Jumanji: The Next Level. A sequel of a reboot. Who would have thought that Columbia Pictures would be so desperate for funding that they would resort to taking an excellent remake of a classic and ruining it with another? As I write this review, I am most definitely singing Pink Floyd’s “Money” in my head.
The movie begins with the beloved loser, Spencer (Alex Wolff), struggling to make his way in the world as a young college student with an “on-a-break” girlfriend. To make matters worse, when he returns home for Christmas, he finds Danny DeVi—excuse me, Grandpa Eddie—sharing his room. The veritable Charlie Brown of the flick, Spencer impulsively tries to repair the game that he and his friends destroyed in the first reboot, trapping him in that mystical land, Jumanji. Wait, what? This cannot be right. A movie whose plot is based solely on one impulsive move? Oh, yes. And to make matters worse, The Next Level reconfigures all a poor, innocent viewer knows about the world and forces Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and (as a special bonus) Awkwafina to impersonate the people who have assumed their characters in the game.
To be fair, the game is broken, so the world in the game itself is surprising, breathtaking in some places, even. Furthermore, there are some bright spots of comedy that shine through, reminiscent of the original reboot. However, the cons outweigh the pros—(I repeat,) the plot is based on a knee-jerk reaction, and the jokes are mostly based on the running gag and stereotype that senior citizens cannot remember things.
Robin Williams would be rolling over in his grave, shocked by a lukewarm revitalization of his movie. One can only hope that the green-eyed businessmen of Hollywood decide not to make a third…