While full reviews won't be out for a few more weeks, the entertainment writers who attended the movie's Hawaii junket with most of the stars, also including Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas, shared their brief thoughts on Twitter Monday.
"Happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by 'Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.' It's fun and funny in equal measure, and makes smart use of its great stars. Not much of a universe-builder for a fantasy sequel, but definitely a reinvention that works," CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg tweeted.
This "Jumanji" is not a sequel to the 1995 Robin Williams fantasy movie, which was based on Chris Van Allsburg's 1981 children's book of the same name, following kids who play a magical board game that brings the dangers of the jungle into their lives. Instead, the game takes the form of a video game console four kids in detention come across while cleaning out their school's basement. After selecting their characters -- Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Johnson), Franklin "Moose" Finbar (Kevin Hart), Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) and Professor Shelly Oberon (Black) -- they're sucked into the screen and take on their respective characters' appearance, which works out great for the nerd, but not so much for the popular girl turned into a the chubby professor played by Black.
Here's what critics are saying, so far, about the new "Jumanji" hitting theaters on Dec. 20. Based on these reactions, it appears The Rock's latest movie will be greeted to significantly kinder reviews than critically panned comedy "Baywatch," but then again, "Justice League" early reactions were also mostly positive, while the majority of movie critics went on to blast it as it hit theaters.
Was expecting the worst but have to admit the new #JUMANJI movie is a lot of fun. I'd even say it is one of the best “video game movies” ever made, maybe under only King of Kong, Scott Pilgrim, Edge of Tomorrow & Wreck It Ralph (none of which are adaptations).
Happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. It's fun and funny in equal measure, and makes smart use of its great stars. Not much of a universe-builder for a fantasy sequel, but definitely a reinvention that works. pic.twitter.com/2I0vPg4zt3
Hey, about that new #Jumanji: It's fun! It's the kind of family-friendly outing that should help settle a lot of debates this holiday season. Jack Black is very, very funny, and I kinda love how they attempt to make it a true sequel to the original with some wonky engineering.