When Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle came out, I had very little interest (outside of Dwayne Johnson, whom I love). The sequel had no business of being any good. And yet, it crushed it, both critically and monetarily.
Could they do it again? That was another point where I was just not sure and I was nervous about.
After seeing The Next Level, I have nothing to worry about.
Spencer (Alex Wolff) has been having problems since leaving the world of Jumanji. It had become so bad that he decided to go back into the game for a chance to feel the power and confidence of Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). When his friends discovered that he had gone into Jumanji alone, they chose to follow him in to help him with his quest.
However, there were some switches of characters that were unexpected and brought a different set of challenges. When you add Danny DeVito and Danny Glover into the mix, you amp up the comedy part of this comedy/adventure movie.
As with the previous movie, one of the best parts of The Next Level is the cast including Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black. These four, especially Black and Hart, bring their A-game to this movie, providing an imitation of the actors/characters that is extremely well done. Kevin Hart’s version of Danny Glover is spot on and never fails to be hilarious.
They also bring a plot point into the film as they near the third act that feels effective and helped to maintain the freshness of the performances, particularly Dwayne Johnson’s Danny DeVito imitation, which was threatening to run its course. The plot point helped the movie dramatically. It was also something that made sense in the world of video games.
There are similarities to Welcome to the Jungle, but I feel that they tweaked sections in different ways that really helped to provide the variety in the scenes. Plus, it is just a fun and extremely funny movie with lots of adventure.
The CGI was very well done with all of the animals that the group had to face. The herd of ostriches was especially great.
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire Jumanji: The Next Level. The changes they made were refreshing and the adjustment through the movie made perfect sense in storytelling. The cast is still the selling point of this movie as they are able to show their talents and knowledge of these characters, while clearly having fun making this movie. A very worthy addition to the Jumanji franchise.