Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

Rates: * * *

Why Did I Watch It? I had had a few beers and I wanted something undemanding

Cast, crew, etc

The four teenagers from the Jumanji reboot are back, returning to the game on a very slight premise that shows how hard it is to do sequels well. Basically, the nerdiest kid just wants to go back, and the movie is like: just get this bit out of the way, and get to the bit people like.

So, more of the same, and a bit more of everything. The chemistry between the older stars, again playing the game avatars – The Rock, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan – is as robust as it was the first time round, and there are some funny lines, and effectively silly slapstick.

But this movie does have one ace to play; Danny De Vito (rarely sighted nowadays) and Danny Glover both appear in the bookend segments, and they are wonderful. A couple of legends, bringing their effortless charisma to something that is otherwise pretty forgettable.

I mean, I watched this last night, and if you asked me right now I could not tell you what the mechanics of the plot are. There is a gem, I think? They have to get something, from somewhere, and it is in the desert and there is a sort of biker gang after them. It really does not matter; this is the sort of movie people watch with one eye on their phone.

For all that, a pretty fun time filler. Undemanding. And Awkwafina shows up half way through and I’d watch her in anything. If they keep adding actors of this calibre to the sequels, I’ll be happy if they keep cranking them out.

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