Jumanji: The Next Level Review: The Rock and Kevin Hart's film is a grandiose adventure that deeply entertains
Jumanji: The Next Level Movie Review: The Rock and Kevin Hart mesmerise yet again as a comedy duo to be reckoned with and they go to the next level. The Jake Kasdan directorial is breathtaking to look at while the acting performances breathe light to the same old but entertaining story.
Jumanji: The Next Level
Jumanji: The Next Level Director: Jake Kasdan
Jumanji: The Next Level Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina
Jumanji: The Next Level Stars: 3.5/5
All aboard the Jumanji Express as comedic duo Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart use their undeniable chemistry to wreak havoc at the global box-office with a dream cast and an epic video game as an adventure genre. As I rewatched Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, the previous night, and still found it entertaining, I didn't have the highest of expectations for Jumanji: The Next Level. As the saying goes, sequels mostly spell disappointment. Did the third installment keep me entertained? Let's find out.
We're welcomed back to the real world as Spencer and Co. move on from the events of Welcome To The Jungle. While Fridge, Martha and Bethany have learned splendidly to live life to the fullest, Spencer is still stuck in a shell of insecurity. This sense of self-doubt lands him back to the crawling hands of Jumanji. The rest of the members then travel back to the fantasy island to retrieve their missing friend. However, hilarity ensues when Dr. Bravestone and Mouse's avatar aligns with Spencer's grandfather Eddie and his long-lost best friend Milo. What follows are different levels that are much grander and deeply unknown to even the ones who have played it before.
While the storyline is more or less the same, writer and director Jake Kasdan focuses on the character arcs to add fresh breathing space to what could have been a repetitive angle. And that's not all! Through the tool of interchangeable characteristics, we see the players switch avatars which add diversity to the acting performances. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson brings his smoldering personality on the silver screen, that is so captivating, you can even excuse the certain OTP drawled accent. His rapport with Kevin Hart continues to delight and surprisingly is rivalled by the one shared between veterans Danny DeVito and Danny Glover. Just like the last installment, Jack Black is a terrific delight and has some of the best witty one-liners to leave you laughing out loud. It's amazing to see Karen Gillan kill it as she did in The Next level, especially after witnessing her scene-stealing act in Avengers: Endgame. A movie that has The Rock sees Karen with the best action sequences! That's how you represent a badass woman who can kick some major butt! The intricacies in her strengths which now include nunchucks and the trademark dance-fighting will leave you at the edge of your seat. Awkwafina as the newcomer in the lot shows tremendous versatility and is a firecracker on the screen while Nick Jonas is deliciously handsome to look at and admire! Rory McCann takes the lead as the main villain Jurgen the Brutal and you can't help but have a sense of deja vu to a Game of Thrones-esque character. Nonetheless, he was still entertaining as the bad guy!
Going back to the action sequences, a lot of effort was put into making it as realistic as it did! The advantage of a video game like Jumanji is that you can play around with the locales and especially the VFX, and they really take it to the next level, no pun intended. From a hoard of ostriches chasing the characters on dune buggies across a desert or even them escaping from mandrills while swaying like Tarzan from easily breakable bridges. Jumanji: The Next Level is extremely breathtaking to look at visually and must be enjoyed in IMAX only. It's the only way the production value will be done justice.
As grandeur as the set up was, the plotholes were also there. The story is still the same. The picking point of focus was still the same - friendship. But, that doesn't mean it wasn't an enjoyable ride nonetheless. Ultimately, Jumanji: The Next Level is like a video game; the endgame may still be the same but it's always about the next level, isn't it? If you're looking for a fun, entertaining watch than buckle up and Welcome to Jumanji!
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