The Rock is getting really good at having fun, especially at poking jokes at himself.
Jumanji The Next Level movie cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover
Jumanji The Next Level movie director: Jake Kasdan
Jumanji: The Next Level movie rating: 1 star
If the idea was superfluous the last time, there was no real chance of Jumanji, once again a video game blown up literally into a film, finding the “next level” now.
Mildly funny as Johnson and Hart play the buffier, younger avatars of old squabbling men, in this edition of the video game, Jumanji this time too has them chasing some jewel, which is to be again restored to somewhere, to once more keep a forest intact.
Animals are little more than obstacle courses in this artificial forest, with ostriches and mandrills casually swatted aside as our avatars make their way to the aforesaid jewel, which is in the possession of a villain by the name of Jurgen the Brutal. As the film limps towards the end, Nick Jonas shows up looking exactly like Nick Jonas while riding a horse that is not actually a horse.
It remains a mystery as to why the whole lot of them are so nervous about their dwindling ‘lives’ — each one gets three in the game — when dying means far from dead. The “rebirth”, that involves them falling head first from the skies, appears more worrisome in comparison.
What one keeps wishing is that the film had stuck around for longer in the real world, where DeVito and Glover play two old and ageing men with a history that involves real pain. DeVito stumbling around sportingly with a mending hip packs in more punch than Johnson’s pecs.
That said, the Rock is getting really good at having fun, especially poking jokes at himself.