The Next Level

Reentering the world of Jumanji

Jumanji: the Next Level, is a squeal to the remake of the 1995 version. The team gets sucked back into the world of Jumanji. However, this time they must face new challenges and quests in order to escape the world once more.

Photo courtesy of Movieweb

Jumanji: the Next Level, is a squeal to the remake of the 1995 version. The team gets sucked back into the world of Jumanji. However, this time they must face new challenges and quests in order to escape the world once more.

Alexis Bahensky, Staff Reporter

The remake of 1995 Jumanji was a big hit back in 2017, bringing in actors such as Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black. This year, Jake Kasdan brought the sequel to a whole new level. The next level. Jumanji: The Next Level follows four teens back into a game they thought they would never have to see or play again. 

It’s been three years since Spencer (Alex Wolff), Bethany (Madison Iseman), Anthony “Fridge” (Ser’Darius Blain), and Martha (Morgan Turner) entered the game. After not seeing one another for a while, the friends decide to meet up, but Spencer becomes apprehensive about the idea. He hasn’t seen or kept in touch with the others since he traveled to New York for school. The night before the friends were supposed to meet, Spencer realizes that the game was what made him feel relevant within the group, so he sets out to fix and reenter the game. 

After meeting up for brunch, Bethany, Fridge, and Martha become concerned when Spener didn’t show up. They all go over to his house where Grandpa Eddie (Danny Devito) and Milo Walker (Danny Glover) are having a fight after not seeing one another for 15 years. After the friends realize that Spener fixed and entered the new version of Jumanji, they decide to go in after him. However, while Martha and Fridge are sucked into the game, Bethany stayed behind when Eddie and Milo are sucked in instead. 

Once entering the game, Martha is once again Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), Fridge is now Professor Sheldon “Shelly” (Jack Black), while Eddie is Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Spencer’s old character, and Milo becomes Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (Kevin Hart). Later on, the gang is joined by Spencer who is a newer character named Ming Fleetfoot (Awkwafina), and Bethany, portraying a horse named Cyclone. Alex Vreeke (Colin Hanks) also makes a reappearance as Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough (Nick Jonas). 

Not only was the audience introduced to new characters, but they were also shown a new storyline to follow throughout the game. Their new mission, take down Jurgen the Brutal and his allies and stop his plan to take over the world of Jumanji. The characters are faced with a new line of challenges, as well as new strengths and weaknesses.

The first aspect of the film that really caught my eye was when the characters were able to switch bodies throughout the film. When two characters switched bodies, it forced the actors to think and act in different ways.  When Martha and Fridge switched characters it forced Jack Black and Karen Gillan to switch acting roles, Black going from acting like a man to acting like a woman, and Gillan acting seriously to becoming careless with her actions. When Spencer and Eddie switched, it forced Dwayne to switch from acting like an old man to a young teenage boy, and Awkafina switched from portraying an awkward teenager, to an old man. As each actor switched styles of thinking and acting techniques, no one broke character once and nailed the switch each time. 

Unlike most movies, Jumani: The Next Level, was able to keep a comical feeling throughout the entire film. They used different styles of comedy from the first film, including jokes about the elderly and video game puns. Not only were they able to imply comedy through the entire film, but the producers were also able to balance it out with the right amount of action and dramatic scenes. At one point during the movie, the characters went from joking around with one another to being chased by a large group of ostriches overall changing the scene from a comedy to an action one. 

One last aspect that made the movie was the scenery and setting. Each challenge the characters face takes place in a different area of Jumanji ranging from a desert to the mountains. As each setting changed the background and scenery within the scene looked realistic each time making the audience believe that they are actually in that area while watching the film. 

Overall, Jumanji is a perfect film for an audience that enjoys a laugh with a bit of action mixed together. I wouldn’t recommend this film for kids under the age of 13 as the movie does contain vulgar language. Other than language, the movie was impressive through how the actors portrayed each character to the scenery being on point.