MOWGLI: LEGEND OF THE JUNGLE

MOWGLI: LEGEND OF THE JUNGLE

(director: Andy Serkis; screenwriters: Callie Kloves/based on the stories of Rudyard Kiplling; cinematographer: Michael Seresin; editors: Mark Sanger/Alex Marquez/Jeremiah O’Driscoll; music: Nitin Sawhney; cast: Christian Bale (voice of Bagheera), Cate Blanchett (voice of Kaa), Rohan Chand (Mowgli), Benedict Cumberbatch (voice of Shere Khan), Naomie Harris (voice of Nisha), Andy Serkis (voice of Baloo), Louis Ashbourne Serkis (voice of Bhoot), Matthew Rhys (Lockwood), Freida Pinto (Messua); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: David Barron, Jonathan Cavendish, Steve Kloves; Netflix; 2018)

It made me vow to never take any kids to visit a jungle not created by Disney.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The actor-turned director Andy Serkis (“Breathe”) directs and Callie Kloves writes this hybrid live-action/digitized version of a Rudyard Kipling classic from his 1894 collection.

Cate Blanchett narrates, as the shrewd python Kaa. The killer tiger, Shere Khan (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), kills a baby boy’s human parents. The orphan is saved in the jungle by the panther Bagheera (voiced by Christian Bale). The boy is palmed off by the panther to a wolf family and raised by them. The baby man-cub is named by the wolves Mowgli (Rohan Chand), who befriends Bhoot (voiced by Louis Ashbourne Serkis), a bullied albino wolf-cub. Together they train with the bear Baloo (voiced by Andy Serkis), for an important race. You see, Mowgli is fated to become the bridge of friendship that unites the wild animals and the humans.

The clunky film is only a poor relation to Disney’s family-friendly great film, the 2016 “The Jungle Book,” as it manages to keep things both more feral and more boring. It made me vow to never take any kids to visit a jungle not created by Disney.

Christian Bale and Rohan Chand in Mowgli (2018)

REVIEWED ON 1/1/2019 GRADE: C+   https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/