Writing something coherent about The Jungle Book will be difficult, because my thoughts are all over the place. First and foremost, this movie is a technical marvel, with the entirely digital backdrops and talking animals looking surprisingly convincing. Bill Murray also proved to be much better at playing an affable talking bear than Dan Aykroyd could ever be. And the ending credits sequence with the pop-up storybook motif? Very clever and charming.
But when The Jungle Book shifts into serious-action-blockbuster movie mode, things get silly quickly, and not in a good way. Interminably long sequences of Mowgli running away from stuff pad out the movie's runtime. Instead of adding tension, the various brawls and parkour sequences feel like video game levels dropped between the fun parts where characters just talk to each other. I struggled to hold back laughter when one of the characters yelled "Wolves attack!" during the film's climactic showdown.
On the other hand, the movie has a lot of fun, adorable animals doing cute things. On the other hand, its perfunctory inclusions of "Bare Necessities" and "I Wan'na Be Like You" are lethargic and forgettable. On the other other hand, did I mention that everything looks really impressive? Because it does.
So... I think I liked it? Mostly? There you go.