Like with most sequels, reboots, franchises and calculated enterprise ventures disguised as ‘entertainment’, Jumanji: The Next Level struggles to find a purpose. Why do we need this film? Beyond getting cash and merchandises, there seems to be no justifiable answer. Even the world-building — which is at the core of this film set in a video game — is as clichéd as clichéd gets, with characters entering acquainted landscapes and yelling ‘We gotta get outta here!”. An endless desert, an oasis evil metropolis that seems like a stereotype of the Middle East (of course), and a snow-capped climax — not anything inventive.
As for execution, it is relatively sloppy at points, making me marvel if the effort to stability the 3D frames over my glasses become even really worth it. What’s new and type of exciting is the frame-swapping among characters in the game. Those who re-enter the Jumanji universe inside the sequel, find themselves in mismatched characters this time around. Then when another bout of body exchanges follow, it’s alleged to be hilarious. But maximum of the cast, along with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, is unable to tug of the differences and are as an alternative inconsistent. It’s Awkwafina and Jack Black, with their goofiness, who shows how it’s accomplished, and the possibility of what ought to have been, if the film invested more inside the characters, dialogues and plot, as opposed to just putting in place a grand global that’s marketable.
Awkwafina, especially, demonstrates how comedy may be achieved with a straight-face and now not always requires a high-pitched tone and exaggerated expressions.