Monday, April 18, 2016

Jungle Book (2016)

Jungle Book is the latest entry in Disney's recent trend of making live-action movies of their classic animated features. In this movie, the vistas look gorgeous but the animals are visibly CGI and perhaps belong in a video game. If you just bear (pun intended) the first half, the second half redeems the movie.

Jon Favreau, after Iron Man 1 & 2 and Cowboys vs. Aliens, has proven himself to be a capable director for making blockbuster movies. He has done a commendable job here as well, but his only shortcoming was in directing the only live actor of the film, Neel Sethi (Mowgli). There are various points that I could sense Mowgli was looking at a green screen or a stand-in instead of those majestical creatures from the story - this made my suspension of disbelief a little more difficult.

It's a film made for young audiences after all, and perhaps they wouldn't have the same problems that I had... I found myself checking the time almost every five minutes during the first half of the movie, but as soon as Baloo (the lovable bear voice by the incredible Bill Murray) entered the story, things changed completely. Other than Bill Murray, hats off to Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa) and Ben Kingsley (Bagheera). Overall, the voice acting was truly top notch.

So to sum up, the jungle scenery looked amazing; the voices on the animals were perfect but the animation looked fake at times; Mowgli's acting was weak; and the second half of the movie (i.e. after the introduction of Bill Murray's character) was the saving grace.
The first half was 3/10, while the second was 7.5/10. Overall, I'd take the average and give it 5/10.

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