Disney’s decision to systematically do live action re-tellings of their classics isn’t something that I think is particularly exciting. With that being said, I do like Jon Favreau as a director, and the trailers have hinted that his take on The Jungle Book may be more than a simple money-grab.
I’m assuming that all of you already know what The Jungle Book is about, so I’m not going to bother with running down plot details. Also, just a heads up, I haven’t seen the cartoon version in forever, so I won’t be attempting to tell you what the differences are between it and Jon Favreau’s take. I’m simply here just to let you know whether or not you should see the film, and my answer to that is a resounding YES. I really enjoyed Favreau’s modernized and sporadically intense The Jungle Book. Neel Sethi, the boy who plays Mowgli, is an engaging presence on the screen, and the film’s variety of voices (especially Bill Murray as Baloo) all turn in inspired performances. The Jungle Book also looks fantastic. Sure, there are couple of blips here and there where something seems oddly animated, but for 99% of the time, the film features some of the best CG work in recent memory.
If you’re in need of a quality film, then look no further than The Jungle Book. It’s a true spectacle that’s clearly been crafted by folks who care about the story they’re telling. If only ever re-telling/reboot/re-imagining was this good.
One Last Thought:
The Jungle Book is the first film in forever that’s actually worth the 3D up-charge. Surprisingly (and how sad is that?), it’s done in a way that’s rather immersive, and I’m actually comfortable with saying that it’s how you should view the film (at least on your first go-round with it). Good work, Favreau! Rarely does anyone get 3D right.