It’s two weeks after Thanksgiving. A little early to fight a new over stuffed turkey. Still, here’s “Jumanji: The Next Level.”
This is a sequel to the 2017 reboot (again directed by Jake Kasdan), which has a lot to do with the audience. In that movie, a quartet of teenagers entered a video game, which gave them incarnations, which served as virtual life coaches. Wimpy Spencer was able to stay Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. Rock), and the shy Martha was able to hit butt in Karen Gillan’s body. The self-absorbed Bethany got the softness of Jack Black. The gigantic joke of “The Fridge” fell to Kevin Hart’s standards. Like its sequel , this latest “Jumanji” film combines fantasy action and adventure with real-life lessons about humor, a touch of romance, courage, friendship and empathy – all with the help of low-key race and gender.
At the end of the last movie, four high school students (more heroic than others), who were pulled into an old-school video game console and turned themselves into archetypal adventure heroes, are so happy to have come home that they broke the game. But the movie made a lot of money, so the game is reactivated, this time adding college-age kids to old school characters. Again, each of the incarnations has three bars on the wrist, one for each life the game allows. When Martha / Ruby tries to explain to Eddie and Milo what is going on, they immediately use some of those lives.
Like all good video games, this level is harder than the last. Bill Breski’s production design is stunning and exciting, while the stirring music from Henry Jackman suggests not only the best in video games, but also the most beloved classic adventure. Following the jungle adventures of the first film, this sequel takes you through the desert and into a snow-covered castle, your breath-taking journey through the Don Buggy, the Rope Bridge and the Zeppelin. There is also danger from snakes, ostrichs, and bobtrips. There’s also a new villain, a big winner like Hun, Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann). The aim of this level is to capture a jewel that Jurgan has stolen from the genteel indigenous farmers. When Jake Kasdan’s 2017 Ramp Jumanji: Chris Van Olsberg’s 1981 children’s book premiered in 1995, it was no surprise to me. Joe Johnston’s Jumanji (starring Robin Williams), a fascinating creature who escapes from a wild game board game in Brantford, New Hampshire, sent four young players to a video game in Casdan’s “continuation of the story”, where they faced many challenges in order to have a safe journey. . The result was a crowd-pleasing rump that blended with The Breakfast Club’s school detention premises with splendid CG measures.
AQUAFINA is the newest game-character, Ming Fleetfoot, and his appearance raises questions and answers (written by Kasdan with returning co-writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg) and jumps to identities like T-shirts in Tumble Dryer. Like some supercharged kaleidoscopic rehearsals in Freaky Friday, Jumanji: Next Level Polymorphs delight in the mad scrambling of age, gender, and racial boundaries, but helps us speed up the body at any given moment. – Approx. It is a credit to filmmakers that the unilateral dialogue between a cat-robber and a hybrid horse can still pack an emotional punch, a feat that Polish surrealist director Valerian Borowski would be proud of.
These two films and the two Wreck-It-Ralph movies are some of the best video game films ever made. How difficult it is to incorporate a real video game into a movie (or a real movie into a game), but we get such wonderful films when filmmakers use video games as a narrative medium.
Overall: Like all good video games, there’s a hint of yet another level at the end for those, like me, who are not yet ready to say Game Over.