My friend and I were already big fans of the first "Jumanji" movie and couldn't wait to see the new "Jumanji: The Next Level." We heard really good reviews, with people saying that it was just as good as the first one from 2017, with the same amount of humor.
Needless to say, our expectations were high.
In the first "Jumanji" movie, we met our protagonists: nerdy Spencer, jock "Fridge", preppy girl Bethany and outsider Martha. They were accidentally sucked into a magical board game when they were sent to detention, and had to work together to get out alive.
Now, in the latest sequel — beware of spoilers ahead! — it's been a few years since the group of friends has graduated high school. Spencer (Alex Wolff) is at college in New York, away from his friends. They all arrange to go to breakfast and catch up, so Spencer heads home for the holiday.
We're introduced to Spencer's grandfather (Danny DeVito), who is avoiding his old friend, Milo (Danny Glover). Spencer, feeling inadequate in his new life, repairs the old "Jumanji" video game and jumps back inside. Then, of course, his friends all go in after him, but accidentally suck in Spencer's grandfather Eddie and his friend Milo.
Now, the game is busted, and new things keep popping up for our heroes. Some have different strengths and weaknesses, and we're also introduced to two new avatars, a thief named Ming Fleetfoot (Awkwafina) and a horse named Cyclone. The villain is now also a barbarian king, a man called Jurgen the Brutal, played by Rory McCann. He stole an artifact called the Falcon's heart, which the team must show to the sun to win the game.
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First, I loved the involvement of the new characters that the protagonists were able to play. It was funny to see the actors' wide range of emotions and voices, and sometimes even accents. You could always tell who was playing who, because of the exceptional acting skills.
Another thing I liked was the character development in "Jumanji: The Next Level." When you're in a killer jungle video game, you're going to grow as a person; no questions asked. But it was nice to see how Spencer's friends reacted when they found out he went back into the game. Immediately, they went to help him, not caring that they might not come out alive.
Along with this, my favorite surprise was when we found out that the regular black horse Cyclone was actually a Pegasus and could fly! It's nice that all of the characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, just like we do as people.
With the old men, Eddie and Milo, I found their relationship to be quite hilarious as well. They used to own a restaurant together, until Milo decided to retire, making Eddie angry. Milo finally comes back to apologize, admitting that he's sick. The old friends reconcile, and ultimately, Milo decides to remain in "Jumanji" as his horse avatar Cyclone, which Eddie understands.
Like always, I'm a sucker for any well-learned lesson in a movie. When Milo decides to stay in the game, Eddie lets him, and says, "Everyone should have a friend like Milo." At that, all of the original characters look at each other, happy to have friends like Milo. No matter how tough times get, they will always be there to break each other out of trouble. Or in this case, get them out of "Jumanji."
Overall, it was a great movie, one that I would definitely recommend. It was funny, lighthearted, and a wonderful use of my time, even though it was two hours long.
Now that I'm going off to college and the rest of my life is beginning, I'm going to have to say goodbye to great friends. But no matter how rough life gets; no matter how far away we might seem, we'll always be together. Everyone should have a friend like Milo. I'm just happy I found mine.
Taylor Jenkins is a senior at Weber High School and loves to write. If you have questions or want to chat, email her at email@example.com.