jumanji: the next level

★★★

DIRECTOR: jake kasdan (jumanji: welcome to the jungle)
STARRING: dwayne johnson, kevin hart, jack black, and karen gillian

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. 

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a massive surprise hit. It wasn't purely nostalgia that drove people into the cinema but the clever, funny script, and the chemistry between the main cast of Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillian. So how does Jumanji: The Next Level compare to the old one? Well it’s much of the same - but that's not a bad thing at all. 

 

When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring him home. But the game is now broken - and fighting back. Everything the friends know about Jumanji is about to change, as they soon discover there's more obstacles and more danger to overcome.

 

I’ve gotta admit from the start; I was a massive fan of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The mix of all the actors (Jack Black was terrific and it was great seeing Rhys Darby), the comedic moments, and the adventure had me hooked. A great night’s entertainment. 

 

The filmmakers don’t deviate from the winning formula and although there are slight tweaks; the way they get into Jumanji is slightly different and the mission is slightly different it’s fairly similar to the first outing. Apart from the addition of the two Danny’s: DeVito and Glover. 

 

It’s great to see DeVito back on the silver screen in a comedic role and he brings so much comedy gold to the role as Spencer’s grandfather Eddie. Glover perfectly balances out DeVito’s character as Milo, Eddie’s old friend and work colleague, and the banter between the two is perfect. 

 

At the heart of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is friendship and this continues in The Next Level. Spencer, Martha, Fridge and Bethany have gone their separate ways and life has gone on. But Spencer, feeling lost and directionless in life, enters the Jumanji game to find some purpose once more. His friends have to follow him in and the adventure begins. 

 

Although the adventure quest they must complete is different, it has the same rhythms as the first. This is where there could have possibly been some room to be a little more creative, pushing the boundaries of what we know Jumanji films to be. 

 

Jumanji: The Next Level is exactly what you’d expect: action packed with a few belly laughs thrown in. Perfect sit back and relax kinda entertainment.  

★★★

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