I was in a negative-attitude place with Robin Williams at the time of Joe Johnston’s Jumanji. I’d loved Williams’ genie in Aladdin but half-hated his overly precious acting in The Fisher King, and I really despised him in Hook, Toys and Mrs. Doubtfire. But man, I sure do miss that mid ’90s Williams now. He was around 43 when he made Jumanji, and had another seven years of good career traction ahead of him. Things started to go downhill after his performance in Chris Nolan‘s Insomnia (’02)
Last December’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a huge hit, of course — $404 million domestic, $962 million worldwide. I avoided it like the plague, mostly due to the presence of Dwayne Johnson. So I’m in no position to compare it to Johnston’s 1995 original, which brought in $100 million domestic and $262 million with overseas revenue. I can report, however, that Detroit News critic Adam Graham wrote last December that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle “makes the original Jumanji look like a towering cinematic achievement.”
The general consensus was that Johnston’s film was (a) far from classic but (b) not too bad. I remember loving David Alan Grier‘s performance as an easily flustered local cop.