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#GeorgiaFilm Review – Jumanji: The Next Level

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

Hi! It’s me again, Sydney, your friendly neighborhood on-again, off-again movie reviewer. A reviewer of movies? Anyway, this time I jumped right in (see what I did there?) to Jumanji: The Next Level, the next installment in the reboot of the Jumanji universe and it didn’t disappoint. This experience was brought to you by Amanda Abelita, of Abelita-Burns PR whose *adorable* son was in the movie. Unfortunately, his scene did not make it (What’s wrong with these people?), but he was a good sport and had a couple of surprises along the way. Also worth noting that this was at the awesome Studio Movie Grill in Marietta, GA. Warning: Mild spoilers, but lots of fun ahead!

  1. This Studio Movie Grill is surprisingly close to my apartment. THIS is where my money should be going! 
  2. Okay, so she said my name would be on a chair, like at THE OSCARS!
      1. Okay, so maybe she didn’t say “like at the Oscars.”
      2. Why are they called the Oscars?
      3. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t even my name. It was Atlanta Movie Tours.
  3. Found my name! These seats look nice! Do they recline?
      1. Spoiler: They do not.
  4. Gonna press my little button and order some popcorn! 
  5. Amanda and Cruz (did I say how adorable he was? Both of her kids are stars) give a quick thank you.
  6. OMG! Danny Devito sent Cruz a video message! This is so cool!
      1. Side note, why did I get chills at Danny Devito? I mostly just remember him from Matilda and that episode of Friends where he’s a stripper. Maybe I should reevaluate some things. 
  7. Oh! Rhys Darby also sent a message and in this video, he is every bit the same as Nigel, his on-screen counterpart. 
  8. Finally! The movie is starting and I still don’t have my popcorn. This is why I’m never early for things. 
  9. Cute! All the characters have gone off to college and are keeping in touch. Good luck with that. 
  10. This young, freshman year of college hopefulness is honestly contagious, even off-screen. 
  11. Danny DeVito (aka Eddie, aka Spencer’s grandpa) literally sliding down a ladder while recovering from hip surgery is hilarious. 
  12. Equally hilarious? The pent up rage that Eddie/grandpa has towards Milo, his ex-friend/ex-business partner. 
  13. Okay look spencer, I know you’re going through some stuff but put the game down!
  14. These are true friends. Spencer doesn’t show up to brunch and they all make a trip to his house to check on him. Insert single tear. 
  15. Where is my popcorn?! 
  16. WOW. Couldn’t even get my friends to come to watch this movie with me but Spencer’s friends intentionally jump back into a dangerous video game that they narrowly survived the last time to save him? I might need new friends.
      1. Don’t think I didn’t notice the Jumanji magic spreading up the stairs. Nice attention to detail. 
  17. Good idea Bethany! If you can’t get Tom Hanks, get his son! 
  18. The Rock (we can still call him that, right?) playing Dr. Smolder Bravestone whilst embodying Danny DeVito embodying The Rock is brilliant. As is Kevin Hart as Mouse, embodying Milo embodying Mouse. 
      1. Lots of embodying here.
  19. Eddie and Milo (as Braveston and Mouse respectively) realize that in these bodies their joints don’t hurt, especially their knees, and I felt that in my soul. 
  20. Both Milo and Eddie having to constantly be reminded that they’re in a video game is hilarious. 
  21. Milo, the zoologist, taking *years* to give information about the animals is an unexpectedly funny plot point throughout the first part of the movie. 
  22. Martha (played by Karen Gillan at this point) thinking Bravestone (still being embodied by Eddie) is hot only to remind herself that “he’s an old man” and having to get herself together is an honest mood. ‘Cause…same girl.
  23. Oh, by the way, Jack Black playing the professor currently embodied by Fridge is absolute genius. Especially when you compare it to Jack Black as Bethany. 
      1. Equally genius is the fact they put them in the middle of the desert and make the professors weaknesses the literal environment. 
  24. Okay let’s skip forward a bit; the gang finally makes their way to town and into a bar where Bravestone’s ex-girlfriend finds him and of course Eddie is eating it up and, most importantly, I still haven’t gotten my popcorn.
  25. Oh! There’s the bad guy! I’ve somehow managed to avoid the fact in the previous 24 points that the bad guy is Jurgen the Brutal (played by Rory McCann) who stole the Falcon’s Heart from a village Elder. The point of this game is to get the stone before he makes a deal with two brothers and show it to the sun..literally..and, as always, “say it’s name.”
  26. New character alert: Ming! She’s a pickpocket who is stopped by Bravestone after stealing the Falcon’s Heart.
  27. Wait just a minute! Ming is actually Spencer! Finally, they meet again! 
  28. Awkwafina’s performance in this film as Ming is not to be overlooked. She’s fantastic already! 
  29. Okay good idea…split up. *insert eye roll*
  30. On the bright side, right along in here is where I finally got my popcorn! 
  31. Is it bad that I’m jealous that they’re stealing camels? Is it also bad that I wanted/expected a camel to spit on one of the characters?
  32. Of course Eddie is making trouble with his newfound abilities.
      1. Hey! That’s Nick Gomez from The Walking Dead! He was on one of our tours and I must say, “How you doin’?”
  33. Meanwhile, Martha and Fridge are having a major Freaky Friday moment in some very green water. This is a great scene. Not only is it hilarious to see Martha disappointed to be in the professor’s body while trying to remain body positive, but seeing Fridge immediately ruin it by overdoing it in his new, “weapon” of a body is fantastic. This scene is yet another instance in this movie of the incredible talents of this cast. It was specifically a shining moment for Karen Gillan who, up until this moment, has only played Martha. 
  34. Okay so they steal the camels, they find out Mouse (Kevin Hart) can talk to animals-jealous-and go as far as the camels would take them. 
      1. I can’t help but feel that they really missed the opportunity to give all of the camels voices by way of Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman. 
  35. Hey! Alex is back as Seaplane! On a very majestic horse.. Spoiler alert: the horse is Bethany?! Okay Jumanji, didn’t see that coming. 
  36. Perfect! The gangs all here and Alex even brought them appropriate clothes for the winter landscape. 
  37. Fridge falls off of a cliff and finds a body of water nearly identical to the one that led to the previous body swap so they all decide to switch back to their original avatars. I love this plot point because Jack Black as Bethany is one of my favorite things. Oh, and they just made it look really cool. 
  38. Spencer is Bravestone, Bethany is the professor, Fridge is Mouse, Martha is Ruby Roundhouse (still), Alex is still Seaplane, Eddie is now Ming, and Milo is Cyclone, the horse. 
  39. Awkwafina portraying Ming embodying Eddie is spectacular.
  40. Ultimately, Ming and Cyclone get kidnapped.. Horsenapped? By Jurgen’s people. 
  41. Surprise! They split up again and the two most physically gifted characters go off together to climb the side of the mountain to rescue Ming/Eddie while the others stay behind to rescue Milo/Cyclone. 
  42. After losing a couple of lives to booby traps, Alex finally makes his way to Cyclone while Fridge and Bethany hilariously pretend to be the brothers (I’ll save their name for the movie) that are supposed to be meeting Jurgen. 
  43. Their cover is blown when “the brothers” don’t have their sister in tow, who is supposed to marry Jurgen. 
  44. Yaasss, okay Martha girl, saving the day once again.
  45. The ensuing fight scene is amazing, especially with the song they used, but again, I don’t want to give too much away. 
  46. Bravestone is, well, brave! Goodness the Rock, did you really climb a rope for that scene? Asking for a friend. 
  47. This is it y’all, will they beat the game? Ruby Roundhouse can take out an entire village of vikings but can Smolder Bravestone smolder his way out of this one and show the Falcon’s Heart to the sun for once and for all? You’ll have to go see for yourself! 

If you managed to make it all the way through each number, you’re probably my mother. But if you’re not, thanks for taking the time to read this! I really cannot stress enough how talented these actors are; especially Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina, and Jack Black. The way they slip in and out of different characters in the same avatar with such ease should not go unnoticed. In addition to a spectacular cast, it legitimately made me laugh out loud. Now I’m not going to give the ending away, that’s just not my style. But I will leave you with one last spoiler: Cyclone can fly!

Did you see Jumani: The Next Level? You can jump on our Best of Atlanta Tour and check out fun filming locations they used around town! Tag us on social media and let us know what you thought of the movie and if you jumped on a tour so we can share the geeky fun and make sure to use #getingeekout along with #GeorgiaFilm!

Top image courtesy of Sony Pictures

Review by Insider Sydney Madison