Jumanji: The Next Level Review – An Entertaining Sequel to the 2017 Reboot

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Jumanji: The Next Level

Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Dwayne Johnson in ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’

“I think he went back in…we got to go get him,” says Martha (Morgan Turner) when she and her friends Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blaine) realize Spencer (Alex Wolff) has gone back into the broken video game “Jumanji” in the 2020 sequel, Jumanji: Next Level.

In order to rescue Spencer, Martha, Bethany, and Fridge head back into the game where they quickly realize this time things are very different; the game didn’t allow them to pick their avatars. Martha is still Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) but this time Fridge is Dr. Oberon (Jack Black). Spencer’s grandfather (Danny DeVito), who accidentally got pulled into the game, is now Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) and his ex-business partner Milo (Danny Glover) is Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart).

Bravestone and Finbar are, understandably, very confused by everything that’s happening, wondering if they died or are dreaming. It falls to Martha aka Ruby Roundhouse to take charge and lead the gang through a dangerous new adventure and quest that will take them to unexplored parts of the game, from the Sahara Desert to snowy mountains. All the while they’re searching for Spencer and trying to win the game so they can get back home.

Funny, inventive, and amusing, Jumanji: The Next Level ups its game and is a worthy sequel with terrific visual effects and an A-list cast that has great chemistry. The film’s additions of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover to the cast result in Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart behaving like two grumpy, crabby old-timers, adding a whole new level of humor the 2017 reboot was missing.

The movie’s action scenes are exciting and energetic with outstanding CGI visuals that create the danger on the adventure. Especially thrilling sequences include the group being chased by angry giant ostriches in the Sahara Desert and when they’re jumping, running, and swinging on rope bridges while being pursued by ferocious giant mandrills.

Jumanji: The Next Level is a fast-paced, family-friendly, lighthearted fantasy adventure sure to entertain fans of both the original film starring Robin Williams as well as the reboot.

GRADE: B

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language
Running Time: 100 minutes
Release Date: December 13, 2020
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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