The algorithm that auto-generated my movie must have been glitching: it looked like Jungle Book but felt like Lion King (among other notables, a shot-for-shot climax), and sounded like King of New York. Needed at least 150 more people error-correcting the code.
It's always hard adapting an animated film to "live action", but it is even harder to remake such a nostalgia-inducing classic as this; for that, I give it kudos. At least for trying. Kipling's tale is revived and brought closer to the younger generations who would probably have little to no contact with the original. But it does not beat it.
Three stars for one of the greatest visual effects I've ever seen and for the perfect voice actors. However, the undeveloped characters (especially the wolves) and to be frank, Mowgli's bad performance really really made me cringe. The kid fails to deliver the messages and the emotions, which are crucial for the whole movie. I am sorry, you know it's that bad, even for a child actor.
A great adventure flick for the young ones. My kid liked it but as an adult you might feel short changed. The movie looks and sounds great and the voice casting choices are inspired and on point. Story wise you get a good version of the source material but it could have used a bit more depth. But hey, it is a movie for the younger audience. Not a grumpy old man like me.
Glad to say I was wrong and this turned out not only to NOT be a horrible idea, but to actually improve on the original. Mowgli's not bad, but the animal cast is fantastic and memorable, both as performances and visuals - possibly the most impressive CGI I've ever seen. And you can see Favreau's commitment to telling a cohesive story that is both compelling and fun. Very enjoyable.
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.