Jumanji the sequel

Jumanji the sequel movie will be a sequel to the 1995 movie starring Robin Williams.  The sequel will have an all-star cast of Dwayne the Rock Johnson, Karen Gilliam, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black.  It has been rumored the sequel will have the players trapped inside a video game rather than a board game.

Plot of the original Jumanji

In 1869, near Brantford, New Hampshire, two brothers named Caleb and Benjamin bury a chest.  They hope no one will ever find it. One hundred years later in 1969 Alan Parrish visits a shoe factory owned by his father, Samuel. He visits his friend Carl Bentley, an employee, who reveals a new shoe prototype he made by himself. Alan misplaces the shoe and damages an important machine. Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. Alan leaves the factory and is attacked by a group of delinquents who also steal his bicycle.  Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site. He finds the chest containing a board game called Jumanji, and brings it home.

After an argument with Samuel about attending a boarding school Alan plans to run away. Sarah Whittle, his friend, arrives to return his bicycle.  They start playing Jumanji. With each roll of the dice the player piece moves by itself and a cryptic message describing the roll’s outcome appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. Sarah rolls the dice but nothing happens. Alan rolls the dice and a message tells him to wait in a jungle until someone rolls 5 or 8.  He is then 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 vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora.  They are moving in with their aunt since their parents died in an accident. The next day Judy and Peter find Jumanji in the attic and begin playing it. Their rolls summon giant mosquitoes and a group of monkeys. The game rules state that everything will be restored when the game ends.  Peter’s next roll releases a lion and an adult Alan who rushes to his father’s factory. On the way he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. Once at the factory a homeless man tells Alan that after his disappearance Sam abandoned the business and searched for his son until his death four years earlier. The factory’s closure has devastated the town’s economy.

Realizing that they need Sarah to finish the game the three locate Sarah. Sarah is now suffering mental trauma from Jumanji and Alan’s disappearance.  They persuade her to join them. Sarah’s move releases fast-growing man-eating vines. Alan’s next roll releases a big game hunter named Van Pelt, whom Alan first met in the jungle. The next roll summons a herd of various animals causing a stampede.  A pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it but Alan is arrested by Carl. Then Van Pelt steals the game. Peter, Sarah, and Judy track Van Pelt to a department store where they set booby traps to deter him and retrieve the game. In the meantime Alan escapes from Carl’s car. When the four return to the mansion they find it completely overrun by jungle wildlife. They release one calamity after another until an earthquake destroys the mansion. As Van Pelt corners Alan and prepares to kill him, Alan finally makes the winning roll. This causes everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.

Back in 1969, Alan and Sarah are children once again.  They have retained full memories of the game’s events. Alan reconciles with his father and admits that he damaged the factory’s machine. Carl is rehired and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend boarding school. Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river then share a kiss.

In present day Alan has taken over his father’s business. Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. They meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time at a Christmas party. Alan offers Jim a job and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip, averting their deaths.

On a beach in France, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies buried in the sand.

The Sequel

We can only hope the sequel recaptures the excitement of the original.  Changing the plot to have the players captured in a video game instead of a board game will definitely modernize the film, but it could possibly turn it into a hokey plot device.  Cross your fingers and hope the Rock can work his cinematic magic and make the movie a blockbuster similar to the original.

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