Jumanji: The Next Level
Jumanji: The Next Level is a fun, hilarious, and enjoyable film for everyone. It is better than its predecessor, Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle, in many ways, especially story. The new cast members make a great addition, helping make the story different from the first film. I believed that the adventure of this film was better than what we saw with the last film as well. Furthermore, I really liked the addition of Aquafina and the return of fan favourite Nick Jonas who reprises his role as Seaplane also known as Alex. In general I believe this star studded cast is what makes this film what it is. They make this film hilarious, witty, and overall just more enjoyable. I don’t know what this film would be without the cast of Jack Black, Kevin Hart, The Rock, and Karen Gillan.
In terms of story this film has a better villain and overall objective in comparison to the first film. I think in the first film it lacked any real depth, whereas the characters have more interaction with the villain in this second installment. The story and objective in the game is practically the same as the first, just bigger and better. Which makes sense given they are being sucked into the same game as before. I liked how they were able to add more characters to the film. I think that by adding the two older characters, Danny Devito and Danny Glover, it opens the film up to a wider audience since more people can relate to these characters. I liked the new characters being stuck in the avatars from the first film but I was glad that they switched back to having Anthony and Spencer back in their original avatars. Furthermore, I wasn’t a fan of the horse avatar and I think Jack Black’s character is best when it’s Bethany. I think there is something incredible about Jack Black playing a blonde popular girl stuck in an “overweight middle-aged man”.
Something that didn’t make sense was how the game was working in the first place. At the end of the first film they destroyed the game and the console to pieces once they got out of it. Only for Spencer to somehow put it back together. How would he know how to do that? Even if he did go back and get it, it’s not like he knew how the old system worked. Let alone a magic game that sucks you into it, taking you out of reality. There was really no explanation other than Spencer did it and just forget about it.
Overall the film doesn’t really have anything unique about it in terms of cinematography. It’s pretty standard as movies go. I did however like the animation with the blimp towards the end of the film. Furthermore, I liked the different settings they created for Jumanji, for example the desert, jungle, and mountains. I think it helps reinvent the world you thought you knew from the previous movies. Now it isn't just a jungle anymore.
What is interesting is that the film ends on a cliffhanger, with the animals from the game entering the real world. This is hinting to a story that seems to follow the original film starring Robin Williams. Given the stars of the film are their game avatars, I wonder how they would be incorporated in this third film.
I ended up seeing this movie twice in theatres and enjoyed myself both times. It is a great movie to watch with friends and family. My brother who was not a fan of the first one found himself taking a real liking to this film. It is a hilarious movie brought to life by it’s amazing ensemble of a cast. It is very entertaining and I am excited to see what the next film brings to this ongoing adventurous comedy.