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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

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Four friends return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own but discover that nothing is as they expect. The players need to brave parts unknown, from arid deserts to snowy mountains, in order to escape the world's most dangerous game.

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So Martha/Ruby is the same, Spencer's grandfather is Bravestone, didn't catch who Mouse is, and Fridge is Dr Oberon? Maybe Bethany is Seaplane or maybe Spencer is? I'll miss seeing Jack Black do his valley girl impression. LOL

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Very much looking forward to it although I'm disappointed that we won't see Jack Black playing the Bethany character again.

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Well, Dwayne Johnson basically playing Danny DeVito was something I never knew I wanted until now.  And I like that Kevin Hart is actually playing a different character this time, since I thought he was basically was just doing his normal stuff in the last episode, and never felt like he was actually a high school jock in Kevin Hart's body.  I do think having the players in different bodies is a good twist, even though I'm disappointed that Jack Black won't be Bethany again.  Speaking of which, who will Bethany and Spencer end up being?  Maybe Nick Jonas and this new character played by Awkwafina?

Either way, the first film was a pleasant surprise, and I'm cautiously optimistic that they can pull it off again with this one.

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4 hours ago, Atlanta said:

So Martha/Ruby is the same, Spencer's grandfather is Bravestone, didn't catch who Mouse is, and Fridge is Dr Oberon? Maybe Bethany is Seaplane or maybe Spencer is? I'll miss seeing Jack Black do his valley girl impression. LOL

Mouse is Danny Glover's character.

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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

Mouse is Danny Glover's character.

And Kevin Hart is using his serious voice and looks like he is playing it up Danny Glover style.

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I'm sorry, but this looks hilarious. I thought the first one was pretty good. But this looks even better. I just can't wait. The trailer cracked me up so hard. 

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I only hope they have a stronger villain this time around, someone the cast can really work off of.  Funny in the Jumanji mold but not a non-factor like the villain in the previous film was.

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I loved the first one and wasn't sure what they could do with a second one. But I loved the trailer. I'm glad they are playing different characters this time, minus Karen Gillian. Kevin Hart actually does a great Danny Glover impression. The Rock seemed to lose the Danny DeVito bit as the trailer showed more. Maybe it'll show more in the movie. 

I wonder where Bethany and Spencer ended up. One of them could be the pilot I guess since they got the other guy out. I'd actually like to see Awkafina play Bethany since it would be a different character for her to play. 

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"Is that Bawwwwbwas boy?"

Heh.

On 7/3/2019 at 8:12 PM, Sakura12 said:

I wonder where Bethany and Spencer ended up. One of them could be the pilot I guess since they got the other guy out. I'd actually like to see Awkafina play Bethany since it would be a different character for her to play. 

I think even just the sight of Nick Jonas' character in the trailer gives us a pretty good idea of where Spencer shows up.

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On 7/12/2019 at 8:39 PM, Artsda said:

Who is Bethany if it's not Jack Black?

Probably that rapper named after a bottled water brand. 

Or... she's not in the game. 

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Enjoyable enough, but a bit too similar to the first one.

The new locations and the cast playing different characters helps for a lot of the film, but by the third act that's mostly gone.
 

Spoiler

The whole "character-switching" concept doesn't make much sense, and is only there so that Johnson can go back to being the lead for the climax of the movie. Most of the movie sidelines him and Hart as the comic relief while Gillan and Black take the lead as the ones who know what's happening, but Johnson taking back over for the big action scene at the end felt like something he insisted on.

It's weird that Awkwafina isn't in the marketing of the movie at all. She has a fairly big role, even if being the Spencer avatar means she doesn't get to have too much fun, though she later gets to be the De Vito. It's not like her character introduction is even a big deal or anything; they just meet up with the character partway through.

Hart as Glover is fun, if a bit one-note. Black as Fridge is good, but his Bethany felt off this time. In the real world scenes, the character has matured, but Black plays her exactly as she was in the first movie.

Gillan is still playing her character from the first one, just more confident. She has one great scene where she gets to be Fridge, but is otherwise left out of the character-switching. She does get to be basically the lead for a bunch of the movie until she doesn't though.

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On 7/1/2019 at 11:15 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Well, Dwayne Johnson basically playing Danny DeVito was something I never knew I wanted until now. 

HOLY SHIRT, THIS. I had zero intention of even learning about this film, much less watching it. But it came up as a preview on a DVD (Spiderman!), and now I must see it.

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Just saw it and it was hilarious. Even though I expected that they'd all get their original characters back at the end,  it was kind of a shame because Danny DeVito and Danny Glover in the bodies of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Hart NAILED Glover...heck, this is the first movie he's done where he wasn't Kevin Hart (all the time).

Awkwafina did a great DeVito impression though.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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Yeah, this was a fun sequel. Albeit one that was very obviously a sequel - they were trying to go bigger and crazier, and it did feel a little overdone in parts, particularly the mandrill sequence.

I liked the addition of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover. There was a real, unexpected pathos that came partly from their storyline in the movie - that of a long friendship lost, coming together again right at the end - and simply of seeing two actors who I've watched all my life clearly contemplating coming to the end of the road.

I wasn't sure that Awkwafina really brought anything new to the table as Spencer, but when she got to be Danny DeVito, she was fantastic. The accent, the speech pattern, the body language, it was all spot on. Dwayne Johnson was funny as DeVito, but Awkwafina embodied him better.

And Kevin Hart as the slow, measured Milo was great. That was a joke that didn't get old. I didn't mind them all switching back for the climax, because the game was on the fritz, and had randomly put them into the avatars anyway.

Bethany as a horse... okay. I've never seen a video game that had a horse as a playable character. Dogs and dolphins and various anthropomorphic animals? Yes.

I liked Karen Gillan getting a more central role this time, and taking the lead for much of the movie. She's so great, and she looks so good.

The growth of the four kids was fun to see as well. Martha was clearly more confident, and every inch the hip college kid, Bethany has been doing volunteer work overseas, Fridge is still Fridge but clearly taking college seriously. And Spencer is having trouble, feeling anonymous and lonely in New York. I guess that city can do that to you, if you don't make friends easily.

Anyway, they're obviously set to do another sequel. I hope they follow up on that mid-credits sequence that showed the game breaking into the real world. The idea of the kids coming face to face with their in-game avatars would be great.

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I just got back from seeing this. It was fun, but it was clearly a sequel. I think it had some very fun elements but some of the scenes felt choppy. Their new mission, in particular, didn't feel very well thought out. It felt strung together only due to shenanigans, rather than a somewhat cohesive video game mission. It felt like they had thought out how the mission would end, rather than how it would play out. 

I like Jack Black and I think he did a great job with Fridge, but he reverted back to Bethany from the first film, when we saw right at the beginning that she had clearly matured beyond the whole "OMG you guys!" The actress who plays Bethany did an excellent job at showcasing how much she's changed so it's a shame Jack Black didn't utilize Bethany's progression. It shows that the actors didn't seem to converse about the changes of the character. 

Also, Bethany initially playing as a horse? It definitely felt shoehorned in, just for comedic effect, and not because it made a lick of sense. They didn't really develop the new video game characters with the horse and Awkwafina's avatar, which is a shame. It would have been interesting to hear how a horse was a playable character. 

Also, too little Nick Jonas, and he didn't even get to body swap with anybody! Now that's a damn shame, because I would have loved to see a scenario where he had to play someone like Spencer or Fridge. 

Kevin Hart did a great job as Milo, which is a plus. There's honestly no complaints from me about his portrayal. It did give him something more to do that's not just playing himself. 

Dwayne Johnson did a solid job as Eddie. In particular, he nailed Eddie's confusion perfectly. But yeah, I also think Awkwafina did a slightly better job, mostly embodying Danny Devito. 

I was mostly content with how the women got bigger roles. Karen Gillian as Martha was great, and Karen even got to have a scene where she portrayed Fridge! I also liked that the women got some really fun action sequences. I still laugh every time at Martha/Ruby Roundhouse's dance fighting. It's just fighting set to some cheesy music, which I love. 

Spencer, as a character, is mostly a straight faced guy, except when his paranoia kicks in. Unfortunately, this time around, they only gave Spencer one scene as Awkwafina to go on a paranoia rant, just to establish that it's Spencer. Otherwise, Spencer was pretty serious so it didn't give Awkwafina a whole lot to work with. 

This time, they did set up a sequel, so that might be interesting. 

Overall, it was a fun film with a lot of good character moments. The chemistry with the four teens is still extremely strong.

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Very fun sequel.  While not as good as the the last movie, I still had a good time and was entertained.  

The Rock is a lot of fun as Danny Devito and Awkwafina shines as him.  Jack Black continues to prove that roles like this and in Tropic Thunder is what he does best.  Kevin Hart doing Danny Glover was fun.  Karen Gillan was an MVP in the MCU and delivers here.  Although they still don't utilize the villains as much, they definitely had a better one here with Rory McCann.

I have to admit wondering what Alex's (Colin Hanks character) wife must think when an 18-year-old teenage girl named Bethany, who shares the same name with her daughter, shows up at the door and Alex goes running off with her.

Nice nod to the original Jumanji with Bebe Neuwirth showing up.

I hope we get a third movie, as they set things up nicely for it.

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I agree that Jack Black's Bethenny was off this go-round. "Like, OMG you guys! Hi-yeeeeeeeeeee!" Didn't mesh with her growth at all. He acted even more valley girl than at the beginning of the first movie, I thought.

I wish we'd gotten a little more time with Alex and Bethenny returning to the game. How did Bethenny react to being a horse? How long did it take Alex to figure it out? How awkward was it to decide he should ride horseback? And did they have to progress through the earlier levels to catch up to the others? Also, wish there'd been a bit more time seeing Alex react to being back in Jumanji. For him, decades have passed; might explain why he failed twice at the puzzle to free Milo -- would make sense if he's a lot rustier than the others.

It was fun seeing the switch up in characters. Agree that Awkwafina did a better DeVito impersonation. Actually I thought Dwayne Johnson's accent seemed too off, but maybe that was part of the gag.

Looks like the next sequel might be getting back to the premise of the original movie. If so I hope the kids will get to encounter their avatars in real life. I'm curious what the avatars' personalities are actually supposed to be like. I wonder if Spencer's mom and the HVAC guy got sucked into the game

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I laughed a lot, which was what I wanted.   Kevin Hart playing Danny Glover was one of the best things and had the potential to steal the movie, except they switched back.    I agree that Jack Black was playing Bethany more as she was in the first movie than how she appeared to be now.  The others had some character growth and when she was Jack Black, she didn't appear to.   I liked that Fridge was still practical, pointing out how Grampa Eddie made a bad Bravestone and Milo talked too slowly for the zoologist.  Ser'Darius Blain, who plays Fridge, is 32 years old!!  The others are in their 20s and he fits right in, could be be the same age as his character.

I didn't like the inclusion of the horse - it just seemed so random, like they didn't want to pay another actor or something.  I didn't like Milo staying in Jumanji as the horse either.   My practical mind wondered about what would happen in the real world.  He probably told someone he was going to Spencer's house, etc.   Eh, it just didn't work for me.

I liked Awkwafina and yeah, she did a better DeVito than Johnson did. 

So when Spencer killed the bad guy was there a real person in there?  He hit him with the Jumanji fruit and it popped up that it was that guy's weakness.   I had thought those lists were just for characters that could be inhabited. 

Overall it was fun, mainly thanks to the chemistry between both sets of actors.  I'll definitely go see the next one. 

Oh, almost forgot - Bebe Neuwirth's character's name in this one is Nora, which is what it is in the Robin Williams movie.  I like that continuity and it would be fun to merge both worlds once Jumanji breaks out of the game.

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On 12/16/2019 at 7:09 PM, raven said:

Oh, almost forgot - Bebe Neuwirth's character's name in this one is Nora, which is what it is in the Robin Williams movie.  I like that continuity and it would be fun to merge both worlds once Jumanji breaks out of the game.

I was assuming that was the point of having her there, although I'm torn on if I'd want Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst to show up in a cameo because it's just going to be a reminder that Robin Williams passed. Also, let's be honest here- big time cast bloat.

It did make me ponder the end of the first movie, though. Alan and Sarah meet Judy and Peter at their Christmas house party, and they don't remember Alan and Sarah. At first I thought it was just because in the corrected timeline, they never played the game, but now I think that it's because the Judy and Peter that played the game weren't sent back in time, but to the parallel time, like what essentially happened to Alex.

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Finally making time to catch up on movies I've been missing these past few weeks/months.

Overall, not as good as Welcome to the Jungle (which I rewatched before this, and still holds up pretty well), but I still found it to be an enjoyable watch, and is just a film series that seems to know how to handle fun action and solid comedy, which might seem simple enough on paper, but is proven time and time by lots of films that it is easier said than done.  And, of course, they clearly have found a pitch-perfect cast for this series and all of them continue to have great chemistry.

Going in, I was most looking forward to seeing Dwayne Johnson playing Danny DeVito, but I have to admit that he was a bit hit or miss with it instead.  Overall, he was still funny and had some good lines, but there were moments where it felt like he was DeVito, but other times where he seemed to be just doing a stereotypical version of an old retiree from Florida that is common place in the movie/television world.  On the other hand, I thought Kevin Hart nailed down playing Danny Glover, and it was nice seeing him play something other than "Kevin Hart."  Despite the silliness, I did think the heart-to-heart between Eddie and Milo touching and well-acted, and it seems clear that Johnson and Hart really do have a great friendship in real life.

Thought Jack Black and Karen Gillan were the highlights here.  Black was hilarious as Fridge (and seemed to be able to avoid any potential offensiveness over playing a young, black man), and while I did think his return as Bethany lost all of the development that supposedly had happen, I can't deny that he is blast to watch.  As for Gillan, while she might have arguably been the straight character here, I still thought she brought in some huge laughs with just her reactions and annoyance over Eddie and Milo dotting around and being clueless: all while disguised as a movie star and a well-known comedian!

Awkwafina fit in pretty well here, and her DeVito was superior compared to Johnson's.  Hope we see more of her going forward.  Took me a second to place Rory McCann as the villain, but as soon as he spoke, I was like "Yep, that's totally The Hound!"  He fit the role well, but between his cliched warlord and Bobby Cannavale's Bond villain-lite character from the Welcome to the Jungle, villains aren't exactly the highlights of this series, it seems.

The actors playing the teens in the real world continue to be perfectly cast as well.

I continue to love the video game references and jokes, and I like that at least someone in the writing room seems to have knowledge about gaming.

 

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I kind of disagree with the room about Jack playing Bethany the same way- yes, she still talked like a Valley Girl, but she was clearly more empathetic and was clearly excited to be on another adventure with her team. 

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12 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

I kind of disagree with the room about Jack playing Bethany the same way- yes, she still talked like a Valley Girl, but she was clearly more empathetic and was clearly excited to be on another adventure with her team. 

I totally agree.  She is a much different person in this film than she is at the start of the last movie.  She clearly cares about the rest of her friends and isn't as self-absorbed anymore.  We see her traveling and developing a love of the outdoors as well.

 

16 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Took me a second to place Rory McCann as the villain, but as soon as he spoke, I was like "Yep, that's totally The Hound!"  He fit the role well, but between his cliched warlord and Bobby Cannavale's Bond villain-lite character from the Welcome to the Jungle, villains aren't exactly the highlights of this series, it seems.

Yes!  This is probably my main problem with the last two movies.  Rory's villain is given a little more to do and is better but the villains do not make a strong impression in the movie and are barely focused on.  I think it would only make the films stronger if they had a better villain to work off of.  I know the villains aren't supposed to be playable characters but it would be great if someone who didn't like Spencer ended up being sucked into the game and became a video game villain.

Edited by benteen
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On 12/26/2019 at 10:10 PM, thuganomics85 said:

Thought Jack Black and Karen Gillan were the highlights here.  Black was hilarious as Fridge (and seemed to be able to avoid any potential offensiveness over playing a young, black man), and while I did think his return as Bethany lost all of the development that supposedly had happen, I can't deny that he is blast to watch.  As for Gillan, while she might have arguably been the straight character here, I still thought she brought in some huge laughs with just her reactions and annoyance over Eddie and Milo dotting around and being clueless: all while disguised as a movie star and a well-known comedian!

2019 has been a very good year for Karen Gillan. Two successful franchises, and in this one, she actually got to be the sneaky lead of the movie. Her comic timing and reactions are excellent, and she can obviously more than hold her own with action and emotional scenes.

Hopefully 2020 is just as good, because she's on a hell of a career rise, right now.

On 12/27/2019 at 2:23 AM, methodwriter85 said:

I kind of disagree with the room about Jack playing Bethany the same way- yes, she still talked like a Valley Girl, but she was clearly more empathetic and was clearly excited to be on another adventure with her team. 

I think Jack Black plays her with an initial burst of dizzy excitement when she transfers from Cyclone to Shelby. And that is still character accurate, because we see Bethany shrieking with delight when she and Martha meet up at Nora's. But I agree, Black does play her as more empathetic and grounded, from that point on.

On 12/27/2019 at 2:31 PM, benteen said:

Yes!  This is probably my main problem with the last two movies.  Rory's villain is given a little more to do and is better but the villains do not make a strong impression in the movie and are barely focused on.  I think it would only make the films stronger if they had a better villain to work off of.  I know the villains aren't supposed to be playable characters but it would be great if someone who didn't like Spencer ended up being sucked into the game and became a video game villain.

The Rock tweeted about Jurgen apparently being a player character, for some, as yet unseen player. I don't know whether he knows that, or has just guessed it based on Jurgen's strength/weakness pop-up.

I don't know, I just find the villains more of a necessary evil (if you'll pardon the pun) than an interesting part of the movie. For me, the 'people versus the environment' trope is far more successful. Watching them deal with the animals and terrain and the laws of the game world, are much more satisfying than watching them deal with the bad guys.

Edited by Danny Franks
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