Jumanji: The Next Level Returns To The Wild With the Old Gang And New Stars

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Jumanji: The Next Level Returns To The Wild With the Old Gang And New Stars

Yoomin Jang, Writer

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Released on December 13, Jumanji: The Next Level is one of the funniest and heartwarming, yet most underrated movies in the long shadow of Star Wars.

It not only is a sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, but also as a pleasant surprise for the audience to visually escape into the jungle. Both Welcome to the Jungle and The Next Level features a good mixture of entertainment and video games to catch many people’s attention.

The previous movie set a good premise, four teenagers of varying social positions forced to inhabit the bodies of avatars. They suspiciously look like Dwayen Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan.

Dwayne Johnson, with the strongest physical features out of all, plays an insecure nerd, Kevin Hart  a strapping athlete frustrated by his newly diminutive frame, Jack Black a popular queen bee aghast to find herself as a middle-aged man, and Karen Gillan an awkward girl shocked by her newfound heroine coordination.

Welcome to the Jungle offered star-driven laughs and the emphasis on the teenagers’ friendship.

The new follow-up Jumanji: The Next Level is definitely a body-swap comedy that might outdo its predecessor for pure laughs. It begins as the same teenage characters, back in their normal bodies, have been separated for their first semester at college and decide to reunite for the holiday. Spencer, the nerd, feels insecure and lonely in New York and seeks to return in Dwayne Johnson’s super-body. He impulsively heeds the call of the broken video game console and gets sucked back into the world of Jumanji.

Once his friends realize what has happened, they try to rescue him at once. 

The director of the movie didn’t stick the characters in the same bodies. Fridge is in the body of Jack Black, tweedy map-reader, while Martha once again takes Karen Gillan’s character. New stars, like Spencer’s Grandpa Eddie (played by Danny DeVito) and his former best friend Milo (played by Danny Glover), are involved into the digital world to play Johnson and Hart respectively.

Hart milks a funny running gag about the leisurely pace of Milo’s speech, which would be maddening if not for its unflagging good nature, which somehow makes it funnier. It’s also a kick to see the artist formerly known as The Rock scrunch up his face and bark “HAH?” in confusion, suggesting that Grandpa Eddie has less of a hearing problem than a comprehension one.