Jumanji: The Next Level

After narrowly surviving his last trip into Jumanji Spencer (Alex Wolff) is beginning to feel disillusioned with life. After all, who wouldn’t be a little disappointed after living as Dwayne Johnson? When Spencer decides to step back into Jumanji, it ends up dragging in his grandad (Danny DeVito) and Milo (Danny Glover), his grandad’s former business partner. Jungle-based survival fun ensues.

I really didn’t think I’d enjoy the Jumanji reboot/sequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, but it ended up being a lot more fun than it really had any right to be. Especially as I generally can’t stand Kevin Hart. What we ended with was something that took the idea of the Robin Williams original and updated for the 21st century as a body-swap action comedy.

After managing to defy the odds the first time around you would have thought that the studio might have quit while they were ahead, but here we are with a sequel. I suppose that Welcome to the Jungle did make a lot of money, after all.

The film doesn’t rest on its laurels with a simple retread, and instead ups the body swap ante by dragging in Danny DeVito and Danny Glover, which translates to Dwayne Johnson giving us his best Danny DeVito impression and Kevin Hart dialling back the speed of his performance in a rather fine Danny Glover impression.

The action sequences are a lot of fun and manage to build on what we saw in Welcome to the Jungle to give us something that is certainly bigger but isn’t necessarily always better. The action might be great and visually quite impressive but the plotting is a little clunky at times and you can almost see the cogs turning as the film manoeuvres the original cast back into the game.

The new additions to the cast, both in terms of the new characters and in-game avatars, really add to the proceedings with Ming Fleetfood (Awkwafina) being a real standout.

It’s nothing new, it’s not going to change the world but there is a lot of fun to be had with another trip to Jumanji. There are a lot of laughs to be had with the body-swapping fun of the original but also the utter bewilderment of two of the characters who don’t even know what a video game is let alone how to go about surviving one.

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