Monday, September 24, 2012

Zathura (Jon Favreau, 2005) Review

You know, right before I sat down and wrote this review, I had to look up who the director was so I could put it in the title. I had no idea that Jon Favreau directed this film! For those who don't know who that is, he is the director of the Iron Man films and features in them as Happy Hogan. Well, in that case, this should be a good film! Does Favreau deliver his typical goodness or is it an exception, let's find out.

Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo) are two brothers who have a bad case of sibling rivalry. After a fall out, Danny discovers a board game downstairs that he's never seen before called Zathura. He begins the game and Danny and Walter discover that they are no in outer space. Their sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart) isn't falling for any of it but is affected by the game's rules. Now Walter and Danny have to beat the game in order to get home and survive against whatever the game throws at them.

Basically, this is Jumanji in space. It sounds like a good concept, and it is. The visuals are great and gives off a good atmosphere. Do I have any problems? Yes...yes I do. What? You think I'm going to complain about Kristen Stewart? No. It's nice to see her doing something before she did...another film...another film series...based on a book. My biggest problem is that the kids (especially Danny) are extremely annoying. I know this is inevitable with having child actors but here it's especially annoying. The kids in Jumanji fared better.

The premise of the film gives opportunity for some great visual effects and it certainly delivers. There are some great moments that come as a result of the board such as a giant robot (voiced by Frank Oz) and meteor showers. There are also some great twists which I must say, did surprise me. Whoever wrote this, you did good. The alien designs are pretty good and the way things are introduced one at a time make for a sequenced film. It's organised.

Is Zathura a good film? Yeah. Is it the best film ever? Hardly. It is a good film but that's about it. The visual effects are nice and some actors are good (such as Kristen Stewart and Dax Sherperd as the Astronaut) but it falls just too short. The story is quite basic, I couldn't give a damn about the kids and all in all, Jumanji is the better film choice. What's that? You want to hear about Jumanji? If you insist!

A good sci-fi film that offers things similar to Jumanji but really, just watch that instead.

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