The jungle is alive and well again, as Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle brings the world of the game to our silver screens yet again. But a lot's changed since Alan Parrish and his friends fought off the magical board game in the original Jumanji. The game has gone digital, and with a new film comes a new chance to bring the 3D magic to audiences yet again. You can see where this is all leading, as this new perilous adventure has us asking that question we love to investigate so much: to 3D, or not to 3D.
If you're looking for our review of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, you can check that out here. But if you're ready to find out if you should spend some extra cash on 3D thrills, or if you'd be better off buying some DLC to a game already on your shelf, then this is the place to be. The drums are playing, and Jumanji is waiting for its champion. Let's see if the jungle looks better looking through the third dimension.
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is a solid fit for the 3D format, but not a totally perfect one. While the video game world makes a pretty awesome canvas for eye-popping excitement, it really depends on the right amount of planning to give the audience enough elements of excitement. But if you can really sell the 3D, it should work like a charm.
There are a lot of visual elements in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle that work out in the favor of the film's wow factor. And yet, two fields that are normally solid anchors to a proper 3D conversion -- brightness and audience health -- are a bit lacking in flare this time out. This is an action film, and you'd think that the filming of that action for an eventual 3D presentation would be a little smoother than what we see here.
Watching Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, it's pretty noticeable that the explosions and scattering of debris and atmospheric elements are meant to convey a good sense of items coming through the 3D window. Only some of those assets follow through though, as throwing knives, striking snakes, and our main characters disappearing into the video game manage to strike the notes intended. Yet pieces of the film involving other attacking animals, and a particularly huge explosion, manage to disappoint. Not to mention, the in-game menus detailing the character's strengths and weaknesses is a missed opportunity for added 3D flare.
In the best instances of a 3D conversion, the factor of the picture beyond the window can make the movie you're watching seem limitless in depth. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle isn't quite up to that level of spectacle, but it is pretty good at conveying the depth of a scene in the third dimension. The lines of spatial reasoning between characters and their environments, as well as characters and their co-stars, are sharply drawn in the picture. There's even some finer details in the cast's facial features, but you can definitely sense where the picture's depth ends.
The weakest factor of this 3D showing of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle was, undoubtedly, the brightness of the picture on display. With the glasses up, the film looked pretty bright and watchable, but when the glasses were down it was a pretty dim picture. Now, this is a factor where your mileage may vary, as everything from the bulb in the projector to how well the theater has calibrated its projectors between 2D and 3D screenings will effect how bright the picture is.
While you've got your glasses up to check on the brightness factor of your 3D picture, as you are wont to do during any random moment, other factor to pay attention to is the blur of the picture. Usually, that blur helps indicate how much detail has been drawn in the depth and projection of the 3D elements in the film being presented. With Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, the blur is pretty strong throughout the film's visual content, with only certain elements in close up being left pretty untouched to anchor the picture. Pretty solid stuff.
The second most disappointing feature in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle's conversion to 3D is the audience health factor, as some of the action shot for this film does not convert to 3D well at all. The initial jump into the game world, courtesy of a POV shot of what Dwayne Johnson's avatar is looking at during a long fall down, is one of the most noticeable cases of visual wonk. Combining these sporadic moments with the dim picture that the film has taken on, and you've got a real workout for your eyes if you decide to jump to a 3D showing of this movie.
While it's far from a total failure of a 3D presentation, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle gets it wrong in two crucial fields. This undermines a lot of the pretty good work done in some of the more impressive fields of the medium, and it puts this movie in the decent, but not necessary pile. But if you really need convincing to see a movie in 3D to begin with, you're definitely better off going to a 2D screening instead.
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