The gang is back in this latest installment of the fantasy franchise and takes quite a few twists and turns along the way.
Spencer Gilpin is coming home for the holidays but is going through some issues that could hinder his friendship with friends Fridge, Bethany, and Martha. Upon his return home, he learns that his grandfather Eddie is staying with he and his mom as he recovers from hip surgery. Depressed, he finds the video game Jumanji and finds himself going in the game again. When Fridge, Bethany, and Martha realize what has happened, they decide to go back in the game and find him.
Martha returns as Ruby Roundhouse but becomes shocked when it is revealed that Dr. Smolder Bravestone is not Spencer, but Eddie and even worse, Mouse is Eddie’s estranged best friend Milo Walker. As for Shelly, Martha is more shocked to learn Fridge has taken over the avatar and not Bethany, who is left behind. The heroes learn that Jumanji has now been taken over by Jurgen the Brutal, whose turned the once beautiful jungle into a icy place and together, they must grab the Falcon Jewel from Jurgen but at the same time attempt to find Spencer.
With the success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a sort of reverse updated reboot of the 1995 film based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, it should be no surprise that they would do a follow-up to bring back the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan as the video game avatars. It’s a great concept to bring the characters back but it’s even more fun that the avatars, with exception of Morgan Turner’s Martha once again becoming Gillan’s Ruby Roundhouse, are now different people, amping up the comic element of the film.
The funniest comes from Johnson, whose impression of Danny DeVito (as Spencer’s grandfather) is hilarious; and Hart, who channels Danny Glover’s Milo Walker. Ser’Darius Blain’s Fridge now takes over Black’s Shelly and is quite funny in its own way. While Nick Jonas returns to his role of avatar “Seaplane”, Awkwafina makes a wonderful addition to the cast as a master thief who proves to be a reliable asset to the team. Rory McCann, like Bobby Cannavale in the previous installment, doesn’t get as much screen time as villain Jurgen the Brutal. However, he does make quite an impact in the scenes he is involved in.
Jumanji: The Next Level is a fun and wild ride once again that amps up the comedy thanks to both Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart channel their inner DeVito and Glover and some fun action scenes. This one is just as good as its predecessor.
WFG RATING: A
Columbia Pictures presents a Matt Tolmach/Seven Bucks/Detective Agency production. Director: Jake Kasdan. Producers: Matt Tolmach, Jake Kasdan, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia. Writers: Jake Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg; based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. Cinematography: Gyula Pados. Editing: Mark Helfrich, Steve Edwards, and Tara Timpone.
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Awkwafina, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Rory McCann, Colin Hanks.