I watched Jumanji: The Next Level for the first time yesterday.
Holy sh*t, I admit I didn't think they'd top the first sequel. Sure, it was probably good but better, no.
Upon watching it, oh my gods it's so fricking good. My favourite part of Welcome to the Jungle had always been Jack Black's portrayal of a stereotypical "popular" modern white teenage girl. Social media “influencer” and all.
I did not think they could top that hilarious-ness. Then, they had him act like Fridge, now I don't truthfully know if Fridge is all that stereotypical. I don’t know as much about young African-American/black males. But watching Jack Black act like him instead of Bethany, is even funnier. Whether it's meant to be funny, I don't know, but I found it the funniest thing.
(minimal spoilers ahead)
And what’s more, is adding Milo & Eddie, two older gentlemen somehow made it the funniest thing while being incredibly annoying. I mean good gods waiting for Milo to finish getting to the point was frustrating for me, and I was only watching everything.
I am not a pro when it comes to critiquing acting, I mean hell my favourite Catwoman is still Halle Berry, however I do think Johnson, Black, and Hart did very good performances of different characters throughout the movie.
The first moment they arrive in Jumanji, it’s obvious from “what in tarnation?” that Hart’s characters is no longer Fridge this time. And honestly, I laugh so hard because it’s so different from his usual energy.
Then seeing Martha look at Oberon and guess that it’s Bethany again, and his eyes going wide with shock of “no, I can’t be him!”. I laugh every time. Bonus if you watch it while being high.
I will say I’m not sure how big a fan Jack Black is of his character basically being made fun of and thought to be the worst character during most of the movie. I didn’t see him being worse than the others, but that’s just me.
(BIGGER SPOILERS AHEAD)
Apart from the comedic moments, it was smart to bring in two new people, though I admit the older folks constant confusion about what’s going on is almost annoying. In fact I was wondering part way through if they were supposed to be showing signs of memory loss due to old age and possibly a disease, but they also seem to be together enough in their minds that this is the only confusion.
The action in this movie definitely tops Welcome To The Jungle, and in all the right ways. It’s not too much but just enough so that of course the players end up with one life to get through the final task.
Though, I admit I think they missed a huge comedic opportunity when the players not in their preferred avatars jump into the pool, and immediately come out all in the preferred people. Yes, it was done quite well with the slow motion coming out of the water, and then freezing their butts off in the cold temperature.
But, to have them come out, then a few of them be in the wrong bodies again, and to have to do it all over again. That, to me would have been perfect. What did happened, is still very enjoyable and I suppose they weren’t going to bother doing the water emergence scene twice since once can often be too much.
I won’t spoil the exact ending, as you can guess what part of it is. However, I give full credit for making me believe that certain characters were truly about to die, and then surprising me at the last moment for an awesome scene.
This movie did a lot for being a main attraction action-comedy with big names to keep the audience interested. They were also smart to get it out within a few years after the first sequel. And in the end, this movie made me smile, laugh out loud (which for me isn’t as easy as you might think), and I fully teared up a couple times.
Plus, The Hound playing the villain, does it get better than that? Maybe Idris Elba playing the villain, but in this case, it’s good.
My overall opinion, this movie is worth the price of a ticket, I’m just glad I got to watch it for $5 in the comfort of my own home.