Mistimed comedy and repetition jokes severely dragged down Jumanji: The Next Level.
Jumanji: The Next Level Synopsis
who diWould anyone willingly enter Jumanji? The answer is yes for Spencer from the previous movie, who dived back into the game after suffering a growing up crisis. When his friends enter the game to retrieve him, they inadvertently bring in Spencer’s grandfather and an aged family friend as well; and all before selecting their avatars. Within the game, Fridge and Martha also discover that while the rules have not changed, the premise has, with a whole new quest awaiting them. As the awkward team struggles to adapt to their new avatars, they learn the reason behind Spencer reentering the dangerous world. Fantasy, however deadly, can sometimes be far more preferable to real-life.
I’ve loved the Jumanji franchise since the very first movie in the 90s. And not just because of the special effects.
There’s a lot of depth and possibilities in the premise, don’t you agree? Foremost being the dilemma of, would you opt to remain in a deadly fantasy world if the person you are within that world is greater than who you are in real life?
This theme, admittedly, wasn’t obvious in the first two movies but by Welcome to the Jungle, it was the predominant question.
As in, if you could be a powerful mage, or a fearsome warlord, or an intrepid explorer in an impossible world, would you switch your life for that? In Welcome to the Jungle, it seems Spencer was at various times, more than willing to.
With the inclusion of two elderly “players” this time, and all other characters willingly re-entering Jumanji, it seems the story is ready to probe deeper into this prickly question. Ready to explore the dynamics between players with different opinions on the matter too.
Alas, be it mistimed comedy, repetitive jokes, or lacklustre interactions, the movie just doesn’t deliver any genuine euphoria or insight. Nope, not even the action sequences with the ostriches or mandrills. In several instances, the older players not comprehending what’s happening, despite everything that’s going on, even becomes downright wearisome.
Still, there might be hope for franchise fans like me. Regardless of the strength of this entry, the premise has moved towards the main characters embracing their avatars and viewing Jumanji as more than a deadly prison. Should there be another sequel, would we then see a fresh story direction, one in which the game is more than a nightmare to flee from?
Would “Jumanji” morphed into a fantasy that players are desperate to remain in?
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it would be. If the mid-credit scene is any indication, I believe my wish might come true.