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Jumanji: The Next Level Movie Review

Jumanji: The Next Level takes place a few years after the events depicted in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017). Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain) is a college American football star, Bethany (Madison Iseman) is doing charity work building houses for the underprivileged, and Martha (Morgan Turner) is a popular student in her college.


Spencer (Alex Wolff) is attending college in New York and working part-time in a supermarket. He has become even more insecure than before and it seems his long-distance relationship with Martha isn't working out. The four friends plan to meet in their hometown during the Christmas break and catch up. Frustrated by his insecurities, Spencer reboots the broken Jumanji game, which sucks him in. Now it's up to his four friends and also Spenser's grandfather Spencer's grandfather Eddie (Danny Devito) and his friend Milo (Danny Glover) to get in the game and rescue him.

While Martha retains her Ruby Roundhouse's (Karen Gillen) avatar, Fridge is now the cartographer Shelly (Jack Black), Milo is now Mouse (Kevin Hart), while Eddie is Dr Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). Thanks to the basic premise that the world of Jumanji is a video game, the earlier film had Dwayne Johnson and company exhibiting the characteristics of the players whose avatars they assumed. Carrying the conceit forward, Johnson has to display Danny Devito’s personality.

Now, we know of him as an action star but here he comes across as a full-fledged comic actor, making sure of Devito’s mannerisms. Kevin Hart too cottons on to Danny Glover’s characteristics to a T. Much of the comedy comes from the fact that the old men inhabiting the avatars have never played a video game in their lives and are entirely new to the concept. Then, they used to be one-time business partners who had a bad falling out and hence their back and forth banter is full of acerbic wit. In fact, the film’s focus shifts from the kids and towards Devito and Glover and kind of takes away the Afdah limelight from someone like Jack Black, who gets limited space to shine.

The introduction of Awkafina's character does bring a freshness to the proceedings. Nick Jonas’ too gets more screentime, playing the avatar of the character they rescued from the last film. The new villain, Jurgen The Brutal played by Game Of Thrones fame Rory McCann is so insipidly written that he doesn’t add anything to the proceedings. The screenplay parodies key scenes from such films as Mission Impossible, Star Wars, Where Eagles Dare, Indiana Jones and much more. But not much thought has been given to make these spoofy scenes really shine. The action too isn’t as intense as was seen in the earlier film.

All-in-all, funny one-liners and the efforts of the entire ensemble cast in general and Devito and Johnson, in particular, help keep your attention engaged till the end. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle did push up the level of the franchise as a whole. Thanks to the lack of novelty factor, we really aren’t sure whether the present film actually deserves to be called The Next Level...

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