Mild spoilers follow.
2017’s Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle was one of the biggest surprises for me that year, I wasn’t expecting anything and I came away shocked by just how much I had enjoyed it. So, naturally, this time around I was excited for the next instalment in the franchise. But, was it any good?
Quite simply, yeah, it was fine. If you enjoyed the last outing then you’re probably going to enjoy this one. However, it is basically just more of the same and does very little different to it’s predecessor. The concept remains exactly the same and the story is basically just a reskin of Welcome to the Jungle, you may find yourself slightly disappointed if you’re expecting something new, but if you go in just wanting to see a fun family movie then you’ll likely leave satisfied.
This film, like the first, is visually impressive and action-packed, with some great, exciting sequences. For the most part, the humour is pretty good too, but I did notice that there were a lot more jokes that fell flat this time around. The main gag in this film is the fact that the characters end up in different avatars this time around, with two elderly men (played by Danny DeVito and Danny Glover) taking charge of Dwayne Johnson’s Dr Smolder Bravestone and Kevin Hart’s Franklin Finbar, respectively. It’s amusing at first and does lead to some good laughs, but I did get the vibe that the film became a little too dependent on that dynamic and the comedy wore a bit thin in that department for my liking. Still, the cast were clearly having a good time playing around with these new ideas, which leads to some solid performances throughout that will be sure to make you smile.
There’s not a great deal more I can say about this one, if you liked Welcome to the Jungle, you’ll like The Next Level, as long as you go in realising that this film doesn’t change the formula whatsoever and is relying on it’s audience wanting more of the same. There’s nothing wrong with that, it was great fun last time and it’s still fun this time, but in my opinion, it’s not as good as it’s predecessor. I would certainly say give it a watch if you’re looking for a fun family film to watch over Christmas, but if you’re not overly bothered and want to save your money, then this is something that can probably wait until a Netflix release.
I give Jumanji: The Next Level a 6.5/10.