Rating: 3.5 / 5
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan
Welcome to Jumanji, and the indominablespirit of The Rock. Lately, Dwayne Johnson, has become a name which is synonymous tobig English-Popcorn-Entertainers . His last few films includes Rampage (where he fights giant mutated animals), Skyscraper (where he fights in a giant building on fire) and Hobbs & Shaw (where again he fights to save the humanity)- Rock is the muscle-flexer who is the one-stop solution to whatever problem you have. Now whether it is his conscious decision or a case of acting limitation, Rock is believable in almost everything he does and how!
Jumanji: The Next Level has a vast ground to play on. Friendship, nostalgia, life-lessons, social-media – this film blends every ingredient quite well. Jumanji Franchise has a vast fan-base of varying ages with fans throughout the world (The first Jumanji released in 1995) and owing to cash on such a large following , makers have left no stone unturned to provide them with a film with wholesome entertainment.
The Next Level is a true sequel and the story begins a year after the last Jumanji event which involved four college-going teens who enter into the video game as various characters. Now all of them have gone on different paths but after a while they plan a get together. Spencer (Alex Wolff) is coping with loneliness and decide to go back to Jumanji in order to relive the high he got on his last detour to Jumanji.
When Spencer is not found his friend look for him and in a quick turn of events they find themselves in the world of Jumanji along with two septuagenarian fellows. What happens next and how they get to Spencer forms the major crux of the film.
Jumanji: The Next Level is definitely a step ahead- in scale, in writing and also in entertainment quotient. Written by Jake Casdan (who also directed Jumanji : Welcome To The Jungle) and Jeff Pinker(who wrote Venom and Amazing Spider-Man 2), the film has lots to offer. The body swap concept is fun to watch. The comic timing of the male leads- The Rock and Kevin- is earth shatteringly good. The story with continuous twists and turns stays true to the essence of the Jumanjifilms. It’s Casdan’s real understanding of mainstream action-based cinema that tide the missteps over to frame an enjoyable entertainer. He uses Rock and other actors to their fullest (Nick Jonas is in a cameo again).
Films like Jumanji leave a little room to look at them through sharp critical lenses. They are made for the sole purpose of entertainment (and money) and definitely not meant to be taken seriously. But in spite of that Jumanji is a well-made film (and no doubt it’s better than the previous one). So, you can watch Jumanji this weekend if you want to have a good time with your family/friends watching an easy-breezy film. If nothing, you will end up admiring Rock (even more).