Jumanji: The Next Level
Rated: 12 A
Few could have predicted the astronomical box office numbers achieved by the 2017 Jumanji reboot, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. With close to $1 billon taken worldwide, another sequel was the next natural step for this enjoyable body-swap comedy.
In Jumanji: The Next Level, the premise is pretty much the same; high-school friends Spencer (Alex Wolff), Bethany (Madison Iseman), Martha (Morgan Turner) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), are sucked inside a magical VR game and consequently find themselves in the bodies of their game avatars (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black). The friends are then expected to work together to finish the game or risk dying in real life.
This time, however, the hapless foursome are joined by Spencer’s ailing grandfather Eddie (a hilariously taciturn Danny DeVito) and his friend Milo (an excellent turn by Hollywood legend Danny Glover) who are inadvertently sucked inside the game before any of Spencer’s friends can select their avatars.
Hilarity ensues when the wrong people end up in the wrong bodies, but are still expected to finish the game and help Spencer, who this time finds himself trapped in a new female avatar (played brilliantly by Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina).
Jewish writer/director Jake Kasdan (son of Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan) seems to have found a golden formula. Even if neither film measures up to the much-loved Robin Williams original, they are good fun.