The Jungle Book takes us on an adventure with a young boy named Mowgli, as he sets out for a man village, after his family of wolves is threatened by the vicious tiger, Shere Khan.
I must say, before starting this review, I wasn’t too keen on seeing The Jungle Book. This movie was going to be beautiful, yes, but would it have me 100% invested in the film? I thought, of course not! Surely it couldn’t be as good as the 1967 original Jungle Book. But as I saw the movie, my negativity was completely gone. The Jungle Book proved me wrong on every level.
Let’s save the best for first in this case. I am in love with the voice actors that were chosen to portray the different animals. Each actor fit their character perfectly. I was especially impressed with Bill Murray as the goofy bear, Baloo. Murray was so much fun to watch. I loved it so much, I couldn’t get Bear Necessities out of my head. But as good as Murray was, I couldn’t get over how Idris Elba could put so much evil into the voice of the tiger, Shere Khan. Elba made this film scary to watch at times. Elba’s voice will shake you to your core. But by far the funniest casting was Christopher Walken as King Louie. We get to hear Walken crack jokes and sing? Now that’s enough for me to buy a ticket. The whole ensemble of characters made this film come together.
But beyond the voices, the scenery in this film was spectacular. This film didn’t shoot on location, and therefore used a lot of CGI. After watching movies where an excessive amount of CGI is used, I didn’t have high hopes for what this film was going to look like. But, to be honest, I hardly even noticed CGI. The movements of the animals were spot on. However, there were times when the CGI became noticeable (e.g Mowgli running through the jungle, or Mowgli hopping from tree to tree) and you could tell right off the back that it was computer generated. This hindered the film’s overall performance.
There were some pitfalls throughout the movie. For instance, Neel Sethi, the boy who plays Mowgli, was a little dry when it came to his acting. Some of his lines were delivered with little emotion, or felt forced. I understand that it is his first movie, but there have been other child actors who perform with such beauty for their first time on screen, that you can’t take your eyes off them. But with that said, I also felt like the movie would hit a bit of a lull at times. Where nothing was really happening, but they had to fill it in with more jungle adventure.
Overall, The Jungle Book is worth seeing in theatres. It has love, companionship, and loyalty. After seeing this film, you will feel like a kid again, wondering out of the theatre, singing all the tunes.
The Jungle Book
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, and Christopher Walken