The remake of the Jumanji saga continues with Jumanji: The Next Level that was released on December 13th, 2019. This second film (don’t come for me, it’s the second modern film since the first remake of the 1995 Jumanji) takes the group of friends who are all grown up now back into the video game. Fridge, Martha, and Bethany actually return to the game to rescue Spencer who has stupidly gone back in to feel a purpose in his life again. Spencer’s granddad, Eddie, and his old friend, Milo, are also sucked in and experience the danger for the first time. This time, they don’t get to choose their game characters; Eddie is Dr. Bravestone, Fridge is Professor Oberon, Milo is Finbar, and Martha is her original character Ruby. Bethany later emerges as a horse along with Alex who helped them beat the game the first time around.
The group of players meet with the Nigel, the guide, who explains that their task is to retrieve the Falcon’s Heart stone that was stolen by Jurgen the Brutal. Without the stone, Jumanji faces drought. Nigel leaves them at the desert to find Jurgen, but they encounter an ostrich that teaches Eddie and Milo about how their characters’ skills and lives work in the game. The ostrich returns in a large pack that sends the group fleeting in a dune buggy escape and they learn to work with each other as well as with their avatars.
They find Spencer when they find Jurgen, Spencer now a thief named Ming who gets caught stealing the Falcon Heart. They move on from the desert to the Jurgen’s mountain hideaway where the new plan is to pose as his men in order to get in and steal the stone. They accomplish minor things along the way, like finding the Jumanji berry which we learn that is Jurgen’s weakness and ultimate death weapon, and discovering glowing water that allows them to switch characters which they all use to become their original characters or better-fitted characters in Eddie and Milo’s case. They also fight off crazy baboons that test their trust in each other.
We witness the heart-warming rekindling between the old men who were business partners for their diner until Milo closed it down and left Eddie in retirement. Along their minor adventures, Bethany and Alex find them and they all work together to reclaim the Falcon Heart. They shine it at the sun and the drought ends. Yay. 🎉
Overall, I’d recommend Jumanji: The Next Level. The adventure is pretty much resonant with the thrills and chased we’ve seen in the previous films, but the storyline is different and ties in our values in friendships and relationships. It’s the perfect movie to watch with family and friends in theaters.