Eye For Film >> Movies >> Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Film Review
Jumanji: The Next Level
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
The thing about levels is that they keep moving until the money runs out. What's difficult is to decorate them so that you remember where you are.
Jumanji began as a magical board game ages ago when Robin Williams was alive and computer-generated anything was as sticky as sci-fi. Two years ago it reemerged when social media and techno togetherness was dipping its fingers in the maybe bucket and they called it Welcome To The Jungle. With Dwayne the Rock, Jack the Black, Kevin the Heart and Karen the Who it became an adventure in the wilderness with action and laughs and all those essentials that enter the tain and make the experience family friendly.
If that was a sequel this is the sequel's sequel, not that anyone is combing the script for clues. The talky bits fill the gap where performers do their thing and no one gets eaten by Gothic imagination.
It starts with a group of teenagers who are trying to meet up for the holidays and then one of them finds a box in the basement with electrical waste products and a battered copy of an old video game called Jumansomething. He plugs it in and suddenly they are body swapping all over the place and new characters are popping up like mushrooms in a damp shed and the plot does double takes in single time as if anything goes and once gone comes back with a sideways smile on its face.
If you sit there in padded comfort expecting nothing but fun and CGI specials and your friends from the last level are back on form why complain if the story malfunctions when you have Danny the Glove and Danny de Vito telling you that old age sucks?
Later, when you're explaining to someone who pretends to be listening what The Next Level is about, you've forgotten and realise that it's about the characters, the personality of the actors, doing what you like best about them although they appear more restrained than usual, which may be a good thing.
Holding hands in a tin. Open it and the safety has gone. Jumanji says stay together, enjoy the company, fight the fear. The magic of the game will protect you. Reality bites. Who wants that?Reviewed on: 13 Dec 2019