So for the last two days my dad and I have been in London. We went there for the Terry Pratchett memorial. Since we would be going home the following day my dad suggested seeing a film in the IMAX cinema. The only actual film we could book a screening for was this one, which is fine because it was the option with the most appeal to us anyway.
First lets talk technical difficulties. During the trailers the video stopped working right as the second trailer started. So as a result we only got to see one trailer and hear the audio for another, once the footage had been fixed they skipped straight to the film. Next since there were only 3D showings I figured this would be the right time to try out my 2D glasses, only to learn they don’t work with IMAX 3D and in an attempt to get them to work I spent the whole movie with three pairs of glasses stacked on top of each other. I’m sure I looked very silly (sorry, I didn’t think to get a photo). Fortunately unlike Avatar there’s no text distractingly floating in the air but some of the fast action scenes were still blurry.
Now for the actual movie. It was really good. The cast were especially fantastic making these characters their own rather than just doing impressions of the original cast. Shere Khan for example is a very different character from his 2D counterpart and an impression of George Sanders’ voice wouldn’t have fit, instead Idris Elba gives him an imposing and intimidating voice. The two films are very different and I expect most negative views on the film are going to people who can’t look past their bias for the original.
Of course you’re still going to have the 1967 film in your mind while watching this due to the soundtrack. There are a lot of references to the songs with two of them even being sung during the movie. This isn’t a problem though, it’s particularly entertaining listening to Christopher Walken singing I Wan’na Be Like You. Speaking of King Louie (who is portrayed like a mob boss in this) it’s pretty neat how to get around the fact Orangutans aren’t actually native to India they made him a Gigantopithecus (an extinct ape that is closely related to Orangutans that lived in India), originally I assumed he was giant to make him more of a threat to a bear and a panther.
If you’re reluctant to see this movie because of that common distaste for remakes many people seem to have I suggest giving it a chance. It’s not a replacement for the 1967 film, its just a new take on the story. This actually makes me more interested in seeing the other remakes Disney has planned.