JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson- Spencer/Fridge
Jack Black- Bethany/Fridge
Karen Gillan- Martha
Kevin Hart and “The Rock” are going to welcome audiences and greet them with “Welcome Back to Jumanji!”
Director Jake Kasdan (Freaks and Geeks) has brought everyone back to reprise their roles in the next level of the video game movie “Jumanji: The Next level”. Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart return as the in-game avatars that must navigate the game and win to get the real kids out of the game.
Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Spencer (Alex Wolf) are heading home after their first year in college and set up to meet at a local eatery for brunch to catch up. Spencer is not feeling confident and is meeting with Martha for the first time since they broke up. Spencer arrives home and is greeted by his mom (Marin Hinkle) and his uncle Eddie (Danny DeVito) who is rehabbing from hip surgery. Eddie is also hiding out from his longtime fiend Milo (Danny Glover) who has been reaching out to him.
Bethany, Martha and Fridge all meet up but Spencer is mysteriously absent, so the gang goes to his house and meet Uncle Eddie. Eddie also answers the door to find Milo there. The estranges friends and co-workers trade verbal jabs as milo tries to make a mend. Fridge and the girls discover what they feared, Spencer went back into the game and is back in Jumanji! The kids quickly decide to go save Spencer and activate the game and are drawn back in but this time Bethany is left behind and when they appear as their avatars only Martha (Gillan) is the same one. Fridge is now the zoologist (Hart), Uncle Eddie (Johnson)and Milo (Black) were sucked into Jumanji as well and are completely confused.
The Avatars are not the only change in Jumanji, the game is different as the kids have advances to the “Next Level”. The group is picked up by Nigel (Rhys Darby) and told about the Barbarian Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann) and his plundering a mystical gem that they must retrieve and show to the sun and say “Jumanji” to escape the game again. The next level is in the north and they must battle the elements and killer baboons!!
Jumanji: The Next Level is a fun sequel to the successful 2017 film and introduces some new players to the game in Awkwafina “Ming” (spencer’s avatar) a thief trying to get the jewel as well. Jumanji: The Next Level will appeal to kids but turns out to be very predictable and lacks any surprises. My main issue with the film is there is no back up for the villains in the game and why they stole the gem, they look mean so they are the bad guys and make them do something bad so the heroes must battle them, Really? I also would have liked more about Eddie and Milo with a flashback perhaps and go deep into the splintered friendship. There are some good action scenes that include everyone racing away from killer ostriches!!
Flickanalisys: Jumanji: The Next Level is a good film for the teens but I wouldn’t go later than the matinee screening for this one.