Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Is Not for Me. Or You, Probably.
It’s easy to crank out 300 words on something dumb. Usually it’s well-deserved—there’s a lot of dumb stuff out there! But who cares? It gets old. Hating gets old.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately—probably because the LA Weekly just got crushed, like many other alternative weeklies before it, and because people talk about alt-weeklies like they’re just a bunch of snarky hipster drivel. But as a person whose life has been positively impacted by reading alt-weeklies for many years—and as someone who writes for this alt-weekly—I take offense to that. This isn’t drivel! We’re trying to curate a community over here. I’m a part of something, goddamnit. I don’t just default to being a hater because I think I’m hot shit. Sometimes things are just… not very good.
Which brings us to: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
But I’m going to be diplomatic: This movie wasn’t made for me. I’m an adult, and this movie is for children. I’m also not a huge fan of Kevin Hart or the Rock, but a lot of people are—they’re very popular! Many humans whose blood runs as red as mine could find a lot to enjoy in this movie. Did this movie need to be made? No, but does any movie need to be made?
Or like, hey, maybe call this something other than Jumanji, since it’s OBVIOUSLY something different (Jumanji was a board game, and now it’s a video game, and there’s barely even any animals in this thing). And doesn’t this all seem like a cynical exploitation of our nostalgia for 1980s books and ’90s movies? Sure! But if they’d called it something different, they’d have to use a different font for the posters, and it’s a good font, so why not? Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle harms no one.
Huh. Would you look at that! Thoughtfully reexamining my negativity has eaten up most of my word count, and now I barely have any space to tell you that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle isn’t half-bad, but it isn’t for me. And I didn’t even have to be a jerk about it.