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Jungle tale makeover is a real thriller

Review: The Jungle Book (PG, 106 mins)

By Damon Smith

Man cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is raised by wolves Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o).

But the boy is an affront to Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who lost an eye to a fiery torch wielded by Mowgli's father and demands the child be handed to him for slaughter.

Instead, Mowgli makes a perilous journey back to civilisation with his protector, Bagheera the black panther (Sir Ben Kingsley). En route, Mowgli gathers honey for greedy Baloo (Bill Murray) and is pressurised into sharing the secret of "the red flower" - fire - with menacing King Louie (Christopher Walken). The Jungle Book flexes its digital muscles in every impeccably crafted frame, with critters just as realistic as the shipwrecked tiger in Life Of Pi.

Four stars

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