Yesterday, the new Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle trailer was released. You can find it here.
The movie is a sequel to the 1995 movie featuring the late Robin Williams and features a board game coming to life which made it a classic for many 90s kids. (Personally, I was about one-years-old when it came out, but I do remember watching it growing up, especially the rhino scene.)
Now, the new Jumanji-centered film is no longer a board game in a world filled of emerging video games, but a reference to the now old 1990s video games in a world of Wii-U, Nintendo Switches, and apps for the iPhone.
But what I’ve been really focused on in the trailer is not just about the video game aspect—which I will address shortly—but the four main characters themselves. The four main characters outside of the game remind me of a Breakfast Club-like set up: a football jock, a band geek, the selfie-loving popular girl, and the overlooked girl-next door (who is, as of right now, my favorite character) in a slightly stereotypical concept. But—spoilers, you can see them in the trailer above—they turn into Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Karen Gillian’s characters respectively.
The biggest laugh is the popular girl stating she was “too pretty” to help clean out the school’s basement only to turn into the “curvy genius” of Jack Black’s Professor Shelly Oberon. But the biggest “thank you” is Karen Gillian’s Ruby Roundhouse questioning why she is wearing “half a shirt and short shorts in the jungle.” This comes after the slight backlash after a picture was uploaded featuring the group: people complained about the sexiness of Gillian’s character’s outfit and ultimately the questioning of why women in video games wear, at times, very ridiculous outfits.
Ultimately the kids turn into characters that are the complete opposite of themselves: the football jock turns into Kevin Hart’s Moose Finbar complaining that he is now “lacking two feet of himself,” the band geek turns into the traditional hero of Dwayne Johnson’s Dr. Smolder Bravestone (good name, btw), the popular selfie-loving girl turning into “curvy genius” Jack Black’s Professor Shelly Osborne, and the girl-next-door turning into need-no-man badass, yet attractive Ruby Roundhouse played by Karen Gillian.
I understand that this film’s audience is probably for teenagers, but I do think it looks decently funny to go see it. My questions are if the movie will address a few things that they hint at in this trailer: will they continue to underhandedly question why there is only one girl option of the four (especially when two of the four playing are girls and as seen by Jack Black’s character) in this game and thus female game options in general? Will the movie continue to question the sexiness of characters—especially females in not-so-smart clothing choices and even why the male hero is super buff and the male side-kick isn’t? Of course I don’t expect this film to be a serious straight-out conversation, but I do think it might address some of these questions in a funny way. After all, a good story addresses more than what’s on the surface.
Ultimately,this is not a film I’ve been dying over to see, unlike Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, et cetera, but I may go see it just because of its humor and for my own curiosity.
Will you go see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle?
Thanks for stopping by,
MG, Media Gal