Movie: The Jungle Book

Genre: Action/Adventure, Family

Title: The Jungle Book

Release Date: 15 April, 2016

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Summary:

After a threat from the tiger, Sheer Khan, forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named, Mowgli, embarks on a journey of self discovery with the aid of the panther, Bagheera, and the free spirited bear, Baloo.

What I Liked:

So, I didn’t expect much from this movie.  In fact, it seemed that everyone was excited about The Jungle Book except for me.  As much as I like Disney, I’m still not sure that I’m on board for these animated-to-live-action remakes.  But the good reviews on rottentomatoes.com (95%) piqued my interest.  And…

I’m actually really glad that I went to see this movie.  Considering that this movie was filmed entirely in a studio and is mostly CGI, I really am blown away.  The special effects are fantastic.  The animals really look and move like real animals.  There were very few times that I felt that anything looked fake or ‘uncanny valley.’

The voice acting, though, is the absolute best part of the film.  Everyone is amazing, though I will give a special mention to Idris Elba for being a completely terrifying Shere Khan.  The only physical actor is newcomer Neel Sethi.  He does a fine job, especially considering that he is 12-years-old, has never acted before, and is acting in an environment that is completely green-screened with no other physical actors.  Is he the best? No, but he does a good job considering those conditions.  We have seen much worse from seasoned veterans (go watch the Star Wars prequels if you don’t believe me).

What I didn’t:

So, I didn’t not like it, per say, but the ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ scene was…a bit odd.  There are only two songs in the entire movie, so anytime a character starts singing, there’s a chance that it will seem out of place.  ‘Bare Necessities’ is worked in pretty well.  It’s not a full on musical number; It comes across as organic, like the way that I tend to burst into song in my daily life (just ask my family).  But the King Louis song comes close being a musical number .  An awkward, misplaced musical number.  It’s funny, but in a, “I’m not sure if I’m laughing at them or with them,” sort of way.

Overall:

This movie was a lot of fun.  It doesn’t really bring anything new  to the story, but it really doesn’t need to.  What it has to offer is amazing special effects, great voice acting, and a familiar story told in a brand new way.  I’m very glad that I went to see this movie.  It was a lot of fun, and I’d definitely recommend it over seeing most other family/kids movies in the theaters (like Ratchet & Clank. Not Zootopia, though.  That movie’s awesome!)

My Rating: 3.5/5 (Enjoyed, would watch again)

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