Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)
Critic Consensus: Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle brings impressive special effects to bear on the darker side of its classic source material, but loses track of the story's heart along the way.
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as Shere Khan
as Brother Wolf
as John Lockwood
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Critic Reviews for Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Unlike Jon Favreau's insipid 2016 live-action retread... this live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic about a feral Indian boy reared by wolves teems with flesh, blood, and mud, conveying a true sense of danger and adventure.
The film feels painfully incomplete, from its frequently told story to its weak visuals.
The film is not without spectacle, but it is strangely without soul.
While the sententious script is at best serviceable, dark knots at the heart of the story are well worth grappling with.
Too terrifying for children, too boring for adults and arriving far too soon after a nearly identical project, Andy Serkis's Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a frustrating, fascinating mess.
Audience Reviews for Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Sometimes second place might as well be last place in the film industry. Pity Andy Serkis and the years he spent making a live-action, mo-cap enhanced version of The Jungle Book only for Disney to scoop him years in advance and deliver a billion-dollar hit. It's impossible not to compare the two and unfortunately Serkis' passion project is found wanting in many areas. For starters, there's far less Shere Khan (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), which is a shame. He's really only in the film for very little. I think Cate Blanchett is miscast as the voice of the snake, Kaa, who acts like a grand keeper of the jungle's history and future. I'm not sold on Serkis as Baloo, a grumpy paternal figure present from the beginning that trains the wolf pups so they can join the pack. The middle half-hour Mowgli spends in the company of man with a kindly poacher also feels like the movie is spinning its wheels. It keeps the rest of the jungle on hold. There are some rather dark asides that can be quite surprising, from wolf pups plummeting to their doom, bloody scars, cute severed heads to haunt your dreams, and three separate occasions where characters will watch the light vanish from a dying animal's eye. It's definitely a more brutish, cruel, and dangerous world, but at what greater expense? The characterization doesn't add up to much. The character relationships are minimal. The CGI creatures and settings look unfinished. The whole enterprise feels rushed even though it's been on the shelf for some time, which may be why the studio was eager to sell it to Netflix for a cool $90 million. You'll watch Mowgli and nod, generally entertained, but questioning whether it's 90-million worth. Nate's Grade: C+
I am gonna be honest. I knew after the initial moments that this would not work for me. For some odd reason this movie is trying to tell Mowgli's "real story" (I am not familiar with the source material) and yet decides to give all animated animals extremely human features. That's deep into uncanny valley and incredibly distracting. That's particularly shocking and disappointing considering this is motion capture legend Andy Serkis's film. Or was that actually the problem? It doesn't help that the idea to tell a darker and more mature version of the story makes for some highly uncomfortable scenes. Kids should definitely skip this one, I know I wished I did. It simply works on no level whatsoever and is just dire and underwhelming.
An engaging take on the old Kipling tale, helmed by Andy Serkis (of "nobody knows who I am cause I always wear so much makeup" fame), a CGI-rendered jungle extravaganza. Fun. Try and guess the voices behind the animations.
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