By Renee’ C.
Rating: 4.5 (Out of 5 Reels)
Four teenagers (Spencer (Dwayne Johnson), Fridge (Kevin Hart), Bethany (Jack Black), and Martha (Karen Gillan)) discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting becoming the adult avatars they chose (IMDB).
Upon entry into the game these high schoolers quickly realize they must win the game to order to return to the real world. What makes this film great is not only the acting but the excellent writing. Each choose an avatar before entering the game and part of what makes this film extremely funny are the avatars the students unwittingly choose. Bethany, a self-centered girl becomes a middle-aged man, Spencer, a whimp becomes a big and brawny man, Fridge, the stocky high school jock, becomes a small statured man, and Martha, a smart recluse becomes a hot dance fighter. It is funny watching these characters realize they are not outwardly what they necessarily want to be but must use their newly found skills. Seeing Spencer, appear as a big and brawny man (Johnson) act like a whimp is funny because that is not what you expect from someone like him. However, he is just an avatar and still has the characteristics of his real-life counterpart.
The special effects are wonderfully done as well. Let’s face it they are inside a videogame, so anything is possible. I wasn’t holding out much hope for this film initially but was overwhelmingly surprised in the end that this film is extremely entertaining and well-made. A fun choice for the whole family this holiday season.