The first time I watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, I was hesitant. “It’s really good!” said Di, but did I believe her? It had Jack Black in it, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I mean, I like Karen Gillan, but overall it just looked like a stupid, unfunny movie.
Long story short, I was wrong. We watched it on a pretty small TV, but it was still some of the most fun I’ve had watching a movie. I even became a fan of The Rock!
Out comes The Next Level and I’m pumped! Did it live up to the awesomeness that was its predecessor? Uh… yeah. In a way it did. I think it’s really hard to do a greater sequel because usually it’s the concept of the first one that captures people, and I think Next Level falls under that curse. But I still really enjoyed myself!
(You may notice that despite saying that Welcome to the Jungle is better, I have given The Next Level the same rating as the former. That is because I disagree with Di and think the former deserves a slightly higher score. An 8.5 at least!)
The Next Level is a bit ridiculous and a whole lot of fun. Why you would expect anything more is beyond me. But if you want a lighthearted film to entertain you for an afternoon or evening, I would heartily recommend this one! Though, I also suggest you watch Welcome to the Jungle alongside it.
One of my favourite scenes plays off of a scene in the last one (this is a common theme), and it involves my favourite character Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) and a radio. Actually, about half the film relies heavily on its predecessor. The movie almost expects you to have seen the first because it even forgoes explaining anything that was already explained in Welcome to the Jungle.
In a way it’s a good thing. Leaves more time for cool stuff to happen. It’s like the writers assumed the only people who would see this are the ones who enjoyed the first. They probably assumed correct. It just means that you really should see the first one with these characters to really enjoy The Next Level.
Despite Welcome to the Jungle being overall better, there were definitely some improvements in this one! The new characters make the sequel worth existing in the first place, and Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson were a lot of fun to watch. In fact, Kevin Hart really shined!
As one would expect, the sequel to a body-swapping movie is another body-swapping movie, but that trope really does let actors show off their skills! Kevin Hart (and special mention to Awkwafina) did such a great job I barely recognised him as Kevin Hart. It actually felt like he was the different characters he was playing!
I don’t think you need to see The Next Level on the big screen. I wish I had seen Welcome to the Jungle in theatres – that would have been great. But this one will be equally fun on the small screen.
If you’re a fan already, go big! But if you’re not fussed, you won’t be missing much by waiting for it to come out on disc. So long as you do see it at some point! It’s totally worth your time. It was totally worth my time, in any case.