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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) - Players Reunited

Rating: ★★★½☆(3.5/5 Stars)

Released 12-13-2019

Watched 06-18-2024

Reviewed 07-02-2024

Watched on Hulu

"What? I'm sorry, I think I miss the plan, part of the plan. That last level almost killed us all. I can barely walk. Your grandpa beats the hell out of the wrong guy or attack by a polar bear or something, what am I suppose to do?"

Directed by Jake Kasdan, “Jumanji: The Next Level,” is a delightful sequel that delivers on humor, action, and heart, much like its predecessor. The film reunites the original cast, including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan, while adding fresh faces like Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, and Awkwafina, bringing new dynamics and laughs to the table.

The plot centers around the group re-entering the Jumanji game to rescue one of their own, only to find the game has changed and evolved. The new challenges are tougher, the landscapes more treacherous, and the avatars have switched up, leading to hilarious body-swap scenarios. Dwayne Johnson’s impersonation of Danny DeVito and Kevin Hart channeling Danny Glover provide some of the film’s funniest moments.

While the humor and action are well-executed, the narrative feels slightly formulaic, mirroring the first film's structure. Some plot points are predictable, and the emotional beats, though heartfelt, lack the depth to make a lasting impact. However, the cast’s chemistry and comedic timing keep the film engaging and entertaining.

Visually, the movie excels with vibrant CGI landscapes and creative set pieces. The action sequences are thrilling, though sometimes chaotic. The film also explores friendship, aging, and self-discovery themes, adding depth amidst the fun.

“Jumanji: The Next Level” may not break new ground, but it offers a solid mix of laughter, excitement, and nostalgia. It’s a worthy follow-up that keeps the spirit of the original alive while introducing enough new elements to keep audiences invested.


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