Jumanji’s mediocre installment hits theaters

Bre Scott, Staff Writer

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Taking place a year after the events of Jumanji: Into the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level brings Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) back into play. Other returning cast includes Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. Not only will these actors/actresses return, but Danny Devito, Awkwafina, and Danny Glover are added to the mix. Feeling insecure, Spencer transports himself back into the Jumanji video game, throwing the gang off-kilter. In an attempt to rescue him, Fridge, Martha, and Bethany follow him into the game only to find that everything is different from before. 

Released in December 2019, the third Jumanji installment has received consistent ratings: 7/10 on IMBd and 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many existing reviews claim that Jumanji: The Next Level felt like a generic sequel and brought in plots that could have been meaningful if they weren’t diffused by the continued storyline from the first movie. Other critics felt that the movie was not necessarily tedious but simply repetitive and monotonous. 

After watching the movie for myself, I have some critiques for Jumanji: The Next Level as well. Overall, I agree that the movie was mediocre at best. However, I personally feel that Jumanji: The Next Level plot had somewhat of a respectable premise, but its production missed the mark. The romance between Martha and Spencer, already lukewarm in Jumanji: Into the Jungle, felt frozen due to the lack of chemistry and development between the two characters. Danny Devito and Danny Glover’s characters also could have had a special and heartwarming subplot, but it was also lukewarm at best during the actual production. Bringing Danny Devito into the mix at all felt like a last attempt to impress Jumanji fans with humor: an act that completely missed the mark as Danny Devito is not the one playing his character for a majority of the movie. The overarching plot in general came off as stretched out and overdone, much like a single semi-burnt steak meant for 10; henceforth, my final opinion on Jumanji: The Next Level is that the movie was, simply put, unsatisfying.