Trailer Trash: Jumanji

This is Trailer Trash, a new series in which I watch trailers for upcoming movies and offer my thoughts. This is a series born of my love of cinema, coupled with my attempts to stave off boredom at three in the morning. In this first installment, i’m taking a look at…

First thoughts. YES! YES! OH GOD, YES! For all 2 minutes and 45 seconds of this trailer, I had a smile plastered across my face. This film just looks fun. They’ve taken four actors that i’ve always really enjoyed and dropped them into a big budget comedy with a batcrap crazy  premise, which is based on a film that I loved to death back in the day. This film might not thrill the Oscar judges, but all I am hoping for is some fun nods to the original and a lot of belly laughs.

It’s not going to be for everybody, I understand that. The “YOU’RE CRAPPING ON MY CHILDHOOD” crowd are out in force and there’s apparently no way to make them understand that they can just avoid this movie and watch the original, no harm, no foul. Bless them. Some folk don’t like it, some do, same can be said for just about every movie ever made. Personally, i’m hyped.

One thing i’m very happy to see is the “short shorts” gag. There were a lot complaints when early images showed Karen Gillan wearing that outfit, with many feeling that it was too revealing. The backlash prompted this response from the actress:

Well, now we know the reason. She’s a character in a video game. I’m one hundred percent OK with that, it makes sense and leaves an opening for a ton of funny dialogue. After all, it’s absolutely true that there has long been a tendency towards overt sexualization of women in video games so i’d say giving the industry a wee bit of stick for that is just fine.

Actually, my favourite part of the whole concept is the idea of updating Jumanji from board game to video game. It makes a lot of sense and opens up a wide range of options in the script. I just hope to hell that the writer is a video games enthusiast himself, because as someone who spends a large part of their life with a controller in his hands, there are few things that make my fists itch more than actors stuttering through awkwardly written, inaccurate reference jokes.

What are they all looking at?!

On to the plot, which seems fairly straightforward. Take four teenage stereotypes, drop them into the bodies of characters which are the polar opposites of their actual lives, watch as hilarity ensues. It’s formulaic, but it’s following a formula that should lead to an enjoyable movie, so I guess that’s not so bad?Still, i’ll bet you a bag of chocolate buttons that shy, retiring Martha will become more confident, brash jock “Fridge” will become more sensitive and understanding, Spencer will learn to be brave and Bethany will realise that looks aren’t everything. Standard family movie stuff.

That’s an important point, actually. This is a family movie, so I asked my family what they thought. Overwhelming response? Positive. My son is eight years old and lost his proverbial shit at the sight of Amy Pond and the voice of Po. My daughter (Ten going on stereotypical teen) laughed like a drain and said it looks hilarious. Four small thumbs up.

Jumanji is an absolute classic, but this is a new Jumanji for a new generation and I can’t wait to give it a watch.

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