Isabela Moner stars as Dora in a scene from the movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold.
Isabela Moner stars as Dora in a scene from the movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Supplied

MOVIE REVIEW: Dora film is Jumanji meets Indiana Jones

In Dora and the Lost City of Gold, we discover an irresistible, feature-length, live-action adaptation of the long-running Nickelodeon TV cartoon series Dora the Explorer.

This isn't just kids' stuff, by the way. It will play equally well with teens who are up for a rollicking blend of the Jumanji and Indiana Jones flicks.

To therefore broaden its age appeal, Dora has been upgraded in age from six to 16, and is ably played by rising star Isabela Moner (of Transformers: The Last Knight and Instant Family fame).

Isabela Moner plays the role of Dora.
Isabela Moner plays the role of Dora.

The educational component of the TV series has been extracted from the mix, and in its place stands an endearingly goofy sense of humour that never outstays its welcome.

The title character is temporarily transferred from the South American jungle to the big city of Los Angeles while her intrepid parents go off in search of a lost Incan kingdom.

Acclimatising to the laws of nature as they apply to high school is initially beyond the grasp of Dora. However, it isn't long before Dora - courtesy of a school field trip that goes spectacularly off the rails - returns to the wild to alert her mum and dad to a looming danger.

Eva Longoria, Isabela Moner and Michael Pena in a scene from the movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold.
Eva Longoria, Isabela Moner and Michael Pena in a scene from the movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Vince Valitutti

It is here that the movie begins to run in a general parallel with 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, in that Dora and some easily-spooked, hard-to-impress new friends must navigate a series of set-piece, semi-dangerous ordeals to save the day and themselves.

A fast pace, friendly vibe and a willingness to send itself up are all big pluses for this crowd-pleasing affair.

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD

Director: James Bobin (The Muppets)

Starring: Isabela Moner (pictured), Jeff Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria.

Rating: *** stars (3 out of 5 stars)

A glistening first expedition

 

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