WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
1996 - A man is running along the beach when he sees the board game Jumanji in the sand. He brings it home to his son Alex Vreeke (Mason Guccione), but he has no interest in it because it's a board game. He plays a video game, and Jumanji later transforms itself into a video game cartridge. Alex finds it and puts it in. As he starts to play, there is a flash of green light in his room.
20 years later, we meet Spencer Gilpin (Alex Wolff), a nerd who's scared of most of what's in the world outside. He meets his former best friend Anthony "Fridge" Johnson (Ser'Darius Blain) outside the Vreeke house (AKA "Freak House") to hand Fridge an essay that he wrote. Fridge gets picked up by another girl, and Spencer is approached by Mr. Vreeke, who became a recluse after Alex disappeared all those years ago. He frightens Spencer away from his home.
At school, self-absorbed Bethany Walker (Madison Iseman) is having a video chat with her friend during a quiz. Her teacher tells her to put the phone away, but when Bethany refuses, she is given detention.
During gym class, Spencer notices as a shy girl, Martha Kaply (Morgan Turner), refusing to join the other students in the sport. The gym teacher tries to get Martha to join, but she claims to not see a point to it and then inadvertently insults the teacher's profession, which lands her in detention. Spencer is then called to the principal's office after it's found out that Fridge was copying his essays. Although Spencer tries to defend Fridge, they both get detention.
Principal Bentley (Marc Evan Jackson) makes the four students serve detention by removing staples out of magazines. They then find the Jumanji video game and pop it in the cartridge. Spencer and Fridge get ready to play, while Bethany and Martha join reluctantly. After they choose their characters, they suddenly get sucked into the game.
Spencer finds himself turned into Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), a muscular archaeologist. Fridge arrives into the game as Franklin "Moose" Finbar (Kevin Hart), an expert zoologist, but Fridge is upset that his avatar is a foot shorter than he normally is. Martha becomes Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), "killer of men". Bethany is now Dr. Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), a cartographer that Bethany mistook for a woman because the description read "curvy genius" (and she becomes horrified upon seeing her reflection). The four freak out as they realize they are in the game. Almost immediately, a hippo emerges from the water and devours Bethany. She is brought back to the game, alive.
The four are met by a non-playable character named Nigel (Rhys Darby), who knows all about the characters in the game, which leads into a backstory. A former ally-turned-nemesis of Dr. Bravestone, Russel Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale), went hunting for a jewel called the "Jaguar Eye" at the top of a statue in the middle of the jungle. Van Pelt stole the jewel and took control over the animals in Jumanji. The objective of the players is to retrieve the jewel and save Jumanji in order to leave the game.
After getting dropped off by Nigel, Spencer taps his pec and is shown a list of his (or rather, Dr. Bravestone's) skills, which include climbing, super strength, and speed, while having no weaknesses. Ruby is a skilled fighter, but her weakness is venom. Shelly has smarts in cartography and paleontology, while Moose is virtually useless, being armed with weapons that belong to Bravestone, and one of his weaknesses is cake. They also find a map that's missing a piece that will lead them to the jaguar statue. Soon, the gang is found by villains on motorcycles. They chase them through the landscape until they reach a waterfall. The four jump off and swim to safety, but Martha got hit and she vanishes. She returns to the game, and they all realize that they were given three lives, indicated by bar tattoos on their wrists. Martha and Bethany are both down to two.
While traveling to their destination, Spencer and Fridge start to argue, with Fridge stating that he's been trying to distance himself from Spencer since 7th grade. Fridge pushes Spencer off a cliff out of spite, costing him a life. Spencer returns and smacks Fridge against a rock, but the girls get them to stop so they can proceed.
The four end up in a market where they search for their missing map piece. Fridge unknowingly eats pound cake and explodes. Afterwards, a child comes up to them and guides them to what they need to find. They are taken to a hut with a container that holds a black mamba. Spencer grabs it, and Fridge de-fangs the snake. Bethany finds a small elephant totem and a note saying, "When you find me, start the climb". When they start to leave, they are found by Van Pelt and his minions. Spencer utilizes his strengths to smack the minions around and punch them sky-high. The gang is then found by a fifth playable character, the pilot Jefferson "Seaplane" McDonough (Nick Jonas), who says his real name is Alex. He leads the gang away from the villains and takes them to safety after they take the jewel from Van Pelt.
Alex takes the four to a treehouse that once belonged to Alan Parrish (Robin Williams' character from the original movie). He makes margaritas for the gang, and Fridge gets drunk. Alex mentions that he has been stuck in the game for months, and he hasn't been able to get to the transportation shed to get himself out. They realize they need to distract the guards.
Bethany teaches Martha how to flirt so that she can go distract the guards while the others get to the shed. Meanwhile, Alex describes her using 90's slang ("fly", "get jiggy with it"), leading the others to realize he's Alex Vreeke, and that he's been stuck in the game for two decades, and that everyone in town knows about his disappearance. This leads Alex to feel despaired. Martha fails to be flirty, but she remembers one of her skills is dance-fighting. A song plays on a boom box, and she proceeds to kick the guards' butts. The gang then heads into the shed to get a helicopter, but Alex is hesitant as he is down to his last life and fears he will never get out. The others convince him to spring into action, and they take the helicopter out just as Van Pelt's goons show up.
As the gang flies away, they are pursued by albino rhinos. The helicopter starts to lower and can't go higher. Spencer climbs up to fix it, but Fridge drops the jewel in the chaos. The rhinos circle the jewel to protect it. Alex flies back around as Spencer pushes Fridge out to create a distraction for the rhinos as they retrieve the jewel. Fridge gets trampled but he is brought back to life.
The gang lands the helicopter, but Alex gets stung by a mosquito. He starts to die, and Bethany performs CPR to revive him which means she gives Alex one of her lives. Afterwards, Spencer expresses his feelings to Martha, and she reciprocates. They share an awkward first kiss.
The gang makes it to the site of the jaguar statue, which is surrounded by jaguars protecting the place. Spencer gets mauled by one of the jaguars, leaving him with his last life. Spencer tells Fridge how scared he is, but Fridge encourages him to keep playing. Van Pelt and his goons arrive again, and the gang must utilize their combined skills and teamwork to fend off the villains. An elephant arrives, and Fridge climbs it by using the jewel. Martha then takes the jewel as Spencer climbs the statue. She becomes surrounded by snakes as Van Pelt approaches her. Martha deliberately steps on a snake to get bitten so that she may come back with the jewel in her hand. As she falls back into the game, she throws the jewel to Spencer, who places it back into the statue. The five players then cry out "JUMANJI!" which lifts the curse on the land and causes Van Pelt to disintegrate.
Nigel returns to congratulate the players for completing the game. He shakes their hands, and they all return to the real world. The main four are back in detention, but Alex isn't with them. They leave the school and walk away together, when they pass the Vreeke house. It's no longer dilapidated, but now covered in Christmas decorations. Mr. Vreeke steps out as he is greeted by his granddaughter. An adult Alex (Colin Hanks) steps out of a car as he goes to talk to the kids. He tells them that the game sent him back to where he started in 1996, so he was able to live his life normally and start a family. He named his older child Bethany after the girl who saved his life.
Back at school, Spencer and Fridge are friends again. Bethany proposes to her friend that they go hiking, which she never would have done before. Spencer finds Martha and kisses her (better this time). Moments later, the four then hear the drumbeats from Jumanji. They then take the game and console behind the school and destroy them with a bowling ball.