Stars: Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong'o, Giancarlo Esposito.
Directors: Jon Favreau
Screenplay: Justin Marks
The newest Disney live-action retelling of one of their old classics. For the most part it is an enjoyable film until my mind starts to wonder from tedium.
The Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau doesn’t bring anything new to the story of a young boy Mowgli (Neel Sethi) growing up in the jungle. With Sheer Khan (Edris Elba) the tiger wanting to kill the boy, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) takes it upon himself to take the man-cub to the man village and through trials and tribulations great morals are taught in how one can define themselves in the world we live in.
For what it is worth, the movie is very pretty, the jungle is luscious, the movement of the animals feels believable, and Neel as Mowgli is a fine choice. However this adaptation feels like it has nothing new to say and relies on the original so much that even the songs are included (and barely listenable renditions to boot). It feels that there is less direction for the protagonist in this movie, unlike the original where everything aligns to the goal of Bagheera taking Mowgli to the man village. Baloo (Bill Murray)— and King Louie (Christopher Walken)— feels wedged into the film rather than him naturally being part of the story. However the gathering of the honey is a fantastic sequence, mainly because it is treading new ground instead of bashing through old content.
If I were to go into this film fresh eyed then it may have been a really great time.