Okay, so as I mentioned over at my Facebook-page a few days ago, I did see The Jungle Book and I promised you all a review. There’s not really much I can say about it, but hey… a promise is a promise so I’ll give it a try… But first off, I just have to say that it’s been over 25 years since I’ve seen the animated version in its entirety and probably even longer since I read the book so there won’t be much in ways of comparisons. Instead, I’m just gonna drop some thoughts about This iteration. Okay? Okay.
The first thing I’m gonna have to talk about here is the visuals. They were absolutely amazing. If I had to give an award for the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen, this would absolutely be a top contender. The animals, the environment, it was all brilliantly done. Top notch graphics from start to finish. I saw it in 3D, which you all know by now that I personally can do without, but I have heard that this film was one of few that actually benefits from it, and for once I didn’t have anything to complain about. If it’s better with or without, I can not say yet, but this is an instance where I’ll gladly pay slightly higher admittance.
Secondly, I have to talk a bit about Neel Sethi, the kid who played Mowgli. That was a perfect cast. The kid embodied the Mowgli I’ve grown accustomed to and I’m pretty much 100% sure that Sethi have a bright future in the business ahead of him.
Thirdly, Bill Murray as Baloo? The very thought of it sounds amazing…. and it was. Bill Murray as Baloo is like popcorn at the movies, it was that good. He brought the perfect layed back-charm that we’d expect from Baloo, but he also brought a sense of stability to it that I didn’t expect. And of course, the humor. Casting choice of the year, I’d say.
As for the rest of the cast, they all did a good job with their characters. Ben Kingsley felt like the perfect choice for the grown-up, responsible Bagheera, Idris Elba brought the perfect ferocity to his Shere Khan and Scarlett Johansson did the best she could (how little it may have been) with her Kaa, but the one that stood out for me was Christopher Walken’s King Louie. We all know that Walken’s voice is as recognizable as Santa on Christmas, but he did something here that I was not expecting. I knew that it was him that voiced Louie, but I actually had to concentrate to hear it and that has never happened before. It was a more than welcome twist. The rest of the cast did just as fine, no complaints anywhere in that department.
To conclude, I’m gonna go ahead and give Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book the Tango’s ‘Stamp of Approval’. It was by no means a perfect film, but there was few things to complain about. They could probably have put a little more work into the story, but the one we had worked and I left the theater a satisfied customer.
There you go, some of my thoughts on the latest iteration of The Jungle Book. Now, I’m gonna go ahead and rummage through my personal film library for some older films to watch, as I’m planning a ‘Summer of -93’ event. Be sure to check in later on for some good reads.