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“Jumanji: The Next Level” The Wild World Awaits

 

Review by: John M. Delia, Jr.

So begins another wild adventure in the world of Jumanji and in this one our heroes must uncover a mystery to save all from peril. Everyone is back including a couple of new funny characters that will keep you entertained throughout their new journey and that’s a good thing. Just like the last film there’s action and a something new at every turn as our heroes are trying to solve the levels of Jumanji game.

Our former stars from Brantford High School that braved the last challenge in  Jumanji I, are now all college students going to different universities.  Bethany Walker (Madison Iseman), a former cheerleader and popular student is organizing a get together with her friends at Nora’s restaurant during vacation break.  As you remember them from the last film, Anthony “Fridge” Johnson (Ser”Darius Blain) the athlete, Martha Kaply (Morgan Turner), the shy intellectual, and Spencer Gilpin (Alex Wolff) the nerdy type, have kept in touch throughout the year and are looking forward to catching up.

When Spencer returns from school he comes home to find out that his grandfather, Eddie Gilpin (Danny DeVito), a former retired restaurant owner, is recovering from surgery and is staying with him in his room. Eddie’s kind of a disgruntled person and he’s not happy about how his life has turned out. Dealing with this new predicament and feeling inadequate about seeing his friends, Spencer finds himself troubled.

When Milo Walker (Danny Glover), Eddie’s best friend and former restaurant partner, stops by things get a little heated. Mio and Eddie have not been on speaking terms since they sold the restaurant to Nora. Spencer begins to get depressed and takes out the once destroyed Jumanji  game from its hiding place.

Meanwhile in the world of Jumanji, our game characters or avatars still await the entry of the characters into the game. First there is Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), a strong confident archaeologist, explorer, and leader of the team. secondly we find Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon (Jack Black), a paleontologist, archaeologist, cartographer, and cryptographer waiting for action. Third is Franklin “Moose” Finbar (Kevin Hart), a zoologist, linguist, and weapons specialist, and next Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), a commando type adventurer. Then there’s Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough (Nick Jonas), an aircraft pilot and next Nigel Billingsley (Rhys Darby) a non-player character that takes the role of the guide to their adventure. The final character is a new avatar, Ming Fleetfoot (Awkwafina) who specializes in Burglary, pick-pocketing, and lock-picking.

 

Director and writer Jake Kasden does a cool job of putting together this exciting and laugh filled sequel. He includes all the past members  then mixes  in a few new characters to make the story even more comical. Kasden is the son of the great writer Lawrence Kasden who wrote the scripts to several Star Wars films and Jake wrote this script showing that talent does rub off. Here in the sequel of his first film he provides a lot more adventure with his exciting storyline by adding more details.  The special effects are realistic and seamlessly put together to give the feeling you are in a real strange world.

Final Comment: I based my grade on the comedy, adventurous storyline, excellent special effects, and the great performances by all. . 4 out of 5 Stars

Additional Film Information

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina, Nick Jonas, Danny DeVito, Madison Iseman, Colin Hanks, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Rhys Darby, Ser’Darius Blain, and Danny Glover.
Directed and written by: Jake Kasden
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, and Fantasy
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content, and some language.
Running Time: 2 hours and 3 minutes
Release Date:  December 13, 2019
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures,
Release In: Standard, and Digital

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