HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Jumanji: The Next Level Game Faces
Year: 2019
Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Madison Iseman, Ser'Darius Blain, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Rhys Darby, Colin Hanks, Rory McCann, Marin Hinkle, Vince Pisani, Bebe Neuwirth
Genre: Comedy, Action, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Life for Spencer (Alex Wolff) has not quite gone to plan since he moved to New York City for college, in fact as Christmas rolls around again he is thoroughly miserable. He hasn't kept in touch with the three friends he made in school, the ones he shared an adventure with when they were transported into a magical console game called Jumanji, a game they managed to beat after some exertions. The way this was supposed to go would be that Spencer and Martha (Morgan Turner) should have lived happily ever after, and Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain) would have been pals forever, but nothing has worked out. So how about Spencer take drastic action and go back?

The thing about both Jumanji sequels (if you don't count Zathura: A Space Adventure as one, which some do) was that they operated on two different story levels, with the actual game being one, goals and prizes and bosses and avatars and all, while the psychological elements the characters were going through were on a higher level. These would be brought out in the jokes, in the moments of sentimentality, and in the various achievements the game featured, so that it was all more complicated than the simple premise, folks play a real life computer game, would have indicated. The formula succeeded to such a degree that many were surprised how good it was.

How about The Next Level? Rare in a second follow-up, the same thing happened again, and in the week before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opened, audience flocked to this in anticipation of the festive season bringing the family entertainment they craved, encouraged by good reviews and word of mouth. As Joe Bob Briggs says, if you are making a sequel the best thing to do is make exactly the same movie again, and that was more or less what they did, with the added bonus of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover in the first act, who the avatars - Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart - would play in the game, offering the curious sight of The Rock doing a Danny DeVito impersonation - novelty!

The other avatars were, initially, Jack Black who was now Fridge, and Karen Gillan who was Martha, so it was not identical. Interestingly in the climate of cultural appropriation as a big no-no for the world of entertainment, here was a movie where Jack Black was playing an African American, among other adopted incarnations for the other characters, and it was perfectly acceptable, indeed it was part of the project's best joke and most innovative plotting. Spencer had disappeared into the newly-reconstructed Jumanji game, and Martha and Fridge followed, along with DeVito as his grandfather and Glover as his estranged business partner who had suddenly turned up that day to make amends for some mysterious motive. Like all the other conflicts, this was resolved in what looked like schmaltz from some angles.

Mind you, go check out the ending of the Robin Williams-starring original and that ends up pretty gooey as far as the emotions went, so it was in keeping with the source; must be that festive spirit that bookended the storyline. As for the gaming, there was a lot of invention on display, with the mandrill attack on the rope bridges in particular a highlight of the action sequences. That it was all CGI was perfectly excusable since the characters were in a game, so this could have made for an animated movie like something out of Pixar and it would not have suffered to any great detriment. But really it was the chemistry between the cast that sold this and its easily resolved crises (as easy as getting to the end of a game, that was), for as before the central quartet worked exceedingly well together, sharing the quips with aplomb. To no enormous shock, given how much profit these made, the ending was left open for a further sequel, and there seemed to be an appetite for it, as well. Music by Henry Jackman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 104 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: