Skip to main content

The Jungle Book (2016) - Review

This movie is a live retelling of the classic Jungle Book story. The story follows Mowgli, a young human child, who is being raised by a pack of wolves until a vicious tiger known as Shere Khan intervenes and threatens him, forcing Mowgli to flee.

Neel Sethi plays as Mowgli in his first ever film and to me, he was the weakest thing in the movie. Now that isn't to say he was utterly bad or anything, it is just that this being his first film, and the film being completely CGI, asked a lot from him, and you could tell he struggled with it. The performance was good enough that it didn't ruin the movie or anything like that. Also, the kid was up against a full studded cast.

The movie features a great A-List cast of voice actors like Ben Kingsley (Voices Bagheera, the panther), Bill Murray (Voices Baloo, the bear), Idris Elba (Voices Shere khan, the tiger), Christopher Walken (Voices King Louie, the giant orangutan) to name a few. And all of them did a terrific job. The only one that didn't fit was Scarlett Johanson as Kaa, the giant snake. She just felt like Scarlet Johanson doing voice over instead of her being the character herself.

Bill Murray as Baloo was like the best thing ever. He had fun one liners, laid back lazy attitude and just an overall likeness to him. Ben Kingsley as Bagheera was like this friend/father/mentor figure, and he nailed it. Christopher Walken as the giant orangutan, singing a song, is something everyone must see. And who better to cast as the vicious Shere Khan then Idris Elba. He killed it in his role. There was this aura around him whenever he was onscreen. Elegant, powerful and vicious. Great villain.

Of course, this movie would be nothing if it wasn't for the technical feat it was able to deliver. I mean HOLY SHIT. The CGI in this movie is absolutely amazing. Everything except Mowgli is CGI. The environments, the animals, everything. And man oh man did they deliver. The environments looked so realistic, and the animals, so terrific. Seriously, this is one great looking film. A new standard in full on CGI work. Just WOW.

While the movie is rated PG, I'm glad Disney didn't made it completely children friendly. There is stuff in it that I was surprised to see, in a supposedly kids movie, which makes it all the more enjoyable for adults.

My issues with the film, alongside Scarlett Johanson's casting and Neel Sethi's acting, is that it was perhaps a bit too short, which kinda cuts the development in some areas short, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and wanting more. More scenes with the wolves, with Baloo and Mowgli, or Mowgli and Bagheera, or all three would have been great. Because the movie makes it seem like they have this special bond, but doesn't give enough time developing it.

Overall, Director Jon Favreau did a great job creating a fun, enjoyable movie that everyone can enjoy, which will instill Nostalgia among those who have seen previous incarnations of this story. And it is a technical masterpiece. I definitely recommend it.



Popular posts from this blog

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) - Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings is a stop motion animated film from the studio Laika, and is about a boy who must go on this journey to acquire a special magical armor in order to defeat the forces of evil. I'm deliberately not putting more in the synopsis since I believe this movie is best watched with as little knowledge as possible, and hence why I'll keep this review short as well.  
From start to finish, this was a beautiful, heartfelt, entertaining, often really hilarious, and a magical journey. It's an adventure movie that really reels you in with the aspect of adventure. The world/setting was really interesting, and the mythos, the legends, the stories etc all kept adding to the experience. Just the type of adventure I love. 
Kubo was a great character. You feel and root for him throughout. And the supporting characters were just as great if not better. Their relationship with each other, and the way it progresses, was so sweet.
Animation quality was outstanding. This is…

Arrival (2016) - Movie Review

Arrival is a sci-fi drama directed by Denis Villeneuve, who I think is one of the better directors working today with previous films like Sicario and Prisoners under his belt, and it is about mysterious aliens spaceships coming down to our blue planet and our attempt at understanding why. 
The movie focuses on the character of Amy Adams, who's a renowned linguist and is recruited to help the US army communicate with the visitors. She gives one of the best performances of her career here, and I hesitate to reveal anything more in the case of spoiling anything, so I'll just say that her character arc was profoundly moving. She is accompanied by several side characters, notable ones being portrayed by Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, and they both delivered good performances.

Now the way this movie approached the aliens scenario was my favorite thing in Arrival. The focus on language and communication felt like a fresh take. It was really intriguing to see Amy Adams' chara…

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) - Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge is a war-drama based on the true story about Desmond Doss, an American combat medic in WW2, who saved 75 lives in the battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battle of the pacific theater. Directed by Mel Gibson who, after a 10 years gap, returned to the world of cinema, and in full form. 
Andrew Garfield plays as Desmond Doss and in the process gave the best performance of his career. You feel for him, you understand his character, and you root for him all the way. Teresa Palmer plays as the love interest, and she was simply lovely. Their short love story was quite sweet and they both had great chemistry. The performances were great across the board, and there were some surprising ones too like Vince Vaughn. He portrays a sergeant and I loved him in this film. He had a comedic layer to his role but was also dramatic when the movie called for it. The show stealer side-character performance was from Hugo Weaving, though, who plays as Desmond's father, and he was simp…