Here’s some news that shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone. Dwayne Johnson has one of the most-watched movies on the Hulu streamer here in the United States.
Jumanji: The Next Level is the 2019 sequel to Dwayne Johnson’s 2017 hit movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. For the second film, Johnson returns with the original cast of Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, and Nick Jonas.
In the Dwayne Johnson sequel, we find Spencer, Fridge, Martha, and Bethany no longer in high school but in college and heading home for Christmas break. They are all going to different colleges, so they plan on a reunion once they all make it home. While Fridge, Martha, and Bethany show up, Spencer is nowhere to be seen. The trio decides to go to Spencer’s mothers’ home to find him but instead is greeted by Spencer’s grandfather Eddie and Eddie’s former best pal Milo. They also discover that Spencer has gone back into the Jumanji game. The group decides they need to go save Spencer, so back they go too. This time, Fridge and Martha go, but they are joined by Eddie and Milo. Somehow, Bethany gets left behind.
Once inside the game, things are immediately different. Martha remains as Ruby Roundhouse while Fridge becomes Professor Sheldon Oberon (who had previously been Bethany). Eddie and Milo become Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, who were Spencer and Fridge in the first movie. The group immediately encounters Nigel Billingsley, who informs them that Jumanji is now suffering from a massive drought and if they wish to leave the game, they must end the drought by recovering a magical necklace. This necklace, called the Falcon Heart, is now in the possession of warlord Jurgen the Brutal.
As the group begins their task of retrieving the necklace, they meet up with Ming Fleetfoot, a thief, who is actually Spencer’s new avatar. After some convincing, Spencer decides to join the group in their hunt. While the group venture’s forth, Eddie and Milo’s past and constant bickering catch up with them. The two had a falling out years ago when Milo sold their diner behind Eddie’s back, forcing him into early retirement. Eddie has never forgiven Milo.
The in-game adventure continues as the group meets up with Seaplane McDonough and Cyclone, who is a horse and Bethany’s new avatar. Using a glowing green pool of water, the group eventually returns to their original avatars with Milo and Eddie taking over Fleetfoot and Cyclone. Once the group returns to “normal”, many issues need to be solved. The first being why Spencer decided to return to Jumanji. Secondly, Eddie and Milo need to resolve their differences concerning the diner.
As you would expect, most things wrap up neatly though you should stick around for the mid-credits scene. The comedy this time mainly comes from Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who take over the persona of Eddie and Milo when they arrive in Jumanji. In the real world, Eddie and Milo are played by Danny DeVito and Danny Glover respectively. Watching Johnson and Hart impersonate DeVito and Glover is worth the price of admission. Also adding to the cast is Awkwafina, who is on board as Ming Fleetfoot. Colin Hanks returns as Alex Vreeke and Bebe Neuwirth pops in for a cameo at the end of the film as Nora Shepard, a reprisal of the same role she played in the original 1995 Robin Williams-led Jumanji.
With the first Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart Jumanji movie (Welcome to the Jungle) bringing in nearly $1 billion at the box office, there were high expectations for The Next Level. The movie did not disappoint. On top of sold critical reviews, fans loved the second movie to the tune of over $800 million. The pairing of Johnson and Hart, so far, has been box office gold. Not only have they appeared in both Jumanji movies together, but they also co-starred in the action-comedy Central Intelligence and Hart made a sizeable cameo in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Although Dwayne Johnson continues to be one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, he has the upcoming Disney movie Jungle Cruise as well as Red Notice, The King, Black Adam, and the recently announced San Andreas 2, Doc Savage, and Big Trouble in Little China, talk of a third (technically fourth) Jumanji movie is already being had. Jake Kasdan, who directed the first two installments and co-wrote the second, has already confirmed the story for the third movie is in development, and given the popularity of the first two, it would be hard to see Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and the rest of the cast pass up on box office success.