Drum rolls and the sky smoulders as Director Jake Kasdan’s Jumanji: The Next Level hits the theatres again. It is back with the Same gang, new adventure and a lot more in store. Jumanji: The Next Level is a sequel of Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle released on December 13, 2019.
The plot revolves around a video game called Jumanji that magically traps the characters and takes them on an adventure. The star cast must finish the adventure by saving Jumanji from the clenches of Jurgen. The must recover the stolen jewel to finish the game and get back to the real world.
Written by Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg, Jumanji stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’ Darius Blain, and Madison Iseman, reprising their roles from the previous film, alongside newcomers Awkwafina, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.
The movie picks up three years later from the events of the previous film when Spencer, Martha, Fridge and Bethany decide to meet up. The party ends up at Spencer’s house following his absence at the meet-up.
They are greeted by Grandpa Eddie and Milo Walker at his house to discover that Spencer is gone. The squad enters the video game to save Spencer believing they knew the adventure until Jumanji surprises them, like always.
The film falls back into its systematic rhythm of completing levels while the players subsequently lose lives in the labyrinth of finding the missing jewel, saving Jumanji and consequently, themselves.
Jumanji: the Next Level is a fun fantasy adventure film with hints of action. Although, people expecting to watch a sequel of the original Jumanji (1995) might get disappointed. Because unlike the original Jumanji, Kasdan’s Jumanji is a light watch targeting a young audience with mild action and a little humour here and there.
The film does not require the audience to have watched its prequels because the movie makes perfect sense anyway. Although, it increases the entertainment quotient if one does so, to recognise the frequent call-backs to the previous movie.
The backbone of ‘The Next Level’ lies in its theme of rekindled friendship that is very well reflected in the movie. Watching Dr Smolder Bravestone (Johnson) is a pleasure of its own along with the quirkiness of all the other characters.
The end of the movie suggests a third instalment might roll out with more compelling action and plot. Just when one thinks its ‘game over’, the Jumanji franchise adds a new level.
This movie of 123 minutes is ideal for a young audience and teenagers. It is definitely a one-time watch if not something to binge-watch after every few days.