Friday, 13 December 2019 00:00

Jumanji: The Next Level Featured

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Movie review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 paws

Jumanji: The Next Level

Columbia Pictures, Hartbeat Productions, Matt Tolmach Productions, Seven Bucks Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment present a PG-13, 123 minute, Action, Adventure, Comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan, written by Kasdan and Jeff Pinkner with a theater release date of December 13, 2019.


The group of friends that experienced Jumanji the last time have decided to get together again, Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) but this time Spencer is missing. When the friends show up at Spencer’s home his mother (Marin Hinkle) is gone for the day but his Grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) is mending from hip surgery and his old business partner Milo (Danny Glover) has stopped by for a long awaited chat, as for Spencer he is nowhere to be found.

When the drums begin to roll the gang runs to the basement only to find the old Jumanji video game that transported them into the board game last time. This time all the clues point to one direction that Spencer has entered the game but this time as Ming (Awkwafina). Not to their liking the friends know they have to enter the game in order to find Spencer and return home before their three lives run out. Yet this time the gang is not exactly the same players as last time and this time Eddie and Milo have been sucked in leaving Bethany left behind. Now in the game the group (Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart) must fight off hippos, snakes, ostrich’s, jungles, dunes and a fortress run by Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann) who holds the jewel that the group must retrieve in order to exit the game. Thankfully with a little help from Bethany (Horse) and Alex (Nick Jonas) the group stands a better chance of fighting the Vikings and one day experiencing the gift of getting old.

I enjoyed the film but not quite as much as the first one. There are many hysterical moments that leave the audience laughing but I felt like the writing and not so much the direction lost its way a bit. The changing of the characters and Jurgen the Brutal tend to make the story a bit confusing and cumbersome. The cinematography is brilliant and the music is fitting but I thought the actors at some moments tended to lose their alter-characters voices and expressions. I can see why since there is so much going on in this story of which I think a bit simpler would have been better.

There’s a great cast with the older leads being the standouts, Gillan kicks ass, Johnson is always a draw but he’s starting to show his age, Black is hysterical whether black, white or female and Hart who is always great in comedy. DeVito was a welcome addition and plays his grandfather role perfectly. Good to see Glover, I’ve always been a fan of his work and although it was a small part he once again hit his target. Overall a funny film that is sure to make some decent money at the box office this holiday season. I’m sure the final level is right around the corner.

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