Jumanji Reviews: Read Critics' First Welcome To The Jungle Reactions

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a standalone sequel to the 1995 Robin Williams film, isn’t in theaters until the end of December. The first reactions from critics have arrived though, thanks to the movie being screened for press.

While it may come as a surprise, the reviews thus far are very positive. The new Jumanji may not be a contender at the Academy Awards, but the word being used quite often is “fun.” As GameSpot’s own Mike Rougeau says, “It’s light on nostalgia (besides a handful of Easter eggs), but a lot of fun. The body swap stuff is SO good. Could watch Jack Black play a teenage girl stuck in Jack Black’s body, or [The Rock] newly discover his muscles, forever.”

Fandango’s Erik Davis agrees, writing, “It’s super entertaining & very funny w/ terrific cast chemistry.” The cast, consisting of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan, are getting great reviews for the work in their film thus far–especially Black as a teenage girl stuck in the body of a middle-aged man.

“[The Rock], [Karen GIllan], [Kevin Hart], and [Jack Black] are chemistry gold,” Collider Video’s John Rocha says. Adds Film Journal’s Rebecca Pahle, “Jack Black’s performance is perfection personified and deserves 12 Oscars.” While you shouldn’t hold your breathe waiting for the Academy to recognize Black’s work in the film, it’s reassuring to hear how well the characters all work together.

It also sounds like the exact kind of movie you might need during the upcoming holiday season. “It’s the kind of family-friendly outing that should help settle a lot of debates this holiday season,” IndieWire’s Kate Erbland says. As for how it continues the story set up by the first Jumanji, that remains a mystery. However, Erbland continues, “I kinda love how they attempt to make it a true sequel to the original with some wonky engineering.”

In the end, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is shaping up to be much better than some might have expected it to be. Naturally, you’ll have to judge for yourself whether it’s any good–or even worth your time. The new Jumanji is in theaters on December 20. You can check out more critic tweets below.

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