In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world's most dangerous game.
Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (a.k.a. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy with supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling cyborg Cable.
In a brand-new Jumanji adventure, four high-school kids discover an old video-game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji--you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they must go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves --or they'll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break.Written by
During the Staring Contest around the basket, Dr. Bravestone exclaims: "Never Blink"! In Doctor Who (2005), there is the episode "Doctor Who: Blink (2007) starting the arch story of the Weeping Angels, where the Doctor (David Tennant constantly advises "Do Not Blink"! Later in the series, the Doctor's companion, Amy Pond, is played by Karen Gillan, here playing Martha/Ruby. See more »
While Bethany is composing her selfie at the beginning of the movie, the coffee mug handle is facing to the left. When the camera angle changes to a wider shot, the mug handle is facing "upward,", which she adjusts to face left. She proceeds to take the selfie with the coffee mug handle facing left. See more »
So sick of this game. Just stay out of my way Spencer!
Dr. Smolder Bravestone:
What are you mad at me for?
Why am I mad? Are you seriously asking me that? You got me kicked off the team and you got me stuck in whatever this is. And you wonder why we're not friends no more.
Dr. Smolder Bravestone:
Oh, this is why we're not friends anymore? Because you didn't want to get stuck in Jumanji? i don't think so. We're not friends because I'm not cool enough to hang out with you, so you pretend not to even know me anymore. Until you needed me to do ...
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The credits for the main game characters are accompanied by an animal:
The steady and impressive box office success is well-deserved. This movie is pure fun! Actually, it's more than fun; it's clever and perfectly 2018.
No one plays board games anymore, so what did the filmmakers do? They changed Jumanji into a video game. Simple, yet smart. This change not only made sense, it also opened the doors for the characters to possess and exhibit wildly over-the-top skills and physical abilities that would only make sense in a video game setting.
Also perfectly 2018, the handling of Karen Gillan's short shorts. The film earnestly attempts to comment on how video games exploit female characters in blatantly sexual ways. "Why am I wearing short shorts in the jungle?!" she exclaims. This scene is well done and could have made a worthy statement if the movie did not proceed to display her booty in the short shorts at multiple junctures throughout the film. The intentions were good; the execution, not so much.
Gillan plays a powerful female badass exceptionally well. She even nails the necessary nuances required in playing a shy, unconfident student who is merely inhabiting the avatar of the female badass. Each star in the movie plays the embodiment of an avatar assumed by the high school kids after they are sucked into the Jumanji video game. I understand that the last sentence sounds ridiculous. That's Jumanji. You have to tolerate a bit of ridiculous.
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black all deliver in their roles. Hart is hilarious. Black reminds us that he is still funny. Jack Black should be in more funny movies. Johnson is equal parts funny and charming to such an obscene level that it almost doesn't make sense. He's at the point now that he can still be wonderful and charming, even if the movie around him falls woefully flat (shout out to Baywatch).
Setting much of the film in a video game also excused an exceedingly simple plot. The movie embraces this. With all the funny lines, the best one comes when at one point someone asks a video game character in a car "why can't you just drive us where we need to go?" At that moment I realized that this movie knows exactly what it is.
Still, the movie is not perfect. Bobby Canavale's villain character is strange in a strange way, rather than strange in a cool way. The dialogue has its flaws too. At one point, Jack Black's character gives a pep talk to Karen Gillan's character about confidence. At first, it seems like a lovely speech that tells a teenage girl that she has value because of who she is as a person. Then it abruptly ends with "I'm just saying you're a babe." Oh, so physical attractiveness is what gives her value? Ugh. Once again, they were so close to delivering a worthwhile message, but fell just short.
These faults are only slight hiccups. Most viewers probably will barely notice them. They certainly didn't ruin my enjoyment of the movie. Above all else, the movie is about fun. And on that aspect, it comes through with flying colors.
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