Jumanji: The Next Level
I was hesitant about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle when I first heard about it. After I saw it, I truly enjoyed the experience. It was funny, watchable for multiple viewings, entertaining, and creative. When they announced a sequel for it I didn’t think it was necessary but was going to check it out regardless. The Next Level is not as good as its predecessor and has less laughs, however its a decent action adventure film that attempts to carry on a franchise.
The film takes place around the holidays where the group of kids from the first film get together. Spencer, goes back into the game of Jumanji after feeling unfulfilled and his friends join in. However, this time around Spencer’s grandpa and his grandpas friend also enter. Also, this time around the game has changed. The stakes are higher and they have to play through a different level of Jumanji. The crew must band together and get into the right playable character to get themselves out of the dangers of the world of Jumanji.
The film is not as humorous as the first and feels like it has to tread similar ground, with things not being as fun the second time around. There are laughs though mostly through having the grandparent and friend personality shine through in the game. This film also explores different regions of Jumanji and is much more action and effects heavy. For what it is, its a fairly decent sequel though not as entertaining as the first. The addition of Awkwafina also helps the film.
Jake Kasdan tries to push his sequel and follow up the success of the first. It doesn’t feel like its warranted but still makes for an entertaining time to close out a busy year in film. Some of it feels like it goes through the motions but for the most part the charm and work of the actors pushes the film to the finish line. I hope this is the end of it but I think the films success will definitely green light the next installment.