Today Ben and I brought Ari (who is almost 4 years old now), to go see Zathura – the film version of the novel by Chris Van Allsburg, the same guy who brought us the jungle adventure Jumanji. Based on the same premise – except this time in space – the film follows two brothers, Danny and Walter, as they start to play the game – and change the world around them.
Ya see, what happens in the game happens for real. So suddenly, they’re dodging meteor showers, rescuing a smartmouthed astronaut (Dax Shepherd), avoiding the evil Zorgons (reptile-like aliens), and fighting a malfunctioning robot.
The film is a lot of fun, and definitely a good family film. There’s the usual amount of family relationship conflicts: the dad (Tim Robbins) is an architecht who doesn’t have time to balance work and playing with the kids. The daughter (Kristen Stewart) is self-absorbed, and the two brothers are always fighting. That makes the danger they encounter all the more real, when the bickering leads to potentially deadly consequences.
In the end, Zathura is a nice morality tale about the importance of communication, trust, and family. The visual effects are quite good, as is the music by John Debney. It’s a fun adventure film that has lots of great moments, and is something that both kids and adults will enjoy.