The Jungle Book | Movie Review

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Jungle Book was one of the movies that I was looking forward to this year and I was not disappointed!


As usual, before I start talking about my thoughts on the movie, here's a trailer and a little summary.


My Summary

WARNING: SPOILERS!!!!
Mowgli is a young boy that was raised by wolves after being found in the jungle by Bagheera, a black panther, voiced by Ben Kingsley. Everything was great until the dry season hits, which leads to all the animals congregating at a watering hole. This includes Sher Khan, a one-eyed tiger voiced by Idris Elba. Sher Khan hates humans and when he finds out that the wolves are fostering Mowgli, a human child, he basically declares that he's going to kill him. So Mowgli has to leave his wolf family behind and then he meets Baloo, a bear voiced by Bill Murray. Some hilarity ensues but Mowgli is kidnapped by a bunch of monkeys who bring him to King Louie, a GIANT orangutan who's voiced by Christopher Walken. Mowgli escapes with the help of Baloo and Bagheera but is distraught when he finds out Sher Khan has killed Akela, the wolf pack leader and voiced by Giancarlo Esposito. He steals a "red flower" from a human village and runs back into the jungle to face Sher Khan. He wins. lol

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My Thoughts

It's always interesting to see a modern interpretation of a childhood memory. Everything in the movie was beautiful. I was also impressed at how good the interaction between Neel Sethi (Mowgli) and the CGI animals. I loved the humor too. Even though the whole story is dramatic, there are some very funny bits about the movie too. Especially the parts with Baloo. 

Some of my favorite lines from Baloo include:
"You have never been more of an endangered species than you are at this moment." - Baloo to an anteater. 
"I don't hibernate but I nap. A lot."
"A bird... That can't be a good sign...." -Baloo as he climbs a cliff
But Baloo can't take all the comedic credit because Bagheera had some golden lines too.
Baloo: What did I tell you? He's special...
Bagheera: I know he's special. I raised him! 
I also liked how they changed Baloo's character. My memory of the cartoon version of this movie is a little hazy but I'm pretty sure that Baloo isn't a conniving bear. Sure he ends up being good in the end but he didn't start out that way. But my memory is sucky. So please correct me if I'm wrong.

Some awkward parts that I didn't like was the part where King Louie starts singing his song "I Wanna Be Like You". It's super awkward because he's this giant orang utan who sounds like a mobster and he just starts singing this super catchy song out of the blue. Like what?

Another thing I didn't like was when they had Mowgli and Baloo singing together. At least make them both sound good together. It was so hard to listen to that I just wanted it to end quickly. 

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The Cast

Neel Sethi as Mowgli

Idris Elba as Sher Khan

Christopher Walken as King Louie

Ben Kingsley as Bagheera

Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha

Giancarlo Esposito as Akeela

Scarlett Johansson as Kaa

Overall, this movie was better than I expected. I've learned to watch movies without high expectations now. So even when it's "bad" it isn't SO bad that I end up crying during the credits. Will I watch it again? I wouldn't mind. But if I had to pay to go watch it again, I'll pass. It had some up and downs but if you like good graphics, amazing voice acting and a great story then you'd like this movie.

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