Although laden with cheese and given a stomach churning ending, this still manages to raise itself above the parapet.
Two constantly arguing siblings must reconcile their differences when playing a space themed board game that brings its cards to life - it's a life or death situation that requires teamwork and help from a trusty astronaut.
Zathura is surprisingly good and is a lot better than it seems. Its story is very compelling and not one part of it tends to be boring, to lose its touch of fascination and thrill - it's a wonderland of space fun. The visuals and effects, for a kids film, are also equally impressive and steal the spotlight. The acting, however, even though it is primarily child actors, is admittedly mediocre. The film, since we've seen it before with a more lovable, memorable feel to most in Jumanji, is forgettable and feels like an unneeded sequel to it. Unneeded isn't what Zathura is, though - it's compelling and captivating for what looks like an ordinary kids adventure flick and does more than what it promises.
Zathura is one of the few movies that I remember immensely from my childhood. It contains a fun adventure, a solid screenplay, and some great visuals.
We follow the path of two young brothers who don't get along whatsoever. I've always liked Josh Hutcherson as an actor and he did a pretty great job in this movie. He's always had acting chops and he's made a pretty noticeable career up to this point. Jonah Bobo is actually decent too and although his character is annoying at times, it makes the movie a little bit more real. My point is, if you're going to have a movie that stars child actors, make sure they're at least passable, and both actors here did a good job. I actually thought that they were better actors than Dax Shepard and Kristen Stewart.
What you can really appreciate about this movie is the fact that they used Green screen/CGI only when the situation called for it. They relied mostly on props and sets rather than making it some dumb CGI fest. That effort really made the movie still hold up today visually and everything looked great.
The movie knows it's tone and does a pretty good job of switching back and forth between serious and fun. There are plenty of exciting action sequences, along with some emotional moments that were a bit of a stretch for a kids movie. But either way, it's still an enjoyable movie for both kids and adults. The whole concept of the board game Zathura was so interesting and you were always curious to see what the next event would be. The twist was a bit of a stretch and there were definitely plot holes, but it's still a great family movie that almost everyone can enjoy.