Jumanji: The next level. Release DATE: December 13, 2019. Directed by Jake Kasdan. Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser & # 39; Darius Blain, Madison Iseman. Evaluation: U / A (India). Synopsis: “In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back, but the game has changed. When they return to Jumanji to save one of them, they find that nothing is what they expect. Players have to brave unknown and unexplored parts, from dry deserts to snow-capped mountains, to escape the most dangerous game in the world. "
Because of the inherent dangers of Jumanji – originally as a board game and in his new avatar as a video game – at the end of their respective adventures, participants always vow to approach him again. In the original 1995 film, the central duo Jumanji throws into a river. In the 2017 spiritual sequel, the Central Quartet destroyed Jumanji with a bowling ball. On a plot level, it is logical that the characters behave in this way. But the franchise's box office success – especially the newer one – almost requires a return to its world for Sony Pictures. The winner between narrative and commercial interests is obvious. Welcome to Jumanji: The Next Level.
The sequel – by director Jake Kasdan based on a screenplay by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg (poison) and Kasdan – do what is necessary to justify re-entry into Jumanji. To a certain extent, it is aware that one of the young adult protagonists nudges another: "I cannot believe that you came back here on purpose", but it is also very forgiving. As a result, Jumanji: The Next Level is more of a reappraisal than a reinvention. And adding to his Indiana Jones riff – Kasdan is finally the son of Raiders of the Lost Ark writer Lawrence Kasdan – the new Jumanji film is also a mix of elements from Game of Thrones, Mission: Impossible, Lawrence of Arabia and several video games.
Spoilers for surprises and video game avatars ahead unless you've seen the trailer. In this case you can start immediately.
Jumanji: The next level starts with the four children planning a Christmas party after attending college in the aftermath of the previous film. After the nerdy Spencer (Alex Wolff) has not traveled well to New York and to his intellectual partner Martha (Morgan Turner) during a break, he longs for Jumanji High. It turns out that Spencer found the broken game console, which he then tries to fix. And after he doesn't show up to his friends, the muscular fridge (Ser & # 39; Darius Blain), the popular Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Martha go to his home, where they find Spencer's grandpa Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his former business partner Milo (Danny Glover) – but not a Spencer.
They notice that Spencer has returned to Jumanji and decides to step in too to help him. But due to the semi-broken nature of Jumanji, they cannot choose their characters. Eddie and Milo are also dressed. These writing decisions enable the authors to drive their protagonists into the avatars in which they are supposed to live. Frail Eddie becomes a strong, well-built Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), the slow speaking Milo to the zoologist "Mouse" Finbar (Kevin Hart) and Fridge to the overweight cartographer Professor Shelly (Jack) Schwarz). Only Martha retains her role as the men's elite, Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan).
Props for Jumanji: The next level for the distribution of new roles to most of his main actors – Johnson, Hart and Black – who now have to direct another young adult or one of the two new oldies. Gillan may have the same job, but she uses Martha's fears and social ignorance in such a charming way that she steals almost all of the spotlight. Awkwafina joins them as a new avatar that is a breath of fresh air, although in the end she doesn't have enough to do. The sequel goes one step further and allows them to exchange avatars within Jumanji as well, which deserves more laughs, though through simple jokes that sometimes end up on the other side of the narrow line that deals with race and gender. The unexpected switcheroos also miss out on pushing their predecessor's queer themes.
In addition, the new Jumanji film feels better oiled when everyone is back in their original avatars because they just seem to get them. It feels like a strange sentence, but Black, who channels a young girl, is somehow perfect. A scene in the desert with Black as Fridge, in which he complains that Prof. Shelly is useless for an adventure video game because his new weaknesses are heat, sun, and sand, brings forth some of the biggest laughs in Jumanji: The Next Level. But this is not the case for everyone. Johnson is not just a natural comedian and does not have the reach of a DeVito, who in his limited time can do more than Johnson in the rest of the film by playing him.
The additional problem is that Johnson's forgetful and hard of hearing act – as Spencer's grandpa – can only be stretched as long. He's better off dealing with the emotional beats of the subplot, which involve an uncomfortable dynamic with Milo and their common grips on the dangers of aging. At the same time, Eddie's and Milo's relationship also shows the thinness of the other characters and their relationships. All of Spencer, Martha, Fridge, and Bethany are essentially based on a single trait, and Jumanji: the next level attempts, the bond between Bethany and Alex Vreeke (Colin Hanks) – the adult man whose avatar was played by Nick Jonas – to reinforce – practically comes to nothing.
The villain of the film – played by Rory McCann, Game of Thrones Sandor "The Hound" Clegane – suffers in a similar way, although that's nothing new, given the treatment Bobby Cannavale had received in the previous case. And the action set pieces of the sequel – usually with a herd of animals, from ostrich to mandrill – are nothing to write home about, which is a shame considering that they make up most of the runtime. For what it's worth, Jumanji: The Next Level brings a few additions to the mix that worked out well last year at almost a billion dollars. And it helps that it never takes itself too seriously, while parts of it are funny enough to carry you over a casual watch on TV.
Jumanji: The Next Level is basically anything but necessary, but his epilogue (scene in the middle of the credits) – which should have been at the end of the previous chapter – suggests that there is still some life left in this franchise by drawing a Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and return to the original form of Jumanji.
Available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, Jumanji: The next stage is December 13th in India. Paid preview on December 12th.