“AAAAHHHH!! AHHH!!! . . . . . . AH!”
Noises. Robin Williams came equipped with many of them, and in this outrageously fun film from the mid-90s, he’s provided an opportunity to tap into that part of him that was more. . . . shall we say, animalistic? As a child who got trapped inside the dangerous board game Jumanji, Alan Parrish has spent most of his “life” fighting for. . . well, a way out. An escape back to the real world.
And who can really blame him when he pops out of the middle of the game covered in vine and bramble, looking like George of the Jungle? I mean, my main man here is all hopped-up on some bath salts or something, dressed in foliage. Foliage dude. That style is SOOO 1960s. . .or whenever it was when he was rather unceremoniously consumed by a board game. When things were simple and dad made ends meet by pumping out shoes on a production line. Now (flash-forward roughly 20 years) it’s all complicated. Now kids are stumbling upon random board games in the loft of a mansion, getting into all kinds of trouble. . .like inviting random stampedes into the home or unleashing them upon the town. Bugs the size of Chihuahuas are the products of curious children snooping around where they perhaps shouldn’t.
But if there is one constant we always associate with the man when he’s up on the silver screen, it’s the adventure factor. Here is a film where that idea is exploited for the purpose of plot progression. In other words, comparatively Robin Williams is not the craziest thing about Jumanji; about a movie featuring kids battling flash floods and quick sand in their living rooms, and outlasting killer bees the size of, yes, small dogs. The environment is. Robin’s beard might be the craziest thing about his character. Well, that and the noises. Yes indeed, this is one of those performances that may not ultimately stand out from the crowd when comparing to his other creations but this is one that seamlessly blends in with the style and tone, this is Robin Williams basking in entertainment that, for once, has not been created wholly on his own.
When a new family moves into the Parrish’s gorgeous home twenty-six years after a strange occurrence involving the board game in the living room, history looks to repeat itself when two children — Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce) — discover the relic and begin playing, unaware that their first experience is merely a repetition of a vicious cycle that will bring to life some very real (and surreal) things. They dared roll the dice, now they must be prepared to face the consequences. . . .or at the very least, to face a very hairy Robin Williams.
Quoted: “What happened to you, the Clampetts have a yard sale? What do you want, I never shaved before.”
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Ah I absolutely loved him in this! Great work Tom!
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Tank’e kindly! Jumanji is just one of those fun ones where we do get to see him act a lot but it’s mostly absorbing b/c of how ridiculous this character and this game is! haha
AH man, when I was a kid all I wanted was a Jumanji boardgame. I watched it again the other day and I was like, it would still be fun to have that kind of an adventure, but how messed up is it that I wanted to play a game where I could get lost in the freaking jungle, alone, for decades?!
Truly a genius invention. Imagine if that shit happened in real life?
I’m fascinated by concepts that make u think like that. Even though its clear these things are fictional lol
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That’s what makes fiction awesome: the possibilities. As scary as that game could be, I would take some die-hard fans with me to play it (just to make sure I don’t get lost for decades and then some).
Nothing better than a movie/concept that makes you scratch your head!
LOVE Jumanji. I’m with you–this is one of his understated roles, but that doesn’t make it any less great. The week Williams died, I saw it on sale for $5 at Target and snatched it right up. Frankly, I should’ve bought it a long time ago. So much fun. 🙂
This one got hit with some nasty reviews by critics for some reason. However, I sort of remember enjoying it as a child. I think I was even freaked out by it for some reason that I cannot recall. I really feel as if I should watch this again in memory of him. I have not seen a Robin Williams film in years…
That is one epic beard!
Jumanji is certainly in the backlot as far as the “bigger” names are concerned in his career. i thought it was worth checking out b/c Williams has such a cynicism with his character here its amazing. Such a weird, weird movie. Weird character. But yes, epic beard.
A hairy Robin Williams is a hairy person indeed! I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying that. Only ever seen this the once and remember it being ok. Essentially a vehicle for Williams.
That it is. I still enjoy it a fair amount but it’s again another pretty obscure one I went with for sure! 🙂
Underrated performance by Williams. His initial realization that he’s been gone so long and his parents are dead is heart-breaking, as is his awkwardness and shyness around Bonnie Hunt’s character.
But I’ll always remember the movie’s creepy-ass drums…. No thank you.
All great reflections man, very good stuff. Hahaha the drums don’t put me off too much. What did though, were those massive damn insects!!! *shudder*
This movie is slightly creepy though, I’ll admit that. Esp. Robin Williams post-shave. He’s all cut-up ‘n stuff. haha