Jumanji: The Next Level

“The attitude of Jumanji: The Next Level, spearheaded by returning director Jake Kasdan and screenwriters Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg, is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Remember last time when four teens entered the Jumanji video game and wound up in the bodies of adult avatars, such as muscled explorer Dr. Smolder Bravestone, zoologist Franklin “Moose” Finbar, Professor Shelly Oberon and bare-midriff commando Ruby Roundhouse. It was a hoot.

“For Round Two, the filmmakers play mix-and-match with the avatars, giving nearly everyone a chance to try on a different alter ego. Plus, the game zaps in two senior citizens: Danny De Vito and Danny Glover. No one stays in one avatar for long, and no complaints about the always-welcome Awkwafina showing up as a cat burglar named Ming. She’s a pleasure.

“What matters are the laughs and the FX, including a herd of pissed-off ostriches trying to chase the gang off a cliff and the film’s journey into the desert and up into snowy mountain peaks. It’s all in service of a theme that bears repeating, especially for young audiences, about the need to see the core of who people are through the masks they may be wearing.” - Rolling Stone


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