The Jungle Book (2016) - Movie Review

Apr 11, 2016
walt disney pictures philippines

Adapting Rudyard Kupling's Mowgli stories again on the big screen is something everyone didn't wish to happen nor need at the moment. The 1967 incarnation of the story in the beloved Disney animated film 'The Jungle Book' is a classic on its own, and very hard to top given how everyone became too familiar with the story through that. But this newest iteration, directed by Jon Favreau, is unexpectedly breathtaking and even more, shockingly better than past iterations of Kupling's stories.

Walt Disney Pictures has kept a trend on fleshing out their past films to the live-action format recently, as seen in Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, and now The Jungle Book. This film is immensely immersive from start to finish, and I was pretty sold seeing this photo-realistic computer generated images as if they are actual tangible things. The moment the film opens, with the camera panning out to present a hand-drawn drawing of a jungle slowly turning into a special-effects driven scenery absorbs you to the action instantaneously.

Even the animal characters who have the tendency to become a big distraction to the picture was handled very well, a lot of it having to do with the terrific voice cast supporting them. Idris Elba is undeniably perfect as Shere Khan, and so does Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley as Baloo and Bagheera respectively. But the real scene stealer of the entire film is child actor Neel Sethi as Mowgli. As someone who literally is the only live actor on-screen (with the exception of extras), Sethi is a real class talent, creating a layer of humaneness to the story in an otherwise artificial-heavy production. It's very difficult for an actor to embrace his/her performance if the shoot heavily relies on a sound stage lot rather than natural location spots, but this kid somehow made it work effortlessly.

Pretty decent and absolutely stunning, Jon Favreau's 'The Jungle Book' triumphs past iterations of the classic Rudyard Kupling story. Newcomer Neel Sethi is a wonder, pulling off a captivating performance amidst the complexities of the film's production.

The geek rates it 9/10!

'The Jungle Book' is now showing in cinemas (3D, 2D, 4DX and select IMAX theaters - Mall Of Asia, Megamall ) nationwide from Walt Disney Pictures Philippines! Rated PG by the MTRCB.

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