*There are spoilers for the whole Jumanji franchise here
When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring him home. But the game is now broken — and fighting back. Everything the friends know about Jumanji is about to change, as they soon discover there’s more obstacles and more danger to overcome.
When Sony announced they were making a sequel to Jumanji, I think every fan of the original collectively groaned. However, Jake Kasdan (son of legend Lawrence Kasdan) created a new world and had a great script for an All Star Cast of The Rock, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and my hero Jack Black (I unabashedly worship Tenacious D). Instead of the game coming to the world, the team of kids were sucked into the game and we got to see the world of Jumanji. That movie went on to make over a billion dollars so of course they gathered up the gang again and we dive back into the world
Jumanji: The Next Level is a very similar layout and scenario of the first movie where the game avatars of The Rock, Hart, Gillan, and Black all have to channel their counterparts from the real world. I will more on that below but for a plot purpose I am going to keep rolling.
Our hero from the second movie Spencer gets sucked into the game again, because he is sick of being apart from his friends, and they of course all decide to go in and get him. Unaware of the situation, Spencer’s Grandpa (Danny DeVito) and his friend Milo Walker (Danny Glover) also get sucked in and off we go on a fun ride through new levels of the game. We get to see a desert level, an insane hovering bridge level, and a castle on the top of a snowy mountain. But the movie and story again ride on the friendship of the kids portrayed through the superstar actors. To be honest it is pretty weird when you write it all down, but I will do my best to explain a little more below.
The Rock – Dr. Smoulder Bravestone/Spencer/Spencer’s Grandpa – C-
The Rock a C-?? I know what you are thinking Juicers but man he had a really tough time channeling Danny DeVito for this role. He was great in the original as Alex Wolff’s anxiety driven Spencer, but the phony New York accent that kept going in and out was a really tough look for our guy Dwayne. There were still great moments though that reminded you he was still The Rock though.
Kevin Hart – Franklin ” Mouse” Finbar/Fridge/Milo Walker – A+
Kevin Hart won this movie and it really was not close. He was funny as Ser’Darius Blain’s Fridge in the first because of the size jokes (yes Blain is a massive human), but man when he started doing Danny Glover I laughed at every word he said. This was a match made in heaven and I loved every second of it.
Karen Gillan – Ruby Roundhouse/Martha/Fridge – B+
Bad ass again in every sense of the word. She owns every fight scene and you hardly forget she’s the only girl in the movie half the time. She had an easier job on the channeling portion of this because she got to be Morgan Turner’s Martha for 99% of this besides one joke when she became Fridge.
Jack Black – Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon/Fridge/Martha/Bethany – C+
I hate saying a bad word about my boy JB but his pairing with Fridge just did not work for me. I thought it was the worst in the movie, however once they started swapping voices he fell back into his groove and had me laughing again.
Awkwafina – Spencer/Spencer’s Grandpa – B
Awkwafina was the new addition to the cast for this one and I thought she fit right in with the rest of the gang. She was funny as Spencer but when she started channeling DeVito she really put The Rock to shame (sorry Dwayne). She is having a big year with this and The Farewell so she is rising quickly.
Who’s That Guy?
Rory McCann – 29 IMDB Credits
He played the very undeveloped villain Jurgen the Brutal but we have seen him recently in xXx 3 and of course he played The Hound in Game of Thrones.
*A couple other tidbits
- All the kids were great in small roles again.
- Nick Jonas had a much smaller role in this and did not make much of an impact.
- Rhys Darby as Nigel Billingsley makes me laugh every time he opens his mouth.
- Of course they set up another sequel because why not right?
Robin Williams has passed but this series lives on and the themes of family, friendship, and bravery are all still prevalent. This entry is not quite as strong as the two previous but still manages to bring some fun, excitement, and heart into the cinema.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
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