The tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji's world - pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they'll play as characters from the game.
It s supposed to be a video-ized board game come to life, but really, it s just a bored game.
The mildly amusing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is further proof that even the stalest whiff of brand recognition has become preferable to originality.
It manages to pull off something I once would have thought was impossible: It makes the original Jumanji look like a beloved cinema classic.
The film s main appeal is in watching familiar actors pretend to be ordinary kids grappling with their new selves.
The task at hand is to make a family action-adventure vehicle for some big screen names, one that bangs and clangs cheerfully until the end. The fact that it comes together with as much charm as it does is something of a mainstream moviegoing miracle.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle turns out to be surprisingly fun, infusing the premise with a The Breakfast Club twist while accentuating the comedy.
This sequel turns out to be a comedy of manners, of all things, and an agreeable one, a movie that will get you laughing and suck you in.
"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ," is a very sweet, and generally entertaining body swap lark with some nice messages about being, and believing in, yourself.
Their cognitive dissonance is what gives Jumanji its humor, and the film relies on the star personas of Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillan to deliver it.
With its video game upgrade, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" manages to match the silly fun of its predecessor - even without Williams - and that s no small achievement unlocked.