I first became aware of Jon Favreau in the movie PCU where he played a burnout who uttered the line "Blow me where the pampers is". I certainly would not have believed he would go on to be a successful director with a string of hit movies like "Iron man" and his latest "The Jungle book"
I'm guessing we're all familiar with the plot of Disney's The Jungle Book but if you're not I'll recap it for you. A little boy, Mowgli, gets lost in the jungle and ends up being raised by a wolf pack. The baddest ass in the Jungle, Tiger Shere Khan gets a bug up his ass about the kid being there because he's a dick and he's racist against Humans, and also because Humans have the power of fire. Khan wants him dead and so he has to flee back to the village of men. He leaves his wolf family and in the company of Bagheera the Panther makes his way out of the jungle to safety. However Khan won't let him go that easily and so he kills Mowgli's adopted father the alpha of the wolf pack to force a confrontation so he can kill Mowgli himself because, as I mentioned, he's a dick. Along the way Mowgli meets some new friends such as Baloo the bear and some new enemies such as Kaa the python and Louie, king of the apes.
This movie doesn't stray far from the Animated classic at all. The story is exactly the same as I remember from the movie I watched as a child. Where it really shines is the CGI with realistic looking animals that look even more realisitc than the fantastic "Life of Pi" and some terrific voice acting from Bill Murray as Baloo (likable as ever) Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Khan and a standout performance from Christopher Walken as King Louie (Who looked like the stuff of nightmares. I was actually kind of terrified of King Louie) A couple of well done musical numbers including Bill Murray doing "Bear Necessities" and Walken doing "I wanna be like you"
The Kid that played Mowgli acted ably considering the entire movie was done on a green screen and he was basically just interacting with nothing the whole time. A notable improvement from the animated classic was that Mowgli seemed to be in much more peril based on the pretty scary cgi representation of some of the animals especially Louie and Khan.
All in all it was not a groundbreaking story, nor was it an instant classic but It was very cool. Perhaps the best endorsement I can give it is that my four year old son wore a big, goofy, lopsided grin throughout the whole movie and insisted on staying to watch the credits which featured cgi as cool as anything in the film itself. Whether you're nostalgic for the original or approaching this story for the first time, kid or adult this was worth a watch.