Danny and Walter are two brothers who barely get along even while driving their parents to distraction as their older sister tries to ignore them. Despite their squabbling, the brothers manage cooperate enough to play an old mechanical board game named Zathura. However, after their first move, they find that the game has apparently flung them, their sister and their entire house into outer space. Furthermore, the brothers surmise the only way to return home is to finish the game. However with almost every move, new dangers arise as the siblings find themselves learning to cooperate in ways they never expected as they realize what they mean to each other.
Directed by: Jon Favreau
. Starring: Jonah Bobo
, Josh Hutcherson
, Dax Shepard
, Kristen Stewart
, Tim Robbins
, Frank Oz
, John Alexander
, Derek Mears
, Douglas Tait
, Joe Bucaro III
, Jeff Wolfe
, Bill Fagerbakke
, Stuart Scott
. Music by: John Debney
Two Brothers, Danny (Jonah Bobo) and Walter (Josh Hutcherson) are left alone in the house while their dad (Tim Robbins) goes to work. Walter and Danny get into a fight and Walter puts Danny in the basement. This is where Danny finds a board game called Zathura, which is a space adventure board game. It isn't long before Danny's curiosity takes over and insists that Danny should try to play Zathura. But one push of the button starts the game and this is no ordinary board game but an actual space adventure game that cannot be stopped until either Danny or Walter win the game! A very fun and exciting adventure lies ahead...
"Zathura" is one of those hidden gems that you would never think was good from reading about it and seeing the commercials and trailers for it. When I first saw the trailer, I said "oh gees give me a break!" and had no desire to see the film what so ever probably because I really didn't care for "Jumanji" and "Zathura" seemed similar and was written by the same writer. But luckily I did go see it and in fact, really enjoyed the film.
Now first things first, this is a big budget Hollywood family flick so don't expect any amazing dialogue or acting! But what "Zathura" does offer is great special effects, a pretty exciting and interesting story and decent acting. The movie actually blew me away with the special effects because I actually never heard about this film until a month or so ago so I was amazed the movie looked as good as it did because I figured this was a pretty low budget family flick. The whole space settings and the creatures and robots in outer space were very cool and looked just as good as say "Jurassic Park."
"Zathura" is basically a two men show, and by two men I mean the two brothers Danny and Walter played by Jonah Bobo and Josh Hutcherson who both do very well in their roles.. Jonah Bobo was actually better than Josh in my opinion but maybe it's because his character was more likable then Josh's. In minor supporting roles we have Dax Shepard who does a decent job, Kristen Stewart who was decent as well but after seeing her in "Speak" I believe she needs to keep to the independent roles because she's one of hell of an actress and lastly we have Tim Robbins who like usual does a great job. Not much to complain about with the acting, it's a little cheesy sometimes but hey it's a family film and a Hollywood one at that so it's bound to be a little cheesy.
Jon Favreau was the director of this film and I must say the man has a knack for directing films. Jon's first hit film was "Elf" which came out in 2003. Again "Elf" was a huge surprise to me which I also really enjoyed. What I like about Favreau's direction is that he tends to make films that can appeal to both kids and adults. He's kind of like the live version of Pixar. He picks good scripts and does one hell of a job bringing them to life. I also like how "Zathura" was a lot different from "Elf" and the fact that he nailed the film on the head. Sometimes directors tend to be one hit wonders or have problems changing the story or the cast, not with Favreau he knows what he is doing and he will be around for a long time as a director.
So to sum it up, "Zathura" is a good family film that both children and adults alike can enjoy. The movie is definitely not for really little kids I would say this movie is more suitable for kids ages 7 and up. The movie contains amazing special effects and very interesting and exciting story which is sure to amuse most who watch the film. Also this film is a lot better then its predecessor "Jumanji" and really is better than the trailers make you believe. I had a fun time when I saw the film; it's a pretty unique family film that still has a good moral lesson at the end. I recommend this film and will purchase the DVD when it hits stores.
Review by MovieManMenzel from the Internet Movie Database.