The Jungle Book

Forget about your worries and your strife is a little hard when you’re being hunted down by one terrifying Idris Elba’d tiger.

Not that the first movie wasn’t entirely without terror. I remember being very afraid of Shere Khan as a child. Disney’s modern retelling retains a lot from the old, adds a couple things new, and probably should have jettisoned some other things it let in.

The plot, as far as I can remember the first one, is pretty much the same, minus the little love story between mowgli and the girl. Mowgli was rasied by wolves at the behest of Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) who hangs out wit Mowgli all the time but doesn’t want to raise him? Weird contradiction panther. But Mowgli must leave the jungle when the local tiger, Shere Khan (Idris Elba) decides he wants him dead. Which took him long enough. Mowgli’s been there for 8 years, you’d think he would have offed him before Mowgli could run and climb.

Anyways, Mowgli has his adventures in the jungle before a final confrontation with Shere Khan etc etc. It plays out like you think it will. But goddamn it looks like a painting. The CGI in this film is incredible. The hyper-realism is off the charts and the interactions between CGI and real effects, say Baloo in the water, is so cool you’d be forgiven for forgetting everything else.

The original was technically a musical. This new one has jettisoned all but two songs. But why? Is it because we all love the bear necessities and King Louie’s half crazed fire rant? They are familiar but feel incredibly out of place. Especially with the musical stylings of Bill Murray and Christopher Walken, two men definitely known for the singing acumen.

All in all, it’s a kids movie. And it will entertain children. It will also scare the shit out of them. But they will probably love it, because it is an incredibly good looking movie. Adults will enjoy the spectacle but let the next generation create some of their own nostalgia.

2 1/2 out of 4 stars. Currently on Netflix.

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