There are times when most people wish they could be someone else, but things like that only happen on the internet. Instead we find ways to make self-improvements and try and become a better version of our self or something close enough to get by. For the writers behind 2017’s Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle their self-improvement came in the form of a video game that sucked you into the action. In their world someone who was meek could become Dwayne Johnson with the smoldering look and everything. Now after winning the Hollywood game of creating a good times at the movies, they are back to see if they can do it again In Jumanji: The Next Level.
Life for the most part has gotten back to normal for the team who survived the jungle last time, well at least for most of them. Spencer (Alex Wolff) is not having a good go at this thing called life as he misses what he felt while inside the game. So when he returns home for the holidays he does what anyone who misses someplace, he wants to go back, but this time he goes in alone. His disappearance leads Bethany (Madison Iseman) Martha (Morgan Turner) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) to make the decision to go after him, but things don’t quite go as planned. Instead of becoming the same characters as before, things get a little shifted as Bethany and the missing Spencer are replaced by Spencer’s grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his friend Milo (Danny Glover), a man who takes his time in explaining things. New players means new problems and it will take even more teamwork to make it through this next level of Jumanji.
I mean let’s face it, whenever a sequel comes from a film that most people seemed to enjoy you just hope they just don’t mess it up. But this is a sequel of a sequel, so it changes things a bit. While it would have been easy to just replay the same game as last time, I liked that no one settled on that idea. The cast was everything last time, as Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black , and Karen Gillan became my new favorite foursome with their character choices. Now we have them back and you add DeVito, Glover, and Awkwafina, I mean it’s like they ate a Mario mushroom as this just got bigger and better. Writers Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rossenberg, and Jake Kasdan, the later also directing keep the magic going when a few new treats thrown in to keep it feeling fresh. This is how you do a sequel right by adding new and fun ideas that relate to the gamer world but by also not forgetting how you got to the dance in the first place. I am all onboard with this franchise and right now I am here for whatever they do next, because so far it looks like they cracked the secret code on how to get to that rarely attainable next level.