Zathura: A Space Adventure

‘Jumanji’ in space, anyone? Bewildering though it may seem, ‘Zathura’ is just that. Two young brothers chance across a board game with untapped mystical powers which, once play begins, transports their house into outer space and barrages them with sci-fi clichés. Ten-year-old Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and his cute-as-pie younger brother Danny (the aptly named Jonah Bobo) are the protagonists, the latter coming across like a male counterpoint to devil-child Dakota Fanning. While ‘Zathura’ is certainly aimed at a younger audience, older viewers may enjoy the lovingly wrought ’50s iconography of rocket ships, aliens, robots and ray guns, which hark back to the likes of ‘Forbidden Planet’. And, notwithstanding the plot’s basic unoriginality, director Jon Favreau (‘Made’, ‘Elf’) gratifyingly prevents the film from becoming a mere maelstrom of CG effects by pushing the brothers’ amusing bickering to the fore: the impulsive my-turn/ your-turn narrative supplies the same giddy charm that a couple of banana daiquiris might lend to a game of snakes and ladders.

Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday February 3 2006
Duration: 113 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jon Favreau
Screenwriter: David Koepp, John Kamps
Cast: Josh Hutcherson
Jonah Bobo
Dax Shepard
Kristen Stewart
Tim Robbins
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