On the plus side, Disney’s live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic The Jungle Book seems action packed. Certainly, watching a realistic Bagheera and Shere Khan tussle adds a certain spice to the proceedings. And seeing a super-young Mowgli toss himself of a cliff is pretty damned exciting. Plus, Idris Elba voices Shere Khan! What could go wrong?
Well, pretty much everything else. Hearing Scarlett Johansson, an actress I genuinely think is talented, trying to pull a Cobra Commander as the snake Kaa is excruciating. I also had not realized that Christopher Walken was part of it, voicing the ape King Louie. Imaginging Walken trying to sing “I Wanna Be Like You” is so awful it makes me want to punch a baby. Hell, I don’t even want to hear Bill Murray as Baloo sing “Bear Necessities”—in fact, I think Disney grossly overestimates the public’s desire to see photorealistic jungle animals sing these songs, especially if those singing are not necessarily singers. Basically, if you ain’t Louis Prima, GO HOME.
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