Movie Review:Jumanji (1995)

Jumanji Trailer

Jumanji Summary

In 1969, Alan Parrish lives with his parents Sam and Carol in Brantford, New Hampshire. One day, he escapes a group of bullies and retreats to Sam’s shoe factory. He meets his friend, Carl Bentley, who reveals a new shoe prototype he made by himself. Alan misplaces the shoe and damages a conveyor belt, but Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. After the bullies attack Alan and steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site. He finds a board game called Jumanji, which was buried 100 years earlier, and brings it home.

That night, after arguing with Sam about attending a boarding school, Alan plans to run away, but his friend, Sarah Whittle, returns his bicycle. Alan shows her Jumanji and invites her to play. With each roll of the dice, the game piece moves by itself and a cryptic message describing the roll’s outcome appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. After Alan inadvertently rolls a five, a message tells him to wait in a jungle until someone rolls a five or eight, and he is sucked into the game. Afterwards, a swarm of bats appears and chases Sarah out of the mansion.

Twenty-six years later, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the now-vacant Parrish mansion with their aunt, Nora, after their parents died in an accident on a ski trip in Canada the winter before. Discovering Jumanji in the attic, Judy and Peter begin playing it. Their rolls summon giant mosquitoes and swarms of monkeys. The game rules state everything will be restored when the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter next rolls a five which releases a lion and a grown up Alan. As Alan makes his way out, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. Alan, Judy, and Peter go to the now-abandoned shoe factory and learn that Sam abandoned the business to search for his son after his disappearance, until his 1991 death. Eventually, the factory closed, sending Brantford into economic decline.

Realizing they need Sarah to finish the game, the three locate Sarah, now haunted by both Jumanji and Alan’s disappearance, and persuade her to join them. Sarah’s first move releases fast-growing carnivorous vines, and Alan’s next move releases a big-game hunter named Van Pelt, whom Alan first met in the game’s inner world. The next roll summons a stampede of various animals, and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by Carl. Back in town, the stampede wreaks havoc, and Van Pelt steals the game.

Peter, Sarah, and Judy track Van Pelt to a department store, where they set booby traps to subdue him and retrieve the game, while Alan, after revealing his identity to Carl, is set free. When the four return to the mansion, it is now completely overrun by jungle wildlife. They release one calamity after another until Van Pelt arrives. When Alan drops the dice, he wins the game which causes everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.

Alan and Sarah return to 1969, just in time for Alan to reconcile with Sam, who tells him that he does not have to attend boarding school. Alan also admits his responsibility for damaging the conveyor belt. After realizing that they have memories of the game, Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river, then share a kiss.

In an alternate version of the present, Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. Alan’s parents are still alive and Alan is now successfully running the family business. Alan and Sarah meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time during a Christmas party. Alan offers Jim a job and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip, averting their deaths.

Meanwhile, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking on a beach. Jumanji is seen lying partially buried in the sand.

Jumanji Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A classic Robin Williams film. He will always be remembered through the roles he played but this was and will always be the best version.

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