When Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle released a first look photo of the characters in the film, there was public outcry over Karen Gillan’s nonsensical jungle attire. Star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson promised that her wardrobe would “make sense once you know the plot” and Gillan herself assured fans there was a valid reason for why she was dressed in a crop top and leather vest-turned-bustier. “The pay off is worth it, I promise!” she said.
When the first footage of the film was released during CinemaCon, the reason for her ensemble was revealed. The plot involves four high-school students who are forced to clean out the basement of their school while in detention. They find an old video game (rather than a board game like in the version of the movie starring Robin Williams) and each chooses a character to play. The teenagers become the characters they selected, leading a nerdy boy to become The Rock’s character and a popular girl to become Jack Black‘s character.
A more shy, reserved teenage girl ends up becoming Karen Gillan‘s character. The video game is old and dusty, so presumably the reason that she is dressed in tiny clothing is because that’s how female video game characters used to be dressed.
Is that enough of a reason for a movie to dress the character this way? Should the objectification of the female lead in the movie become permissible because Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s film creators wanted to be hyper-accurate to old video games? Does the fear of being anachronistic by giving Gillan pants or a fully formed top justify the male gaze? Do the critics who hated Gillan’s outfit feel soothed by this explanation?
Watch a trailer for the original ‘Jumanji’ starring Robin Williams:
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