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  • In performance-capture maestro Andy Serkis' hands, Legends of the Jungle is a darker, more surprising version of The Jungle Book. Get ready to leave behind the jungle of your childhood imagination. You know, the one where you slumber peacefully in a tree bough, waterfalls ain't nothing but slides and you can float downstream resting on the upturned belly of an amiable bear.

    It's impossible not to keep comparing Serkis' version of this classic story to Disney's 2016 live-action remake of its own 1967 animated family favorite. In Disney's remake, the animals are remarkably photo-realistic. But Serkis is purposefully trying to achieve something entirely different. The motion capture is used to make the animal characters deeper, richer and almost more recognizably human.

    This no doubt presents more of a challenge for the actors than straightforward voice work, and as a result the animals are expressive and affecting. They're more well-rounded and relatable than their Disney counterparts, even if they're not as instantly charming. Christian Bale's nuanced performance as Bagheera the panther and Benedict Cumberbatch's ferocity as tiger Shere Khan are standouts that translate particularly powerfully through the performance capture.

    But as you'll have guessed from the film's title, it's not all about the animals. In Disney's version, Mowgli felt more like a narrative device drawing the animals of the jungle together so we could hear their stories. In Serkis' hands, Mowgli is less of an ensemble player. His character development is central to the plot, especially in the second half. The movie feels like a coming-of-age tale as the man-cub seeks to establish his identity as not quite human, not quite wolf -- simultaneously both and neither.

    It did come as a surprise when, bang in the middle of the film, the plot veered wildly off course from the familiar narrative the Disney films established atop Kipling's work. Some may hate this startling divergence, but I enjoyed the sudden realization that I didn't know exactly what was going to happen next, especially after being lulled into a false sense of security by familiar opening scenes.

    Serkis has made a visually arresting film that Netflix is lucky to have gotten its hands on. It has more than the bear necessities required to put it on your watch list, even if it is lacking the music.
  • Andy Serkis can do it all without drawing much attention or praise to himself. He can act, great voice actor and he's proven that he can direct. Even though they did the remake of The Jungle Book two years ago and I almost always hate remakes so close together. I would gladly say that I am wrong about this one. It was done perfectly and was a completely different spin on it. I would be glad if Andy got another chance at directing another Disney movie, Great job with this one!!!
  • As usual the critics have no taste, and their opinions don't match up with the general populace (aside from a few weird individuals who gave this movie a "1"...Yes, very much worth taking This movie is better than the Disney version, not the other way around. Credit where credit is due, the Disney version has more realistic CGI (though the characters look more menacing in this version than in the Disney one, so that's a plus), possibly as a result of a better budget, though maybe not. Everything else though, is better in this version. It's much more faithful to the books. It is much darker and more mature than Disney's version, which to some I suppose might be a minus, while for the rest of us it's a huge plus. Depends on what you're looking for in the movie. Most importantly, the voice acting in this version is waaaayyyy better than in Disney's version (I'm really shocked and in disbelief to see that one reviewer thinks the voice acting in Disney's version was better, like, what?). Benedict Cumberbatch is absolutely perfect as Shere Khan, and blows Idris Elba's performance, which was already very good, out of the water. Cate Blanchett as Kaa (who thankfully has much more screentime and relevance to the story in this version) is soooo much better than Scarlett Johansson that it's not even funny. She has a much more powerful presence.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Disney's live action remake of their movie. It was good, and I enjoyed it. But this one is definitely the superior of the two. If you want to watch a darker and more mature version of the story without all the jolly Disney songs, give this one a watch. Personally I absolutely loved it.
  • I had high hopes that this version of Mowgli would be something different than the Disney version. And after watching, all i can say is that the production team has done a terrific job!

    Awesome storyline, awesome casting, awesome CGI and boy, Andy Serkis as the director, i must applaud! Loved Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and Cate Blanchett as Bagheera, Shere Khan and Kaa respectively. Rohan as Mowgli was very convincing. Just that i think I missed how the hunter came in the 1st place.

    I'll watch it again absolutely.
  • After watching this, I felt really surprised on how good it was. Don't expect it to be too similar to The Jungle Book. Mowgli is a more adult oriented film with some dark tones which I appreciate. I was very more focused on the actors. Everyone stands out. Even some actors that have small, but important roles. The CGI was the only thing that got under my skin. Some scenes had excellent visual effects, then exceptional, and then just plain horrible CGI. It feels like an unfinished film and took me away from the movie for a while. Maybe Warner Bros cut the films cost when they decided to go to Netflix. I feel really sorry for Andy Serkis. If Warner Bros would have let Serkis finish Mowgli. It would have been better than Disney's version and Andy Serkis would get more praise when he clearly earns it.
  • Greetings from the darkness. If your idea of "The Jungle Book" is Phil Harris' Baloo singing a bouncy and memorable rendition of "The Bare Necessities" in 1967, or Christopher Walken voicing a giant orangutan in 2016, then be forewarned about this latest version of Rudyard Kipling's classic stories ... it's dark and, at times, terrifying. It's rated PG-13 to keep young kids away, so please keep your young kids away! One additional warning: this version is spectacular to look at and listen to.

    Of course the story is quite familiar to most, but two things really stand out here: the amazing voice acting of the world class cast, and the look of the lush jungle with its vivid colors and textures. Director Andy Serkis is renowned for his stunning motion-capture work in such franchises as PLANET OF THE APES, LORD OF THE RINGS, and Peter Jackson's KING KONG (2005) ... along with many others ... and for this project, he combines his motion-capture Baloo with top notch CGI, and the live performance of young Rohan Chand (THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY) as Mowgli, the man cub.

    The voice acting is worth raving about. We first hear Cate Blanchett as Kaa, the ancient python, and within the first two minutes of the opening, we are captivated. Other standouts include an unnerving and intimidating Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, the always-threatening Tiger, Christian Bale (periodically lapsing into Batman voice) as the growling black panther Bagheera, Naomie Harris as Nisha the mother wolf, and a terrific Peter Mullan as lead wolf Akela. The deep cast also includes the voices of Jack Reynor, Eddie Marsan and Tom Hollander, while Matthew Rhys ("The Americans") appears as the hired tiger hunter, and Freida Pinto (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) appears as Mowgli's caretaker in the man village.

    Many scenes are particularly captivating - some are exciting, while others quite scary. The "no rules" monkeys are comedic relief ... right up until they kick off one of the darkest segments of the film. And there is an ongoing theme of the fine line between being 'special', 'different', or a 'freak', and the lessons learned here would be valuable for kids ... if this were a kids' movie ... which it's NOT! Although it's difficult to discern the intended audience for this film, it's quite a visual spectacle and entertaining from beginning to end.
  • "Mowgli" is an 1894 character that became famous through Disney Studios that used the public domain to promote the character. However this film is darker and different from the Disney´s version. The voices of Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch are impressive and give life to Bagheera, Kaa and Shere Khan. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Mogli: Entre Dois Mundos" ("Mowgli: Between Two Worlds")
  • I've always been fascinated by how Warner Bros re-tells the stories.. I was awestruck after watching The Legend of Tarzan and Since very first day of this film. I have been excited for each and every update about it, til today's release on Netflix. I would have loved to even watch it on Big Screen, I really wish I could. Andy Serkis as the director of this film had made it worth waiting for. And the voice cast is so astounding, Christain Bale as bageera, Andy Serkis' Baloo, and luscious voice of Cate Blanchett as Kaa.. Cant get enough of it.

    If I have to describe all this in a simple way, I'd say that you'd be able to relate with the characters, all of them, Especially how you engage with the story and look into the eyes (you'd know it when you watch the film).
  • It seems to have most of the elements that could make it a good movie but falls just a little short. One of the things that's odd is the CGI. It's not bad quality as the textures and color look good, but the shapes seem off. Shere Kahn's head seemed oddly wide, the wolves looked cat-like, Baloo looked like a post apocalyptic bear or something. The story and acting were decent.
  • nickdinicola2 December 2018
    Andy Serkis had a fantastic dark take on the legend of Moglwi. Finally Netflix produced a good movie that strongly differs from Disney's version of Jungle Book.
  • Packing a far better & more involving story than its Disney counterpart yet failing to make the most of all that was up for grabs, Mowgli (also known as Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle) presents a more feral take on Rudyard Kipling's classic fable but still hesitates to embrace its darker retelling as it holds back when it needs to pounce.

    The story of Mowgli follows the upbringing of a human kid who's raised by a pack of wolves as one of their own and learns about the harsh but sacred jungle laws under the tutelage of a bear & a black panther. But when his life is threatened by a Bengal Tiger, he's forced to leave the community and must face the truth about his human origins.

    Directed by Andy Serkis, the mature themes at play here coupled with more serious approach than earlier adaptations only means that this tale had far greater potential than anyone realised. And it would've absolutely decimated Jon Favreau's take had Serkis managed to refine the narrative and rid the plot of tonal issues that plague it throughout.

    Employing motion-capture to make sure the actors' renditions are reflected in their CGI roles, the facial attributes of few animal characters resemble the actors playing them to such an extent that it's somewhat distracting at times. Visual effects isn't up to the mark either, for the CGI looks cartoonish on few occasions while other times it is seamless.

    The film attempts to dig into the struggle of a human boy trying to pass as a wolf but in the end, it turns out to be a quick skim instead of a deeper examination. However, the man-cub acts more primal & animalistic in this version, which actually is a much better & more realistic portrait of a character who grew up in a jungle alongside wild animals.

    The acting department includes actors performing in live-action, rendering their act with motion capture & lending their voices to their CGI characters and many do well in their respective roles. Christian Bale is quite assuring as Bagheera. Andy Serkis is having too much fun as Baloo. And though Benedict Cumberbatch is fascinating as Shere Khan, he overdoes it at times.

    Rohan Chand plays the eponymous character and he is outstanding in the role, far better than that forgettable kid in Disney's live-action flick. Freida Pinto & Matthew Rhys chip in with fine work in their human roles. The background score also lands on the positive side. But the film isn't savage enough, refusing to dig its teeth & rip off the flesh from the body, and that is disappointing.

    On an overall scale, Mowgli tackles an ambitious, audacious & far more appealing side of Rudyard Kipling's magnum opus but its improper execution & uneven tone prevents it from realising its full potential. Failing to strike an emotional chord in a way that resonates strongly with the heart, Mowgli has its shares of ups n downs but its interpretation of the famous mythology is actually more interesting than the last attempt. Worth a shot, despite the shortcomings.
  • iammcgale7 December 2018
    15 minutes into this movie and Benedict Cumbebatch puts Idris Elba's Shere Khan too shame. This is a very different take on the Kipling and is better of for being different. I do think it's a pity WBs chose not to release this in theatres but being a Netflix release will reach far more people. I highly recommend this movie.
  • I don't know how it is better than the Disney version, it just gives me the right vibe. It's more about jungle, it's more immersive. It's more like how Rudyard Kipling would have wanted. The music is fantastic. The hard work is visible. Watch it. You won't be disappointed..
  • Gross, vaguely threatening and surprisingly complex, "Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle" is nothing like the Disney film. Directed by Andy Serkis, this modern take on the classic tale "The Jungle Book" is dirty, bloody and surprisingly mature for a children's story.

    The movie opens with a graphic scene showing an abandoned baby boy covered in dirt and alone in the jungle. Then, the humble, but eerily rugged and wild-eyed, panther Bagheera grabs the child and brings him to a family of wild wolves, who take him in and refer to him as a man-cub named Mowgli.

    The wolves are very kind to Mowgli, but as the boy grows up, he learns the hazards of being a human child among wild animals. He's beaten up, thrown around and faced with bodily harm that is at times hard to watch.

    Even harder to watch is the intensely detailed animation. The CGI animals in "Mowgli" are intricately graphic, and it is clear Serkis sought to make them look wild and dangerous. Baloo the bear, a loving mentor to Mowgli, is nightmare-invoking; he is heavily fanged, very dirty and completely unnerving. His hungry eyes and guttural voice make it difficult to see him for the good guy he is.

    Baloo's cringe-inducing, overdone appearance doesn't come close to matching that of Shere Khan. He is the tiger who hates humans and is on a mission to destroy Mowgli. He is scarred, walks with a hideous limp and is always followed by a mangy-looking, agitatedly smiling hyena.

    Along with the dirt, blood and shock, the movie's mature themes make it worthy of its PG-13 rating.

    There is an unforgettable human complex in this film that pulls it into a new level of understanding. Throughout the movie, Mowgli struggles to find his identity and where he belongs. He's just a boy trying to choose between two families who both need him: his family from the jungle and a human village he grows to love.

    "Mowgli" also brings in the idea of man versus nature through the appearance of a British poacher. The animals Mowgli considers family are all in danger of hunting, deforestation and other modern problems. The animals fight for their lives, and they need Mowgli's help.

    From that conflict comes another theme: nature versus nurture. Mowgli battles with his inherent want to be with his own kind and his loyalty to his jungle family and upbringing as a wild animal. Does he side with the human village or with his jungle family? These are questions that even most adults wouldn't be able to answer in a similar situation, much less a young boy.

    With its disturbing graphics and overall mature themes, "Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle" is not a movie meant for the Disney classic's original audience. This movie took the idea of a children's story and re-envisioned it, gearing it toward more mature viewers. Although the animations were at times difficult to watch, in the end, like a Disney movie, it was heartwarming and satisfying.

    Bravo Mr Serkis! Well done!
  • Mowgli is definitely not for children, there are scenes where it seems that way, with some cartoon like characters and some of the playful nature of some scenes, but deep down this is dark. You can tell the filmmakers tried to make an even darker film here, but perhaps this suffered along with its troubled production.

    Andy Serkis directed this movie, and he does a fine job as his first attempt at a film like this. The motion capture on the animals is fantastic, and each performance is nailed by their actor. With Benedict Cumberbatch being a stand out. You can tell he channelled his inner Smaug for this role. Christian Bale was also fantastic as the panther, Bagheera, as was every other voice actor. But the stand out performance was by the young Rohan Chand. He was brilliant as Mowgli. Not many actors can perform in front of CGI characters and make it work. A lot of people will compare this to the Disney version that came out a few years ago, but that is inevitable, however Rohan gave a far superior performance than the actor who played his counterpart in the Jungle Book.

    Most of the other characters were not of much interest, with some of the human characters just standing in the background not doing much. However some scenes with them are haunting, and will leave a mark on you. Dark and twisted scenes play out during these human scenes, with dead animals, showing how cruel humans can be. Not for kids people!

    There are some issues with the film, from its off pacing during the first act. A lot of scenes jumped back and forth and it was difficult to tell what was going on at times, but it found its footing half way through. Some of the CGI looked dreadful in scenes, but others - mainly the landscapes, were breathtaking. The human-like CGI animal faces were bizarre at first, but after a time, it kind of worked.

    My personal biggest issue with this film is that it lacked any kind of charisma. It felt took dark and bland at times, with little humour. Maybe this is because I couldn't help but compare it to the Jungle Book, like so many others will. It is a shame, because Mowgli is a very entertaining movie, with fantastic performances.

    Despite its flaws, Mowgli is a good film, it is a shame it didn't get enough love to be released worldwide, with its full potential, because it could have surpassed the Jungle Book, but it didn't. But nonetheless, Mowgli is entertaining.

  • Some may complain that it is a very different take from the Disney version. Fine. Some may complain about the famous song missing. Fine. Some may complain about the ending being a bit violent. Fine. Some may complain about the humour missing. Fine. But at least make it entertaining n not preachy. The boy who played Mowgli was terrible. His facial expressions n dialogue delivery were horrendous. Freido Pinto looked too sultry n shapely for a village girl during the colonial period. The hunter's character was totally unnecessary. This version looked as if it was made in a hurry. This version will be forgotten.

    Wolfgang Reitherman's 1967 animated Jungle Book will always be a classic. It was full on entertainment and the character development was awesome in that. Jon Favreau's Jungle Book will be remembered for amazing visual effects, solid vocal performances, impeccable direction n nice musical score.
  • msbarnes038 December 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    I thought I loved the other Disney version of this, but man I truly loved this one! Very very sad about Bhoot, i'm definitely going to bed with a heavy heart tonight, all he wanted to do was fit in & yall just had to do him like that after Mowgli yelled at him. The only thing I liked better in the other one are the way the animals looked, but this one was more intense. Great movie, but i'll be texting my sister in law tomorrow telling her not to let the kids watch this one lol jk...kinda
  • zack_gideon8 December 2018
    What a great combination of story, CGI and acting (even from CGI animals). This movie is very unique in how it intertwines animal and man. It's never cheesy, never does it stray from primary plot lines. It's good for all ages and is really quite enjoyable overall.

    I wanted it to be longer than the 1 hour 44 minutes quite frankly. It sets the overall universe and I was engrossed after 5 minutes. Great job Netflix! Hope there's a sequel. There is some darkness to it but it really adds to the drama and overall feel. Definitely will recommend to all my friends. Enjoy!
  • luciabcn8614 December 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    I can't even think about the majority of the film because I'm just heartbroken about Bhoot. Poor little Bhoot. I spent the rest of the movie since the scene where Mowgli broke his friend's heart worrying about him and waiting for the make up scene, only to find his head on a stick. I don't understand what kind of sick plot twist this is. Doesn't the director realise there are animal loving happy-ending desiring viewers out there? I mean i might expect it if it was some war movie or such like, but its the jungle book. I kind of thought cute innocent animals would be safe. Not happy. I desire a post-credit confirmation that at least it was not Bhoot in the hunter's collection but some other albino wolf. And poor Bhoot's mum who was trying to protect his feelings. I mean sheeesh. Not cool Jungle Book. Not cool.
  • Andy Serkis' Mowgli is stunning! I knew what I was going to get when I heard that Andy Serkis (worked on projects like The Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes) was directing this film. But after watching it immediately after its release date, I was satisfied and very pleased with the outcome. The film is much darker than Disney's version and feels like a completely different story. The dark feeling is very key and works well, being that it is based in a place where the law of the jungle is prioritized by the animals. The story is very believable with the way Serkis executes his vision and does not ever feel boring or plain. The only thing that makes the film feel "unrealistic" is through their use Motion Capture. I think that the motion capture was a very unique and great feature for the film, which gives it a distinct flavor (also it makes sense, knowing that Serkis is famous for MoCap movies). Through the motion capture, we can both hear and see the actor's performing, which was awesome, in my opinion. This film is definitely not a Disney movie...and is great because of it. It not only brings something new to the table, but also makes itself memorable and pleasing to the eye. I grew up watching the original Disney classic but would have to honestly say, that I am satisfied with this version more. I am very disappointed to see so many people give this production low ratings because they were expecting song and dance. This was a great movie and I wish it was released in theaters...
  • ops-525357 December 2018
    Well its again the good old story about mowgli,but this edition really lifts the dust off many of the other productions.computeranimated it is,and very lively done. the voicetalents of great actor and tresses do make this film seeworthy.there are a few small flaws in the animation quality,the rest is great.dont let tthe smallest children see it without adult attention,there are some strong parts for a child to understand ,itsa great family getogether film its a beauty....
  • Here's my journey through this film Mowgli. The beginning was really good and impressive, the environments looked gorgeous, the story was faithful to the book and it looked like all of my doubts about the film went away. For a good 30 minutes I was thoroughly enjoying myself. The character design took a little time to get used to, but I ended up accepting it. The voice acting and motion capture performances were outstanding, especially Christian Bale as Bagheera. He was the best character in the entire film. Unlike the Disney version where he is very stern, and protective of Mowgli, here he is softer and very fatherly to Mowgli which I liked. So everything was all good, until the second half to the end of the film. This is probably when Serkis found out his film was not going to be theatrical but put on Netflix instead. Either that or Serkis just lost interest in some way, that's the only way to explain it, because the last half to the end of the film totally fell flat story wise. Everything I praised above still were involved. However, the story felt so rushed as the scenes had no flow to them and no impact. The end was the worst, the film ended so abruptly. The acting by Rohan Chand as Mowgli was over the top, Baloo's design was scary and Akela looked remarkably fake, these two were the only character designs I couldn't get used to. Kaa was once again underused and has a confusing story line, Shere Khan was wasted despite having Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice and motion capture. There is a fight between two characters that pissed me off, and this film could have benefited from being 2 hours and 30 minutes long. What the heck happened to a film that started out promising, but ended so terribly? I blame it mostly on Warner Bros. for not having full confidence in Andy Serkis and cowardly dumping it on Netflix, but also partial blame has the go to the writers and Serkis himself. Serkis' film was doomed as soon as Jon Favreau's film was released and received worldwide praise, and I think this had something to do with it, but even without Favreau's film this one would still have problems. No film is perfect, but we'll never know what this film would have been like if Favreau's film didn't exist, I'm just speculating. But as it is, the film was wasted potential with some excellent voice work and motion performances especially from Christian Bale, he's the one thing that keeps the film watchable. It's not a total failure, but certainly could have been so much more than was it is. Sorry Warner Bros., Disney and Jon Favreau won this battle. 4/10
  • This is a much darker and grittier "Jungle Book" tale. Very much different from Disney's version. No song and dance musical numbers here. Not suited to children certainly not younger kids anyway.

    It's different enough to Disney's version to make it worth watching. You don't feel like you're watching a cheap imitation.

    The visuals are great but not quiet Disney great but expected from a lower budget. I don't feel the story was quiet as strong. A solid 7/10 (Jungle Book 9/10).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A few things bothered me about this film. The script seemed slightly lazy, either that or the editing made it feel chopped. The performance for the main character was iffy at best and his character arc in certain parts is quite strange. But the main thing that's stuck with me, BHOOT.

    I can't stop thinking about it. Why oh why did they kill off this character? Especially in the way they did it. He's the one character that you want to rise above all of the harsh treatment throughout the whole film, especially after the scene where Mowgli literally breaks his heart into two. The next thing we see of him, he's just dead all of a sudden, like wtf?

    If this was the only criticism of the whole film then I could let it slide, but this is the main highlight of the poorly executed script from a film that showed a lot of potential
  • I thought this movie had a few good things going for it. The cinematography was good; there were quite a few good shots here and there. The voice acting was good, and a dark and more brutal version of this story was interesting to watch, but where this movie falls apart is with its plot. The plot is just a little too meandering, and the characters are not fully explored enough to become interesting. Its a good visual experience, but the plot is too weak to be worth revisiting this story after the incredible Jungle Book movie from 2016.
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