Thanks to the photorealistic animal effects and a stirring score from composer John Debney (bringing to mind Michael Giacchino's work on "Super 8"), I found Jon Favreau's "The Jungle Book" much more emotionally affecting than I ever would have anticipated. Or perhaps it's simply that, in the wake of a fraught Election year, this tale of a fragile society torn apart by bigotry and violence resonates all the more.
Favreau directs a technologically innovative adaptation mix of the Kipling tome and the '67 Disney animation with a large degree of success. Visually a marvel throughout even if the story holds no surprises. Voice talent is well cast as is young Mogli. Much darker than one would expect from the mouse house.
Feel bad for saying this, but the only weak part of the film is Neel Sethi, who just can't seem to hit the right emotional/reactionary notes to make the Mowgli character successful. On the other hand, this is the most visually engrossing movie since "Avatar," and the voice acting here really is tremendous, particularly from the always lovely Bill Murray and the unsettling but powerful Idris Elba.
I was against this from the beginning but I'm shocked it turned out a compelling CGI approach in a very dark tone of this children classic. Can't say I loved it, but it surprised me in a good way. Also, Scarlett Johansson should play a pedophile ASAP!
Entertaining at times, but lacklustre performances and a run of the mill style makes this (unfortunately) another unnecessary remake that doesn't manage to match the charm of the original. It had quite a confusing tone, as well - hovering somewhere between a darker realism and a goofy, slapstick song-and-dance. Very confusing, very underwhelming.