Ben Oliver

Banner image for The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book

Kid, I got ears. My ears got ears. Only I can protect you.
16 April 2016

A live-action remake of the 1967 animated film.

Good lord, they are getting good at the computer generated stuff these days aren’t they? You could have told me that Favreau managed to magically get animals to do his bidding and I’d have believed you. The technical wizardry at work is so good here that they have achieved near photo-realism.

It’s a shame that there’s not much else to really enthuse about. Bill Murray is fun as Baloo, which is probably the only thing of note. There are some stunning action sequences which unfortunately become monotonous and bland through over-use.

Normally I’d say it’s unfair to compare the old and new versions when they are both based on a book anyway, but Favreau insists on using The Bare Necessities and I Wanna be Like You, so he does seem to want to hark back to the 1967 version. I didn’t appreciate being reminded of a film that is fun and bouncy while watching what feels like a technical exercise. The musical numbers in particular were really a damp squib.

This is forgettable but competent and sometimes entertaining. The Jungle Book is definitely worth a look if you can get a cheap deal at the cinema, but otherwise you’re much better off curling up on the sofa on a wet Sunday with the original.

Incidentally, the cinema I was in was filled with parents & kids but it says a lot that half of them went for a loo break and never came back.

Oh and in true tradition - “I’d let Scarlett Johansson squeeze me to death any day.”

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