Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Film Review No. 5: The Jungle Book (PG)

Strong Points:
Amazing CGI
Nice twist on the tale
Neel Sethi (Mowgli) was great at interacting with invisible creatures 
Well inputted songs 
Clever use of surround sound
Credit book scene
Subtle humanisation of animals
Those graphics!

Weak Points:
Slightly too long
Fight scenes were quite dark for the age rating 
End fight scene had quite a lot of variables which could've gone wrong
What was the punishment for breaking the treaty?
Could be seen as a Lion King reskin

In-depth Review:
This was a difficult movie to review as while everything worked so well and I couldn't find many faults, neither was it the best film in the world, probably due to it being a tech demo/reboot. An impressive tech demo though! 

I think the main draw to this film was the CGI, which was photorealistic when at its best. Seriously, I had to keep telling myself the animals weren't really there. No real dubbing errors, anthropomorphic touches, responsive to the environment around them, they were really good. And at the centre of it all was Mowgli. 

Basically the only actual actor in the film, Neel Sethi did really well at representing the stubborn child as well as being able to act with nothing. I mean, I know they had reference puppets etc. but it must have taken some serious skill to do it and make it believable, which it certainly was. The parkour was nice as well, with giant trees and cliffs to scale.

The environment wasn't the only thing big though, some of the creatures themselves were massive. This isn't more so than with Christopher Walken's King Louie, a Gigantopithecus (we checked, they were actually that size), a 3 metre tall overlord who didn't have only an occasional reference to The Godfather. Christopher Walken was very good at bringing new life to King Louie, as were all the other voice actors (especially Bill Murray and Idris Elba), bringing new humour and ferocity to their roles. What made the CG even more impressive was that, even though all of them are recognisable voices, you didn't 'see' the actor playing the role. 

They weren't afraid to try new things either with Scarlett Johansson's Kaa having a surround sound effect that made it really difficult to pinpoint the location, which was nice, if a bit unnerving. While we're on the subject of sound, The Jungle Book was originally a musical was it not? This is too, with some subtle inclusions of I Wanna Be Like You (ooh ooh ooh) and Bare Necessities (with Kaa's song also being in the end credits) working really well. Shame no elephant marching song though.

The story, without giving too much away, deviates slightly from the original Disney version (actually becomes more like The Lion King). The pace, while mostly good, does slow down at times, until the end where it goes too quickly! The fight scenes are well choreographed, again until the final fight scene, where there seemed to be just a few too many variables that could've gone wrong. Although, I did like the very final scene as it set it up nicely for a sequel (which has been confirmed).

Conclusion: overall, I really enjoyed this movie and unique take on The Jungle Book. I have to mention the credits scene as well, for sheer creativity and standards of animation! I'd watch a movie like that! 

Rating: 88%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

No comments:

Post a Comment