My wife and I went to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle this evening. Admittedly, we went in with somewhat low expectations, thinking this would be, at best a sequel, but we came away pleasantly surprised, much more entertained than we’d expected.
Without wandering into spoiler territory, this was indeed a sequel. But, it stood on its own. The only thing you might not understand was a passing reference to Alan Parrish, Robin Williams‘ character from the original movie (and a nice nod).
There were a few parallels to the original, but this was definitely a separate movie. Jack Black’s portrayal of a teenage girl (this makes more sense in context) was absolutely hilarious, but avoided going too far over the top. Likewise, Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan as a pair of nerdy teens worked quite well. My only complaints with the film were a few scenes that seemed a bit too much like “The Breakfast Club” (I haven’t checked, they may have lifted some lines), and one awkward bit right before the end.
All in all, it was a fun movie and one I can recommend.