It’s time for yet another venture into Jumanji! Some time has passed, the kids have grown up a little and after a rather shocking decision the group finds themselves once again inside the game. Characters have been changed, and the cast has expanded. The overall narrative is essentially the same, but some elements have been slightly adjusted.
While you might expect the scope to be larger, this one is only like that in terms of the environments that the crew works through. To start the adventure we once again have Martha (Morgan Turner) as Karen Gillian’s Martha. Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain) becomes Jack Black’s character with newcomers Eddie (Danny Devito) becoming Dwanye Johnson’s character and the final piece of the core group is Kevin Hart’s character portraying Milo (Danny Glover). It’s a lot to take in, and things change over the course of the film.
This is the main selection of players involved, but it does get tweaked as the narrative progresses. They’re basically on another adventure within the game with the same stakes as the first, and slightly altered abilities. The challenges were also somewhat the same as the first, with the action having evolved a tiny bit.
Things have been changed, but it does feel like a case of diminishing returns. I enjoyed it, had some laughs and the narrative was alright. It hit a lot of beats that the original did while adding some maturity to the characters.
They tease a really interesting next piece that feels as though it connects more to the original that came before Welcome to the Jungle. That should be interesting if it does happen. Continuing on the narrative this was quite good looking, and felt expansive in terms of scenery. I didn’t really have any issues with the CGI, it all looked fine and nothing stood out too much. The acting was generally fine, Jack Black absolutely nails his characters again. The man delivers.
I also found Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart to do well with what they were given. Dwayne Johnson was terrible at impersonations in this, it was painful to hear his attempts. They had some fun with this follow-up, its care free and still gives a sense of danger. Not perhaps as much as the first since the deaths seem like less of a deal in comparison to the first.
Jumanji: The Next Level retreads a lot of what the previous entry did while expanding the cast and still being a mostly enjoyable ride. It was fun to see some of the character switch-ups, but they didn’t push that enough and Dwayne Johnson just couldn’t handle imitating others.
It’s a different adventure, but one that does feel a lot like the last entry. There’s not a whole that has changed, but it does feel like a different expansion to this universe. I didn’t mind it, it provided some laughs and generally just had fun with the world of Jumanji. It seems far more expansive than I would have anticipated, and they take you to some different regions that we’ve never seen before in past movies.
Jumanji: The Next Level Review at Theater with 3D AVX Viewing
Rating Overall: 7.0