If I didn’t already know this was based on an existing graphic novel, I might have assumed that the title was a leftover “working” title, and no one could be bothered to come up with anything better when the film was completed. Despite the major-league production values and the marquee value of Indiana Jones and James Bond in the cast, this is a forgettable pot-boiler that does proper service to only one half of its title.
A nameless stranger (Daniel Craig) wakes up with no memory of who he is, a wound in his side, and a large and strangely unremovable metal bracelet on one wrist. He reaches the nearest town, where people recognize him as Jake Lonergan, notorious stagecoach robber. Awkward.
You know, when I was six-and-three-quarters, if I’d gotten the family home sucked into space and nearly blown up by robots and flesh-eating alien lizards, not to mention flash-freezing my sister, I would have been grounded for, oh, at least a week.
Zathura is an adaptation of a children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, who also wrote the books for Jumanji and The Polar Express. As a story, Zathura is similar to Jumanji, in that a game plunges a family into in adventure that seems to take over their house. As a movie, I enjoyed it far more than Polar Express. The young heroes in this movie are much less passive and lacked the creepy thousand-yard stares of Express‘s computer-generated characters.