the movie taking time out from his…..wait what is his job again ? no clue. Anyway, so enter Shraddha Kapoor with utmost confidence which is the same expression she gave in ‘ek villian’

Direction is pointless as the best moments of the movie are ruined by bad camera. Sometimes it is way too zoomed in and at other times it is microscopic zoomed out. Shraddha Kapoor does not look as good as you expect with every frame zoomed to her nose or her long forehead (seriously? I hadn’t noticed her forehead before).

In this five years’ flash-back/flash forward storyline the screenplay could have made a lot of difference but was completely wasted just like Prachi Desai looking clueless with another bad haircut.

The songs are long and just refuse to get over. Only the “Hoi Kiw/Chalo Chalo” by Usha Uthup and SummerSalt Band showed some promise. The best song still is the Rock On title track from the original movie.

In conclusion, as said before this is a masala movie which has all elements for a flop and the humanitarian angle is unappealing. The music is soddy and the beautiful Indian locations are not capitalized.

Verdict – Rock Off.