PG Score: 7/10
Jumanji: The Next Level is an entertaining sequel. It builds off of the world created by its predecessor and throws a few unique ingredients into the mix. The premise again revolves around the magical video game that transports those it comes in contact with to a virtual reality. When one member of the group makes a rash decision, the rest are once again thrust into the world of Jumanji to save one of their own. The central cast of characters remains largely the same. Spencer, Martha, Bethany, and Fridge are all back and joined by some new faces. Milo (Danny Glover), Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie (Danny DeVito), and Ming (Awkwafina) join our group of heroes on their quest and are worthy additions, to say the least. Milo and Eddie carry much of the load supporting cast-wise, while Ming plays a smaller, yet impactful role. Glover and DeVito do a great job with their respective lighthearted characters. The entire cast is formidable, but the main draws are Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, both of whom do an excellent job delivering the laughs. As with the last film, their chemistry is on full display. You can feel their genuine friendship (both onscreen and off) and this propels much of the humor throughout the two-hour runtime. The large-scale action scenes and grandeur serve for some high-quality entertainment. The visuals are quite stunning at points and the environments range from lush jungles to snow-covered mountain ranges. All of the locations feature various degrees of peril and some decent melees. I would’ve liked to see the brawls be a bit more heavy hitting, however. It feels like they pulled a few too many punches in the choreography, pun intended. While much of the humor provides sufficient laughs, there are noticeable lapses. Some of the jokes do miss and a few gags go on for too long. For the most part though, the one liners are funny enough to keep the viewer engaged throughout. Jumanji: The Next Level won’t be winning any awards, but it serves its purpose of providing another entertaining outing for a variety of ages. The blend of juvenile, yet effective, humor and exciting set pieces make this an adventure worth embarking on.