The plot of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle feels less like a sequel to the Robin Williams movie about the magical board game and more like The Breakfast Club, upgraded with body-switcheroo comedy and some retro Indiana Jones thrills. It follows four high-school stereotypes sentenced to detention—jock, popular girl, nerd, brainiac—who find an old video console that sucks them into its jungle hell. Trapped inside the game, the gang find themselves in the bodies of its avatars. So the popular girl becomes Jack Black’s portly palaeontologist, the dorky kid is endowed with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson’s mega-biceps, while brainy girl Martha is transformed into kickass heroine Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). Humiliatingly, the jock turns into the wimpy sidekick (Kevin Hart).
Welcome to the Jungle is mostly great fun, with Jack Black outrageously entertaining as a teenage girl. But we need to talk about Karen. As Ruby Roundhouse, Gillan is stuck in less clothes than one of Rihanna’s backing dancers. It’s a dig at the hypersexualization of women in video games, apparently. If so, perhaps the male director (or one of the four male writers) can explain how fixing the camera on a skimpily dressed female character makes the point.
By Cath Clarke