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Jumanji: The Next Level

I’m a little late to the Jumanji party, having completely missed the original installment. That being said, it’s not imperative for you to have seen the previous film, as it stands strongly on its own.

A mysterious game console from the ’80’s transports players into another world, where they inhabit the bodies of characters within the game, Jumanji. Therein lies the device for 90% of the comedy in this film, which, surprisingly, doesn’t wear thin.

Danny DeVito’s character Eddie, hilariously transforms into Bravestone, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson acting from DeVito’s viewpoint is amazing, and you don’t doubt for a second that the two are one and the same. Likewise, sidekick Kevin Hart’s Mouse character is inhabited by Danny Glover’s mild-mannered Milo, and the laughs seem to continually multiply.

The adventure that the the players set out on, along with Jack Black and Karen Gillan, is chock-full of absurd circumstances, like nearly getting trampled by a herd of ostriches in the middle of a desert. Without giving any of the plot away, I have to say that it’s a good, old-fashioned thrill ride, a la the Indiana Jones films.

My family watched Jumanji about two weeks ago, and last night, my daughter said she’d like to watch it again. I’m in.

D.P.

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