Dr. Ellie Sattler Would Be Disappointed In This First Jumanji Cast Picture

There’s some very impractical costuming going on here.

On its face, the Jumanji remake/sequel isn’t particularly offensive. We have to accept that at some point in our lifetime, the ominous “they” will remake just about everything. The least they can do is have the decency to put The Rock in it.

That said, there’s something amiss in this first image, as Instagramed by Kevin Hart from the first day of shooting, and it’s not at all hard to see what it is.

There’s nothing wrong with a “modern take” or a humorously stereotypical set of costumes, but what are they really going for here? What’s the tone of this film going to be? What’s going on with Karen Gillan’s sexed up Lara Croft outfit? Is this a kids movie or a Tropic Thunder-esque send-up? And if it’s the latter, what are Kevin Hart’s feelings about doing whiteface?

All jokes aside, I’m about to have a bit of an “old guy” moment, so please excuse me. As much as I love Karen Gillan, this does seem to do her a disservice. What I can foresee is a situation not unlike that of Bryce Dallas Howard having to answer a million questions about having to run from a T-Rex in heels in Jurassic World. This notion that Hollywood’s studio system still can’t write and design costumes that a real woman would wear during moments of action and adventure. It’s easy to see where it comes from – “let’s make it a little sexy for all the dadbods” – but it’s also not unnecessary. An actress like Gillan can be covered in costume and make-up in a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy and still be great. She can be dressed in period (and travel) appropriate garb in Doctor Who and still be one of the show’s more memorable companions. She doesn’t need to expose her midriff to what I can only imagine are a million mosquito bites.

What I’m saying is that we (“they”) can give young girls good role models. The hope is that the cast’s chemistry (as Kevin Hart describes in his post) and Gillan’s character (as written and acted) rise above this particular criticism. If you’re going to make a good adventure movie for kids, the goal should be another Ellie Sattler, not another Lara Croft.

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