Dwayne JohnsonJack Black...
Action & AdventureComedy...
In 5 Cinemas
Featured images: Hiram Garcia – © Sony Pictures Entertainment
After the massive success of its predecessor, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the long-awaited sequel Jumanji: The Next Level has big shoes to fill. Boasting almost the same stellar cast, can it fill those shoes?
Jumanji: The Next Level starts with the four heroes reuniting, few years after getting out of the game, but the sweet reunion is disrupted when Spencer (Alex Wolff) does not show up. Going to his house, the group finds out that he went back to Jumanji, so they decide to go in after him and save him. However, the old game also sent Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie (Danny DeVito), and his old friend/enemy, Milo (Danny Glover), who were also in the house. Now Grandpa Eddie is Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), old Milo is Zoologist Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart), Fridge (Ser’Draius Blain) is Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), and lucky Martha (Morgan Turner) is once again Biologist Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). With new levels and challenges in the game, and the not-exactly-efficient new roles, can the group save Spencer on time?
While the challenges of the game may change, the plot, being simple enough, the main premise remains the same. The new aspect is introducing new characters to the feature, an addition that is both a blessing and a curse.
The sequel needed more than just another adventure, with the same characters, inside Jumanji , which is where Grandpa Eddie and Milo’s characters work perfectly, especially that they are played by big names. The disadvantage of that is that the actors’ roles are very short, with the original cast having to impersonate them in the game, which was not a successful idea.
Dwayne Johnson had to impersonate Danny DeVito, which expanded his role’s comedy range, however, he did not really capture DeVito’s persona consistently throughout the film. Kevin Hart was very much confined in Milo, whose main “funny” aspect was that he spoke slowly. Worst of all was Jack Black who was impersonating African American Fridge very awkwardly and inconsistently, which wasted of his comedic talents. Even Karen Gillan’s role as Ruby – who was playing the same character – was much more expositional and athletic rather than hilariously profound.
The result does yield some laughter, but not as much as its predecessor, because of the roles’ changes, and the wasted funny opportunities in the script.
You may want to watch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle again, but there is a big chance that you won’t feel the same way about its sequel.