Remakes are a tricky business, especially when the remake is as beloved a classic as Jumanji.
But with the latest news that the Jumanji remake is changing the plot in a pivotal way, I'm not even sure you can call this a remake anymore. Rather, it's a completely different film that's just using the Jumanji name.
Warning: Spoilers about the original film and the modern-day remake below. Continue reading at your own risk. Once you start, you might not be able to stop.
Thanks to new footage shown at Sony's CinemaCon Panel, it has been revealed that the modern-day Jumanji won't be about a board game at all. Instead, kids will find a video game that will transport them via virtual reality into the world of Jumanji. This sounds to me more like Tron than Jumanji.
Not to mention, the whole point of the original film was the risk involved in finishing the game.
The characters had to role the dice and take their turn. The group had to finish, otherwise the fate of the world as we know it was at stake.
The remake is also problematic because the kids won't be central to the plot like they were in the original film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Once the teenagers enter the world of Jumanji, they will transform into virtual avatars, played by Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas.
On a possible upside, The Hollywood Reporter did call the footage "crowd-pleasing," though I'm not sure if they just needed a good adjective for their title or they actually meant that the crowd was impressed with the sneak peek at the film. They didn't really address the reaction again within their article so...
On another upside, io9 echoed The Hollywood Reporter's words and described the footage as "surprisingly very fun." The outlet even added that it was the talk of CinemaCon after the presentation.
But there are also other previously released plot points that seem to detract from the original film. For one, the kids playing the game aren't kids, but teenagers. The film has been sexualized with hotties Jonas, Johnson and Gillan — who's sporting a crop top and short shorts. I know Johnson has insisted there's a good reason for Gillan's skimpy outfit, but even if there is a justifiable reason, the sexualization of the film still takes away from the innocent masterpiece that was the original.
Jumanji should have taken a page from Stranger Things and gone to more of a throwback approach. Instead, the movie is trying to get so trendy at this point that it doesn't seem to capture the spirit of the original film.
Of course, I'll wait until a trailer is released before making my final call about this remake. Right now, all I'm basing my opinion on are summaries of the story. But let's go ahead and say I'm nervous.
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