Andy Serkis’ Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) should have been more than a Netflix treatment. So much more. What makes it so outstanding is probably the amount of expression put into each character while not completely abandoning what animals behave like. It is probably the route Disney should have taken when making their Lion King remake, although the CG beyond the characters’ humanlike emotions could have been better with a higher budget and correction of the proportions between faces and their bodies. The character designs range from a revelation (most prominently Baloo, who is played by the selfsame Serkis like a seasoned drill Sergeant with a heart of gold reminiscent of Green Lantern’s Kilowog) to egregious (Shere Khan, who has moments looking like an overlarge Persian cat rather than a Tiger, albeit a far more intimidating one thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation). Although it does force a comparison to Disney s version, I believe that I would otherwise prefer this one as, although far darker, it knows what it wants to be as a movie and delivers the right emotional beats without stopping from being reverential to its identity throughout. As said, the only distraction is the weird proportions in some places and the glossiness of some of the CG model which will not help the movie age well, but I loved it throughout.
A straight up 8 out of 10
Review by Raphael Borg