With all of the ‘I loved the original hype’ now rubbed off, the piece is exposed like a video game character being chased by a pack of Ostrich
The general consensus seemed to be that the Jumanji remake wasn’t as bad as most had expected. Yes, it wasn’t needed, and takes a classic film and warms it up for a modern audience (in the most ‘this was made for a modern audience’ way possible), but that was okay. It had heart and some good performances giving it the needed charm boost. But flick forward two years, and Jumanji: The Next Level rolls in as that film’s sequel. Sequel’s are almost never as good as their precursor, and with all of the ‘I loved the original hype’ now rubbed off, the piece is exposed like a video game character being chased by a pack of Ostriches.
Spencer (Alex Wolff), after struggling in his long-distance relationship with Martha (Morgan Turner), arrives home from University for an extended break. Instead of meeting his friends from their trip into the Jumanji game, he chooses to tinker with the game’s mechanics, accidentally disappearing in the process.
Everything that made 2017’s Welcome To The Jungle worthwhile, just seems to seep away from The Next Level as if it were never there. With a less exciting goal, and a wedged-open story line (with the sole aim of getting the characters back into the world of Jumanji), the film just feels forced. Sequel’s require as much drive as their originals, and without that there’s often a lot of aimless running about and needless extended sequences of CGI.
The Next Level has an incredibly precise goal, and it’s clear from the moment the group re-enter the world of Jumanji exactly what that goal is, and every element of the film’s excitement revolves around that goal. It’s the dumbing down of an already outlandish story, and that never works on a cohesive or exciting level.
The character’s aren’t in the same exciting form as they were previously, and it’s missing the real spark that 1995’s version had in abundance. Without anything to boast about, The Next Level falls in the category of money-grabbing sequel; a title it fills very well. Naturally, it will garner a sequel to be released late 2021 if any form of prediction was to be made, looking starkly similar to this one. Please prove me wrong.
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