Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

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I apologize for the lack of reviews lately, I’ve had a bad case of the lazies. But enough of that, uhm… oo-bidooo, I wanna reviiieeew.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Jungle Book”.

Welcome to the jungle! In this jungle, among all of the animals and plants we have a young human boy named Mowgli (Neel Sethi), who has lived with a pack of wolves for most of his life. However his life changes quite a bit when a tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill him. So Mowgli together with a panther named Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and a bear named Baloo (Bill Murray) have to go on the run and kind of discover who he really is. Pretty simple premise for a movie, but it’s effective. I was truly captivated by the plot of this movie. It was interesting, it was engaging, it was entertaining, and it was even a bit emotional at times. A little bit predictable at times, but not in an annoying way. It was a pretty damn solid plot.

The characters in this movie were all interesting and entertaining. I have been pretty verbal about my skepticism about having kids act in movies, but even I have to admit that Neel Sethi who played Mowgli was really good here. Especially considering that this was his first movie and that he acted against… nothing. There were no humans to act against in scenes, only tennis balls on sticks (or whatever they did here), and given those two factors… he was really good, he carried the movie very well. Bill Murray did the voice of Baloo and I think he did a great job with it. Baloo was funny, charming, and just overall awesome. Ben Kingsley was great as Bagheera, nothing much to say there. Idris Elba as Shere Khan was intimidating and badass and almost a bit scary. Yeah, he was fantastic. Lupita Nyong’o played Mowgli’s adoptive mother, Raksha, and she was great. But by far, my favorite, one that I advocated for so long that it was perfect casting… Christopher Walken as King Louie. Yeah, he was so much fun and just… god, I loved it! The rest of the cast, including people like Giancarlo Esposito, Scarlett Johansson, and Garry Shandling (R.I.P) all did a great job. It was a really solid cast.

The score for the movie was composed by John Debney and it was pretty damn good. It was fun and really big and epic. There are also some newer versions of the songs from the classic Disney animation spread throughout, and they all sound really good. Not all the classic songs, but several of them are here. And they are implemented pretty well into the movie.

This movie was directed by Jon Favreau and I honestly think he did a pretty great job. The way he directed it is fun and exciting and makes for a very good pace throughout. The scenes flow very well and some of them are even really tense. Which brings me to the CGI, and Jesus fucking Christ the CGI in this movie is absolutely astonishing. I looked at it all and my mind was kind of blown. What’s also interesting is that nothing was shot on location in an actual jungle, this was all a green screen set… and I could never really tell. What they did with the visual effects here was nothing short of fan-fucking-tastic. And based on certain things you see in this movie I find it hard to believe that this movie is rated PG. I’m not kidding, I expected at least a PG-13 rating, but no… this shit was PG. Disney sure gets away with some harrowing stuff.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“The Jungle Book” is one of the few reamkes/reboots that actually turned out to be great. Not saying that it surpasses the 1967 original, that is still my favorite Disney movie… but I am still saying that this is a great movie in it’s own right. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and fantastic visual effects. Time for my final score. *Roar!*. My final score for “The Jungle Book” is a 9,83/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Jungle Book” is now completed.

Welcome to the jungle, We’ve got fun ‘n’ games…

 

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