Jumanji: The Next Level Review


Isaac Bol, Writer

     “Jumanji: The Next Level” is the sequel to 2017’s surprise hit “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” This time, the adventure is more dangerous, more adventurous, and more funny. Although it’s a comedy, it delivers on the emotions with the story of friendship and trying to maintain it.

     In this movie, the original cast who were high school students are now adults, it’s been 1 year since the events of the first movie and they’ve begun to live separate lives while trying to stay in contact with each other. But when Spencer starts feeling insecure about his relationship with Martha, which bleeds into how he feels about the friendship he has with Fridge and Bethany. Making him escape back into the world of Jumanji just for a moment, to feel like the unstoppable force that was Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). Which causes his friends to follow him for his aid. This time though, two new people join the party: Spencer’s Uncle Eddie and his ex-friend Milo. Two elderly characters who have to learn to get used to not only Jumanji but video games in general. The characters are brought back together to deal with personal insecurities they have with themselves and each other to help their friendship strengthen and last longer. Making this movie, much like the last movie, a story about friendship and companionship.

     The movie is a fun roller coaster ride that does what it’s supposed to do as a comedy, make you laugh and have fun. It’s also surprisingly emotional, making you care about everyone and wanting them to make it out alive together. The standout actors are Kevin Hart and Jack Black who do great impersonations of the characters and people they are supposed to be impersonating. Everyone looked as if they were having fun in this movie and that’s partly what made it enjoyable.

Since this movie is a sequel, they took everything that worked in the first movie and increased the intensity of each element through the use of visual effects. This is one element that the movie shines in making you really believe these characters are in these crazy situations. One scene, seen in the trailer, is the characters being chased by monkeys on hanging bridges that are rotating, making the characters not only fight off the monkeys but also jump onto the correct bridges to cross over.

     However, the pacing and structure of the movie is where it gets messy with editing not flowing well all the time and the pacing dragging in some scenes. I did get a bit bored in some scenes but it was then fixed with a funny or thrilling scene right after.

     “Jumanji: The Next Level” is not as good as the previous movie due to issues with it’s storytelling and editing. But it is for a certain type of audience, the ones who want to sit back, relax, and have a good laugh. Fortunately, I was that type of audience member due to my love for the previous movie. Those who enjoyed “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” will find enjoyment in this movie, even if it is a little sloppy and takes some getting used to some of the character impressions. So, grab a controller and let’s jump back into the world of Jumanji.