Jumanji: The Next Level

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Official Synopsis
The gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
Release Date
Dec. 13, 2
MPAA Rating

Jumanji is back with a new DLC, which in itself is odd because it’s a cartridge-based video game, where our heroes once again need to save the land of Jumanji from a new villainous boss, Jurgen The Brutal. Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner), & Bethany (Madison Iseman) return to once again face the many challenges contained within the mystical game of Jumanji.

We start off with all the kids at college, Fridge and Bethany are doing fine. Martha appears to have a newfound popularity in college that she never had in high school, and Spencer seems to be barely holding it together. He’s missing his friends, his home, his old life. During Christmas break everyone comes home, and they have plans to meet up at the local eatery to catch up on what they’ve all been up to. The friends meet and of course Spencer is not there and that he and Martha are not really an item anymore. Not only that, but Martha tells them that it was Spencer that pretty much just ghosted her. The kids head off to Spencer’s home to find that he’s not there and meet is Grumpy Granddad, Eddie (Danny Devito) and Eddie’s old business partner and “friend” Milo (Danny Glover).

The group find the pieces of the console they smashed put back together with the Jumanji cartridge in the slot and realize that Spencer went back into the game, of course he did, there wouldn’t be a movie if he didn’t. Fridge activates the game but and when they materialize in the game world things are a tad different. Martha is in the avatar she had the first time she played, Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). Fridge however is now in the avatar of Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), and the avatars of Dr. ‘Smolder’ Bravestone (Dwayne “The Rock”Johnson) & his trusty sidekick Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (Kevin Hart) are now inhabited by Eddie and Milo respectively. This team now has to play the game, Find Spencer, and defeat the final boss – it’s all simple right?

As far as the story goes it’s pretty much the same thing as the last time. Get thru a bunch of traps, solve some puzzles, fight a few baddies, defeat the big boss and return the mystical gem to its rightful place. If you’ve ever played a video game such as Tomb Raider or Uncharted it’s pretty much cut and dry. The only problem here is your survival in the game depends on two 70-something year old men who are totally oblivious as to what is going on. The only issue I had with the movie was Dwayne Johnson trying to impersonate Danny DeVito, as much as I like the rock as an actor, he did not do a good job on that one. Kevin Hart on the other hand did a great job of Imitating Danny Glover. We do get to see Spencer later in a new avatar of Ming (Awkwafina) and pretty much anything I see her in I love the character she plays. Even Bethany and Alex (Colin Hanks) enters the game to give a helping hand

The movie was a lot of fun. Full of laughs, and everyone learns a thing or two about friendship at the end. I can even say that this movie is way better than the first and I am definitely hoping for and looking forward to a third movie in the franchise.

Editor review

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I have to admit I was not too thrilled with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle when I first saw it. It took a few re-watches for me to warm up to the film. When I heard that there was going to be a sequel, I wondered “why”? Well, thank goodness I was wrong. Even though it started a bit somber (seriously I thought Spencer was going to commit suicide for a while there) it picks up very quickly. I love the changes they made with the addition of DeVito and Glover taking over 2 of the major characters, though at one point the film seems to be overcrowded with too many characters they deal with it perfectly giving everyone their chance in the spotlight.
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