Jumanji: The Next Level
If you’re looking for something new and different with the new Jumanji: The Next Level movie, look elsewhere. Much like Home Alone 2, Die Hard 2, and even the Hangover 2, this sequel is pretty much a retread of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. However, if you’re looking to step back into that same hilarious world, then this movie delivers.
When the movie starts, Spencer is disillusioned being back in the real world, so he goes back into the game. Everyone else, of course, goes back in to save him. Here’s the one big difference in this entry. When they go back into the game, Spencer’s grandfather and his friend, played by Danny Devito and Danny Glover respectively, get sucked into the game as well.
So, with more players entering the game, not everyone ends up in the game avatars they were in the last time. Spencer is in a sneaky thief’s body, played by Awkwafina, instead of Dwayne Johnson. Fridge goes into Jack Black instead of Kevin Hart. That pushes Bethany into a horse. Devito gets Dwayne Johnson, and Glover gets Hart. Martha is the only character that ended up in the body she was used to. These body swaps are the big joke of this movie, it’s even extended out further by additional body swaps thanks to mystical waters. While it was funny to watch Dwayne Johnson pretending to be an old Jewish man, the whole body swap schtick was very “Scooby-Doo”.
Beyond that, the rest of the movie plays out very similarly to Dwayne Johnson’s first Jumanji. They arrive, Rhys Darby shows up to tell everyone their mission, and game play ensues. However, Devito and Glover can never quite grasp that they’re in a game, so they keep derailing the process. Luckily, the locale of the game play is different this time around. Instead of the jungle, the group hits the desert. They’re attacked by ostriches, mandrills, and villainous mercenaries. The mercenaries are led by Jorgen the Brutal, played by Game of Throne’s Hound (Rory McCann).
As the gang works together to save the land of Jumanji again, the action, adventure, and comedy blends together very well. Kevin Hart continues to prove he’s the current funny guy, but Jack Black proves once again that he isn’t far behind. That being said, though, Dwayne Johnson as the old, Jewish embodiment of Danny Devito steals many scenes of the movie. After all, this Johnson-led path of Jumanji has led to even more success than the original Robin Williams’ movie proving, once again, that Johnson deserves his title of “Franchise Viagra”.
While much of the plot, and many of the jokes, of this movie are a bit more than reminiscent of the first movie, Jumanji: The Next Level is still quite fun and hilarious to watch. Personally, I like when a sequel builds onto the story and adds to the characters rather than retell the story you’ve already seen. However, I guess there’s something to be said about having a successful formula and sticking with it. That same concept worked for the likes of Ghostbusters 2, Taken 2, and Terminator 3. Stick around till the after credits scene, though, and you’ll see a setup for a certain sequel that will definitely expand the story!
Jumanji: The Next Level – Same Plot, But Same Fun
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 9/109/10
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