Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Jumanji: The Next Level

Jumanji: The Next Level brings back the cast of 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for another trip into the video game version of Jumanji as Spencer's (Alex Wolff) friends follow when the isolated college Freshman goes looking for something familiar. This time around, however, the players are all in different avatars and two of the players have been replaced by Spencer's grandfather (Danny DeVito) and his former business partner (Danny Glover).

I wasn't all that impressed with the 2017 film which was fun at times but also lazy and largely forgettable, and The Next Level offers more of the same: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson smoldering, characters hashing out their issues while running for their lives, and Karen Gillan running around the jungle in short-shorts. The addition of the older players does offer some new dynamics (along with quite a few easy old people don't understand technology jokes), and having none of the players in the avatars they expected is one of the sequel's best choices.

Of the new stars, Awkwafina comes off best as Spencer's new avatar thief Ming Fleetfoot while Rory McCann is pretty much your typical action flick video and/or game bad guy. Jumanji: The Next Level is currently available on Blu-ray, DVD, and several streaming platforms.

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