Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (12A) ***
Dir: Jake Kasdan 
With: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart
Runtime: 119 minutes
MERELY retracing the steps of the late, great Robin Williams wouldn’t be anyone’s idea of a wise move. Fortunately, Jake Kasdan and his cast are smarter than that. Their video-game-era reboot of the board-game-made-real tale has its own charms, among them a story that takes four simple characters, the nerd, the jock, the selfie queen and a nerdette, and transforms them into something far more interesting. Plenty of sly nods to 
video-game rules but the real fun is to be had from the interplay between the cast, with Scotland’s Karen Gillan given a chance to show off her comedy chops against the more seasoned Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black. And yes, Williams’s original character, Alan Parrish, gets a mention. 

Pitch Perfect 3 (12A) **
Dir: Trish Sie
With: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Banks
Runtime: 93 minutes
HEAR that sound? Is it the sound of the a capella gals reuniting for the third time, or the rasp of a barrel being scraped? It’s both as Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and co find themselves in yet another competition to win something or other. Such is the desperation of the filmmakers they switch the action to Europe with a plot involving international crooks that turns out to be as unconvincing as everything else. It has been five years since the first Pitch Perfect. Not a long time for a franchise, as long as the material maintains a certain standard. Here, while the routines are as polished as ever, everything else is tired, not least Fat Amy’s fat jokes. Time for a new song, ladies.