Jumanji II Takes Us Back to the Jungle

February 3, 2020


Photo courtesy of flickr.com

5/5 (1)

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a stunning film, combining brilliant humor paired with a subtle romance to catch the audience’s attention and spark a hunger for a sequel. The first Jumanji movie engaged with the audience very well and sold tickets with ease.

Enter Jumanji: The Next Level, which follows in the footsteps of its predecessor.  This film starts where the characters from the first film have all moved on after high school and are coming home for winter break.  Young adult relationships can get complicated, whether due to distance, school, or other factors, and Spencer and Martha (the nerd and the lonely girl from the first film) find themselves having one of those problems.  Attempting to understand himself and resolve his inner conflict with Martha, Spencer unexpectedly decides to enter the game of Jumanji once again.

Seeping with worry, Martha, Fridge, and Bethany rush to Spencer’s house to find out why he did not show up for coffee.  Greeting them at the door is Spencer’s grandfather (Danny DeVito), who is at Spencer’s house recovering from hip surgery and in the middle of an argument with an old friend, Milo (Danny Glover).  

Finding the Jumanji game on in the basement, the kids come to the conclusion that Spencer activated the game. Fridge (the stubborn jock from the first movie), Martha and Bethany reluctantly decide to jump in to rescue their friend.  Barring any complications, they think that beating the game and rescuing Spencer should be simple considering that they have already beaten the game before.  

Well, you guessed it, there were complications involving Milo, Spencer’s grandfather and Fridge’s very bruised ego. The friends must pull together once again and overcome the obstacles thrown in their way in order to find and rescue Spencer. 

All in all, the director does not overdo the sequel as is often the case in other sequels.  The creators stick to a similar plot construction as the first movie and pull through humor strands to stir up reminiscent laugh.  Unfortunately, the plot structure, specifically regarding how the game is incorporated into the movie, seems too often like a rerun of the first movie. One plus is the clever way the plot structure is fused with the levels inside the game. 

All the actors from the first film (Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan) return to resume their characters in the game in a way that is familiar and welcome. The film ends with a cliffhanger that hints at a third film that had me, and still has me, racking my brain for any idea to what they could be planning to top their first two movies.        

On a scale of 1-10 stars, I would grade this film 8 stars.  The film is currently still in a few theatres, but if you miss it, you can find it on now on Amazon Prime Video as a rental, or wait until it arrives on DVD in April 2020.  

About the Contributor
Photo of Aiden Matula
Aiden Matula, FCHS Journalist

Aiden is a junior in his second year of Journalism. He enjoys hiking and playing soccer.

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