Jumanji: The Next Level Movie Review Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina, Danny DeVito and Danny Glover
Director: Jake Kasdan
What’s Good: It’s not as good as its predecessor but it could’ve gone downhill, makers assure to keep your attention intact!
What’s Bad: Doesn’t make major changes to the format, hence decreasing the surprise value when compared to what we’ve already seen
Loo Break: Not really, it’s fun & forgettable!
Watch or Not?: If you’ve watched & liked Welcome To The Jungle, rush for this one
The disorderly kids are back and despite what happened last time, they still want to get sucked into the fantasy world of Jumanji. What started with a board-game in 1995, developed into a cassette-game in 2017 (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle) and now they carry forward a similar but different plot in the latest part. So, in Welcome To The Jungle, we saw 4 kids getting sucked into the Jumanji game and turning into their avatars.
This one has a similar start but the alter-ego of the characters change. Spencer who was Dwyane Johnson before turns into Awkwafina, Spencer’s grandfather Eddie is Dwayne now. Bethany’s Jack Black is now Fridge’s new avatar and Kevin Hart goes to Milo, a new character. If you dodge this well-handled confusion, you get to see a task they’re giving to attain a jewel that is in the possession of Jurgen the Brutal (played by Rory McCann). Oh & yes, we’ve Nick Jonas too, doing his things.
Jumanji: The Next Level Movie Review: Script Analysis
If you would’ve named this anything but Jumanji, I would’ve liked it a tad bit better. The word Jumanji comes with a nostalgic burden which these sequels clearly couldn’t carry. They’re a good time-pass watch as standalone films but with great sequels come great responsibility. This one seems like an alternative idea the makers must’ve had in mind for Welcome To The Jungle.
With a very interesting mid-credits scene, the upcoming Jumanji should’ve been titled as ‘The Next Level’. This one should’ve been named as Jumanji: Same As Welcome To The Jungle With Finite Twists To The Characters (Columbia, call me for acquiring this title, it’s trademarked). The comedy is well written & grandfather Eddie’s character brings the house down. Dwayne is in his elements. But this ends up like a game whose characters we loved, but gameplay we didn’t.
Jumanji: The Next Level Movie Review: Star Performance
Dwayne Johnson, one of the highest-paid actors in the history of Hollywood, is without any doubt a treat to watch on screen. He improves his variation in this one & with that, we see an increase in the digs of his smoldering intensity. Jack Black continues to be the funny fat guy with some hilarious twists to his character.
Slowing down Kevin Hart’s dialogues might be one of the funniest things of the film after Danny DeVito’s antiques. DeVito is brilliantly used even when he’s not in his game character. Tailor-made for Ruby, Karen Gillan yet has nothing much to do in the acting department. She handles the stunts well and that’s about it. Awkwafina leaves a mark as she debuts in the Jumanji-zone. Danny Glover is nothing exceptional because of his lazy character sketch.
Jumanji: The Next Level Movie Review: Direction, Music
Jake Kasdan manages to mount this on a huge scale but what lacks here is the novelty value. Despite rating them similar, I still believe Welcome To The Jungle has an edge over this one for surprising us with novel things. This one ends up being a lazy reboot of its predecessor with some good dialogues & intriguing screenplay (Gyula Pados).
Henry Jackman returns with his thumping sounds to design the score for the film. Surprisingly Henry uses Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games in the soundtrack & it’s weirdly interesting. Guns N’ Roses’ Welcome To The Jungle returns & it serves a similar purpose. It’s 2nd instalment and I’m still missing a theme song for the film that stays with me.
Jumanji: The Next Level Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, if you like Welcome To The Jungle, go for this one as it’s a similar experience. Visually appealing, vividly acted, monumentally mounted but still not even close to the Robin Williams’ classic.
Jumanji: The Next Level Trailer
Jumanji: The Next Level releases on 13th December, 2019.
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