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Film review: Jumanji – The Next Level

Film

This Jumanji sequel takes moviegoers back to the jungle in a cracking adventure filled with video-game-inspired fight sequences, amusing hijinks and exaggerated stunts.

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It’s been two years since high schoolers Spencer, Bethany, Martha and Fridge escaped the video game world of Jumanji.

They thought they’d won, but when one of the group goes missing and the unmistakable sounds of jungle drums fill the air they realise the game has a new mission for them. The only way to save him is to play – and as every gamer knows, no two levels are ever the same.

Directed by Jake Kasdan (who was also at the helm of 2017’s Welcome to the Jungle), Jumanji: The Next Level is an action-packed sequel filled with old and new friends, dangerous enemies, challenging terrain and more wildlife than you can poke a stick at.

Morgan Turner, Madison Iseman, Alex Wolff and Ser’Darius Blain return to play the now-college-bound Martha, Bethany, Spencer and Fridge, older and somewhat wiser thanks to their time in the game.

Karen Gillan delivers another powerhouse performance as studious Martha’s martial-arts-expert game avatar Ruby Roundhouse while Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart also reprise their roles of Smoulder Bravestone, Sheldon Oberon and Franklin “Moose” Finbar (the avatars of Spencer, Bethany and Fridge), and Nick Jonas is back as fellow game player Alex.

Plot twists result in some hilarious hijinks for the avatars, with the cast members all delivering entertaining performances.

Breathtaking special effects bring the constantly-changing jungle scenery and vicious animals to life in vivid detail, while the addition of new characters both in and outside of Jumanji – including veterans Danny DeVito and Danny Glover as Spencer’s grandfather Eddie and his friend Milo – adds a whole new level of fun to the film.

Like Welcome to the Jungle, The Next Level is bursting at the seams with video-game-inspired fight sequences and exaggerated action stunts, and the fast-paced nature of these scenes keeps the film moving at a cracking pace. It’s an adventure from start to finish, but it’s best to see the original film first so you have previous knowledge of the characters before you level up.

Jumanji: The Next Level opens in cinemas Boxing Day.

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