Review: ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ aesthetically retains the continuity from the sequel

Commotion for the chosen ones and the drop in the jungle, opens Jumanji: The Next Level! The third installment of the jungle fantasy franchise around Jumanji video game is one of the much awaited movies for all age groups. The movie has busted all the franchise records with its humour, action, environment creation and CG animals. The movie has shown the quadraphonic chemistry between the four stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black  and have been joined by Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, and Madison Iseman reprising their roles from the previous film, alongside newcomers Awkwafina, Danny Glover, and Danny DeVito. Jumanji franchise is popular irrespective of age as the movie series is known to maintain the mystery and the fantasy of the video game. However unlike other installments, the third installment has lost the surprise element where bunch of unaware people being dragged in a real life videogame.  As this time Spencer wanted to go inside the video game as he wanted to experience how it feels to become as powerful as the character Bravestone in the game one more time. Although that didn’t happen since the game was broken and he landed as a new character Ming Fleetfoot who is not as powerful as Bravestone. When Spencer’s friends Bethany, Fridge, and Martha found that Spencer is missing and the game is running they decided to re-enter Jumanji to save him. Spencer’s grandfather Eddie and his friend Milo Walker heard the commotion and inadvertently get sucked into the game too before any of Spencer’s friends can select their avatars. Just because the game is broken the players faced different consequences in the jungle with much more dangerous obstacles. Although if we count it as a sequel  then Jumanji: The Next Level has lived up to the expectation by maintaining its continuity  with  characters,  bonding, in-game narrator.  However if  this sequel would have altered the monotony in the continuity by introducing fresh storyline, characters, suspense and surprises of the jungle the outcome could have been  better. If you have watched Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle you will get the vibe that the old friends are back in the jungle expedition with  the addition of two old age men. The best part of the movie was the humour and the witty dialogue punch at the right time has gripped the audience’s attention in the movie till the end. Thus even if you are aware that the sequel three is closely connected to sequel two then also you will not feel the movie is lagging due to lack of innovation. The VFX of the movie was done by Method Studios, Weta Digital, Rodeo FX, and Sony Pictures Imageworks and they have done the jungle and desert landscape, CG animals and the action sequences marvelously. The DI of the CG shots be it with ostrich or horse were quite smooth and well blended including the presence of the light in the shots were realistic. The colour gradation of the environment matched to the characters present in the sequence well. The performance technique of live action – and the occasional reshuffling of avatars and players made it pleasing to watch. Perhaps the next Jumanji film will experiment with an acoustic unplugged version which takes place solely in the real world or perhaps it will be the sequel of the original version, only time can tell. Overall the movie retains core components, sticking to its roots while added fresher aspects to make it  enjoyable while watching. The movie is launching on 13 December in India and it will be the perfect movie to catch up up with bunch of old friends or family in the holiday season.