JumanjiGate: the controversy that isn’t.

I think it’s a very bad idea to comment on a film before it’s released, even if  I’m just as guilty of it as everyone else: remember the whole ‘White Nile’ thing with Gods of Egypt? Turns out the naysayers were right on the money though; that film did have some ‘unfavourable optics’. But still, let’s wait a movie hits the screens before tearing it to pieces.

… But we won’t, will we?

In a brave attempt to get ahead of  the superhero onslaught that the Jumanji sequel is going to be up against next year, one of the stars, Kevin Hart, tweeted a quick publicity shot showing some of the cast in costume.

And here it is:


Not the greatest photo ever taken, but enough to  get the Twittersphere’s underwear in a bunch.

The problem, apparently, is that Karen’s Gillan’s outfit is not only impractical for an adventure in the jungle (after about twenty seconds in the tropics, she’s going to be a mass of mosquito bites), it’s also a little bit sexist (oh my God, is that  … is that … her navel??)

The stars could see the shit-storm brewing, so again, they tried to get ahead of things.

Karen Gillan said:

 ‘… Yes I’m wearing child sized clothes and YES there is a reason! The pay off is worth it, I promise!’

And Dwayne Johnson added that the costumes are all to do with the plot.

Personally, I think Twitter is what Twitter does, so they’re wasting their time trying to explain it. I also suspect that many of the complaints are coming from people who are too young to remember the original Jumanji movie, starring the late great Robin Williams.

Right, this is a bit of a spoiler, so if that bothers you, don’t read any further.

Okay, the original flick was about a magical adventure board game: while you played it, characters and creatures from the game came to life and wreaked havoc in your sleepy little town until you finished the game was finished.

I reckon we’re going to see something similar in the sequel (or maybe they’ll update things by making Jumanji an online game or something). The thing is, Gillan and crew are playing characters out of a computer/online game. Just look at their names: Ruby Roundhouse (that’s a martial arts move, isn’t it?); Moose Finbar, Professor Oberon; and my personal favourite, Dr Smolder Bravestone.

Gillan’s outfit isn’t bad optics, it’s a send up. I mean, what other female computer game character runs around the jungle in shorts with her midriff out?

But as I said, Twitter is what Twitter does, so if I were the cast I’d just keep quiet and ride the publicity all the way to the opening weekend.






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