When the first Jumanji sequel was announced, most people were skeptical of how it would handle the elements of the classic film. It turned out to be a pretty good flick that respected the spirit of the original while bringing in something new. Will it be the same for this next film, Jumanji: The Next Level? Well…see for yourself.
Things don’t appear to be going all that well for Spencer after the end of the last movie, with it seeming like he’s been separated from the rest of the group. Thus he turns to a side project: fixing the Jumanji video game which he, perhaps stupidly, kept. When he gets sucked in, it’s up to his friends to save him…with one small catch. While Spencer’s former love interest Martha is back in the Ruby Roundhouse (aka Karen Gillan) avatar, and Fridge is the Professor Sheldon Oberon (aka Jack Black) avatar, Bethany and Spencer are nowhere to be seen. Instead, it is Spencer’s grandfather and his friend Milo, played by Danny DeVito and Danny Glover respectively, that are pulled into the game as Bravestone and Finbar (aka Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart).
While I don’t hate the premise per se, I’m not sure the joke of “old people don’t get video games” is going to be strong enough to carry a whole film. It certainly got tiring in the trailer. There still appears to be a lot of action, and I have to wonder where the other two characters are and how this level of the game will work out. Besides the cast mentioned above, we see Awkwafina is an unnamed role and Nick Jonas back again as Seaplane McDonough, though he might be inhabited by someone else. Colin Hanks, who played Alex Vreeke, the first kid to get stuck in the game back in Welcome to the Jungle, will also return for this film.
Side note: is it weird that I can only see Alex Wolff as the kid from Hereditary now and I am low-key hoping someone mashes up the two trailers to make a spooky Jumanji horror film? It is? Well, a girl can dream.
Jumanji: The Next Level will premiere in theaters on December 13, 2019.