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We Can’t Even With the First ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Trailer

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It’s been more than 20 years since Jumanji made us afraid to pick up any dusty old board game we found in the attic. Thanks to the new trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, we’re going to be extra careful about any retro video games we try to play.

Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle reimagines the classic children’s book with a modern twist. As many of us expected, rather than putting the unsuspecting kids who find the Jumanji game in the middle of a deadly board game, Welcome to the Jungle opts for a more digital vibe. While cleaning out a storage room in their high school, a group of kids finds a retro gaming system that clearly predates the original Nintendo, and fire up the only game cartridge they can find. It just so happens to be cursed. Or magic. Whatever Jumanji is, it’s not normal.

Instead of merely having the events of the game transpire around them, all four kids are teleported inside the avatars of the characters they selected. The nerd gets put in the handsome hero’s body; the jock gets zapped inside the scrawny professor; the shy girl magically becomes a bombshell; and the popular girl turns into Jack Black. It’s a fairly standard set of tropes, but why the conceited girl needs to turn into a man is beyond us. There are plenty of female actors that could have fit the same physical comedy bill as Jack Black, but for whatever reason, this is the way Jumanji went. As per usual, there’s always next time, ladies.

Independent of that narrative decision, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle looks like it could be a fun family romp. The idea of using some video game archetypes like a Lara Croft and the over-muscled alpha male could bring some interesting story beats. By the looks of it though, the script will rely on a very paint-by-numbers execution of these kids realizing it’s not how you look, but how you act yadda yadda. Still, you can’t count out “The Rock” for delivering some excellent action, and it’s never a bad thing when Karen Gillan gets more screen time out of blue make-up.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be in theaters on December 20.

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