Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews this new interpretation of The Jungle Book directed by Andy Serkis. 

IGN: “Director Andy Serkis’ Mowgli intentionally avoids any such cuddliness in favor of a less playful coming of age story set in a world full of danger, where learning to keep your guard up is a key lesson for survival.”

The Observer: *** “There’s rather too much peril and bleeding animal trauma for it to work for a family audience without horrifying younger members. But the association with The Jungle Book means that I can’t imagine adult audiences flocking to see it. It’s a pity, because this is a visually striking, technologically impressive picture.”

The Guardian: ** “The new idea is a new transgression, a new interpretation of the law of the jungle, a loyalty crisis between Mowgli and the other animals, which puts the “man village” in front of the camera with some actual non-CGI human actors – making this seem like a superhero origin story.”

Vulture.com: “the portent and violence of Mowgli never feel fashionable, or contrived. The film reminds you that the jungle is a terrifying place, that nature is cruel, and humans even crueler.”

Empire: ** “It’s a brave effort, giving a darker take on the story of Mowgli, a survival tale with teeth bared and blood under its nails, but for all its fight it comes off inferior to Disney’s film in every respect.”

www.rogerebert.com: ** “Serkis is clearly a master of this filmmaking technology, as evidenced by the many scenes that integrate actual humans and CG animals in action that’s presented in a single, long take, with no cuts (the best of these is a scene involving Kaa that takes an otherworldly turn). But the unrelenting grimness sits oddly with the slapstick comedy (particularly the early bits involving the monkeys) and some goofy supporting character voices.”

The Telegraph: ** “Not that the animal effects are unconvincing: they just feel dated on arrival, and not a patch on Imaginarium’s recent ape-work.  The use of performance capture also means the characters take after their human counterparts to an uncanny degree.”

Radio Times: ” Staying faithful to the source material can’t cover up the fact that this is a version that has been better told elsewhere.”

Hollywood Reporter: “There’s certainly an overriding surreal beauty in cinematographer Michael Seresin’s verdant visuals, but despite the efforts of three editors (Mark Sanger, Alex Marquez and Jeremiah O’Driscoll) to cobble the production into a cohesive whole, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle isn’t one for the books.”

Den of Geek: *** ” Serkis’ version has the distinct disadvantage of being the second one to contend for the public’s attention. Everyone knows there’s only one king of the jungle — and in this case it’s a mouse.”

The Wrap: “While Serkis and his team tried to separate his retelling from the others, the experiments and extras did not always work out. With any luck, Serkis can go back to the drawing board with a better script and a better sense of the story he wants to tell.”

The Times: **** ” If you have ever imagined what it would be like to mix a Martin Scorsese gang movie with a computer-animated jungle flick then look no further.”

Mowgli: Legend of The Jungle is available to watch on Netflix now. 

 

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