I must be one of the few who did no see the original and I have never had a real desire to. Owning a 6 year old affords me the excuse to revisit some older adventures I feel are suitable. A trade off is having to endure some of the newer movies that pack modern appeal for kids.
The film has a attractive cast, Dwayne Johnston is a mostly enjoyable screen icon and I can’t say I have seen a bad movie with him, this side of Southland Tales. Jack Black is a presence I can’t say I have any strong feelings about, he has made me laugh from time to time in the past but I have never sought out a movie purely for his contribution. The rest of the cast was a collection of new faces and some familiar character actors I have enjoyed here and there, aside from an uncredited appearance from Tim Matheson during which I let out a gleeful cheer.
Welcome to the Jungle grips the audience quite quickly and initial energy pulls you along with ease. The complex nature of the environment might be more difficult for those with no idea how video games work to keep up with. Honestly, it’s well done, the infusion of the gaming tropes provides a lot if fun along the way.
The problem with the film is that things slow down a bit as the pacing is pretty uneven. There a lulls between the larger set pieces. The chemistry between Dwayne Johnston and Kevin Hart is enjoyable if a little bit similar to what we saw in Central Intelligence. Karen Gillan manages to steal every seen she is in.
This is a colourful, harmless and fun adventure. There are some silly moments and whilst kinetic, it loses this energy one a few occasions. The film relies a lot on the presence of Johnston and Gillan and it’s safe to say it would be a very different film without them.