The Jungle Book Movie Review
I enjoyed The Jungle Book, but not nearly as much as the drunk man two rows in front of me who loved this live-action adaptation more than any person has loved anything in the history of the world. If The Jungle Book presents an emotional, gripping journey, this man became one with the movie, engrossed and passionate and absorbed by its stunning special effects and entertaining characters.
And Bill Murray. He really loved that Bill Murray was the voice of Baloo.
Well, until Baloo says some mean things to Mowgli and he hollered, “Fuck you, Bill Murray.”
Rarely does a loud, drunk stranger enhance a movie-going experience, but this glorious individual raised the stakes for Jon Favreau’s beautiful and engaging movie. This man was so into the movie that if Favreau faltered even for a minute, who knows what would have happened. The man probably would have charged the movie screen, or gone into a rant that could only be stopped with the help of multiple police officers. And a police dog. Most definitely a police dog.
I take it back. He was a happy drunk. Except when Baloo messed with Mowgli.
Fuck you, Bill Murray.
In all seriousness, The Jungle Book looks great and is a quality piece of entertainment from start to finish. While small kids might find aspects of the movie frightening—while there are plenty of cute moments with talking animals and the like, there are plenty of serious stretches and the realistic-looking animals can be intimidating—The Jungle Book is surprisingly exciting. I wasn’t entirely sold during the first act, but as the story progresses and the stakes rise (don’t forget the drunk man!), the film grabs a hold of you.
The voice acting is superb and young Neel Sethi, the only actual actor shown on screen, holds his own.
I didn’t love every aspect of The Jungle Book, but it’s well done and surprisingly entertaining. Did I like it as much as the drunk man in row D? No. No I didn’t. Because that would be impossible.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.