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Movie Review: Jumanji: The Next Level

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Producers- Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, William Teitler, Matt Tolmach
Director- Jake Kasdan
Star Cast- Morgan Turner, Ser’ Darius, Madison Iseman, Danny Devito, Danny Glover and Rory McCann
Genre- Adventure cum Fantasy

Rating- ***

An Enjoyable Fantasy!

Jyothi Venkatesh

The film takes place the year following the events of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) are either in college or on gap years. When Spencer comes home for the holidays, he’s supposed to hang out with his Grandpa Eddie (Danny DeVito), who has moved in temporarily while recovering from hip surgery. On the day the Jumanji survivors are supposed to meet up for breakfast, Spencer is conspicuously missing, so the friends head to his house, where they discover the still-broken Jumanji video game in his basement. They figure that’s where he is and decide to follow.

However something goes awry, and both Eddie and his estranged best friend, Milo (Danny Glover), are transported into the game, too. They end up as Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart), while Fridge is Professor Oberon (Jack Black), but Bethany is left behind altogether. Martha, at least, is still Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). The reconstituted team must find Spencer and also play the game while accompanied by two seniors who are having trouble reconciling their circumstances — not to mention their new muscular bodies.
This time around Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) and Bethany (Madison Iseman) are joined by two senior citizens—Spencer’s grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his estranged friend Milo (Danny Glover)—in trying to get back a life-saving stone usurped by Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann).

If you compare with the earlier versions, in this version, the avatars are swapped and the players come to terms with their strengths and weaknesses and there’s an unsubtle message in their about hiding behind assumed identities and coming to terms with one’s true self.
Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan quickly find their groove again within the game world. Their chemistry is off the charts and since there’s a new twist with the body-swapping theme this time around, luckily they get to play different personas. Once again, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart make a great pair, playing off each other’s charisma and wit to humorous effect. While DeVito steals every scene, Jack Black proves to be actor par excellence and Karen Gillan revels in the physicality of her performance.
The biggest disappointment of the foil, is that despite the addition of new characters and some new twists in the game, the plot invariably becomes familiar after a while and just like the previous installment, Jumanji too suffers from a lackluster villain, who just is not able to make an impact. The visual effects are striking and the plot plays out some similar beats as the previous film, but yet the same time, the film manages to get away with it, thanks to the cast and is an enjoyable fantsay.

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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Movie Review, Jumanji: The Next Level, Morgan Turner, Ser’ Darius, Madison Iseman, Danny Devito, Danny Glover, Rory McCann

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