After “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” became a sleeper hit earning positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike, grossing $962,000,000 as one of the highest grossing films of 2017. Sony began pre-production of a follow titled, “Jumanji: The Next Level” with Dwayne Johnson/The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black & Karen Gillan reprising their roles as in-game avatars selected by teenagers. Their names are Spencer (The Rock) Fridge (Kevin Hart) Bethany (Jack Black) & Martha. (Karen Gillan)
This time, The Next Level centers around Spencer’s grandpa named, Eddie (played by Danny DeVito) & his estranged friend, Milo (played by Danny Glover) who get transported into the game alongside Fridge & Martha. The latter two in the bodies of Jack Black & Karen Gillan, must assist the two old men in the bodies of Dwayne Johnson & Kevin Hart, if they want to rescue Spencer and leave the game.
Jumanji: The Next Level is currently out in theaters. It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. So far, The Next Level is making money at the box office.
Today’s review does not contain any crucial SPOILERS whatsoever. If you haven’t seen The Next Level, feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Brave & Cowardly Qualities
Brave: The Main Cast from the last movie including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan & Nick Jonas all did a terrific job for their respective performances. Both Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart impersonated Danny DeVito & Danny Glover.
Newcomers to the Jumanji series such as Danny DeVito, Danny Glover & Awkwafina all did a decent job for their respective performances.
Jake Kasdan (Lawrence Kasdan’s real life son) did a great job directing the sequel.
Action Sequences never seem to bother me at all. None of them were stupid.
Computer Animation didn’t suffer from an uncanny valley effect. As in Henry Cavill’s digitally removed mustache depicted in “Justice League.”
Character Development involving Eddie & Milo. As the film progresses, they learn to adapt into the game as their in-game characters using their acquired abilities to survive and help Fridge & Marta look for Spencer’s whereabouts.
Humor retains Welcome To The Jungle’s “fish out of water” atmosphere for Eddie & Milo trying to adapt in the video game.
Call Backs from Welcome To Jungle remind us viewers subtle nods.
As a result of Character Development from the last film, the teens act very different as mature young adults.
Awkwafina’s character Ming Fleetfoot, factors in The Next Level. I can’t tell you all about her. You’re gonna have to see for yourself.
The Next Level expands the game’s new locations never before seen from its predecessor.
Cowardly: Without giving too much away, the driving force for the inciting incident involving the main protagonist from Welcome To The Jungle, kinda felt out of character after what he and his friends have been through.
Before The End Credits roll. A scene sets up a possible future installment. Sequel Baiting in a nutshell. Sony we get it, you’re trying to be like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (MCU for short) Care to explain colossal disasters like “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Venom?”
One major detail that bothers me the most is how the actual heck did Eddie & Milo somehow got transported to the game while they were sitting in the living room? In the last movie, the entire high school staff didn’t get sucked into the game.
The Final Verdict: B-
In my opinion, Jumanji: The Next Level is just another average movie next to “Captain Marvel” and “Men In Black: International.” They’re not good or bad. Just average movies with redeeming qualities. If you’re interested in seeing Jumanji: The Next Level, go ahead and give it a watch if you want to spend time with your friends and family during Christmas month.