NEW YORK (WABC) -- "Jumanji" is inspired by the hit movie from 1995 that starred the late Robin Williams, and the premise remains interesting.
Originally, Jumanji was a board game. Now, it's an old video game. Advances in special effects since the original make the action more believable, and a great cast really sells the concept.
The action starts at school, where fiddling around in detention leads a nerd to show up in the jungle of Jumanji as Duane "The Rock" Johnson. A football player known as "The Fridge" loses some height to become Kevin Hart, while a shy girl becomes an alpha female who exclaims, "Oh my God, we're in different people's bodies!"
Finally, a female selfie queen lands as Jack Black.
The avatars must play the game to get out of it, and under the rules, each has three lives. All of it gets a bit tiresome, and I agree with some critics who complained that some of this was just silly. But one called "Jumanji" trash, and that's too harsh.
I laughed more often than usual, and it's the kind of attraction a family can enjoy together. And really, isn't that what going to the movies during the holiday season should be all about?
Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Jumanji'