We all know the story here, Young Mowglie is brought up by a family of wolves after being found as a baby by Panther Bagheera but is forced to travel to the human village after the evil Sheer Khan vows to kill him. on his journey he meets a creepy snake, honey loving bear Baloo and massive monkey King Louie before taking on Sheer Khan to save his wolf family. simply put the same basic plot as the original, which isn't a bad thing but unfortunately there are a few things about this re-imagining that bothered me as a whole while watching.
The voice acting is my major bug bear, aside from Baloo and Bagheera the choices of the other characters we remember so fondly just do not live up. I mean Jesus F Christ who ever thought Christoper Walken as King Louie would work? Walken tortures one of the most iconic Disney classic songs 'I Wan'na Be Like You', one of the worst ever versions of the song I have ever heard, as as this is one of only two of the original songs used this is a huge disappointment. Sheer Khan voiced by Luther star Idris Elba just grated with me, and i'm a Elba fan! it felt a little out of place in this, his second Disney voicing in the last few months (Zootropolis) and it is a shame as he was very good in Zootropolis. Secondly the film felt much long than it actually was, and we found ourselves getting bored through parts.
The positives however are the reasons I ALMOST gave The Jungle Book a 4 star review. The visual effects were breath taking, the CGI work on the film brought everything to life and you felt like you was in the middle of the jungle. I liked the slight change on the overall story, I thought removing Mowglie meeting the village girl was a good call and gives the character a more rounded feel. Bill Murray is amazing as Baloo and Ben Kingsley is a perfect Bagheera. Loved the final scenes between Sheer Khan and Mowglie and I thought Neel Sethi fit the role of Mowglie perfectly, a great little actor who joins Room's Jacob Tremblay on the list of actors who are going to make some amazing films in the coming years.
It is a shame but I just couldn't give this film a four star review. I just honestly didn't see the huge hype placed on the film from critics out there other than for visual effects. there are so many tiny details that just stopped the film being a great film other than the good film I saw it as. Also just checked out the soundtrack and where the hell is Scarlett Johansson's Trust In Me song in the film? just saying!
Good for a family trip out but the darker feel to the film may scare little ones so be warned.