Movie Review - Jumanji: The Next Level

Movie Review - Jumanji: The Next Level
I went into Jumanji: The Next Level with low expectation, because I wasn't a huge fan of the previous incarnation, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which came out almost exactly two years ago, in December 2017. Turns out my expectation were correct: although I enjoyed this one more than the previous, it was still just okay overall.

It's college winter break, and Martha, Spencer, Bethany, and Fridge are back in town. Spencer and Martha used to date, and haven't really talked since they broke up, and the gang makes plans to reunite for brunch. However, when Spencer (Alex Wolff) never shows up, they go to his house to see if he's around, running into his grandpa, Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his friend Milo (Danny Glover). When they can't find Spencer at all, they correctly deduce that he's jumped back into the Jumanji game, and the three of them get sucked into the game again so that they can help him get out; however, Eddie and Milo accidentally get taken into the game as well.

There were a few new additions to the cast this time, like DeVito and Glover, both of whom were entertaining to watch. The original "jungle" cast is back too: Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart, with the addition of Awkwafina and Nick Jonas; Colin Hanks has a small role, as well.

I'm not sure what it is about the movie I didn't really like ... I think maybe the dialogue, which should have been better for this talented A-list cast. However, this version had a lot of action-packed scenes, which did keep my attention, and because of that, I liked it better than Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Maybe see this movie. If you enjoyed the first Jumanji in the series, you'll probably enjoy this one; friends I talked to after the screening said they liked it. I'm all for "popcorn movies," too—ie, movies you watch once, enjoy a lot, but then don't think about much afterwards—but I checked my watch frequently throughout this film and didn't think twice about having to take a short bathroom break during it, either. You could do worse this holiday season than Jumanji: The Next Level, but there are also movies in theaters right now that are much better that I would recommend (Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, etc.).

Jumanji: The Next Level will be in theaters tomorrow, December 12th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 123 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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