Reviewed by: William Livingston —first time reviewer
Importance of not holding grudges
What does the Bible say about HUMILITY?
Dwayne Johnson … Eddie
Karen Gillan … Martha
Danny DeVito … Eddie
Madison Iseman … Young Bethany
Jack Black … Bethany / Fridge
Awkwafina … Ming
Kevin Hart … Mouse Finbar / Fridge
Nick Jonas … Alex
Danny Glover … Milo
Rhys Darby … Nigel
Colin Hanks … Young Alex
Alex Wolff … Young Spencer
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Matt Tolmach Productions
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Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
“Jumanji: Next Level” is the follow up to the 2017 hit also directed by Jake Kasdan. His latest film stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillian. As with the last “Jumanji,” the characters within the game take on the personalities of Fridge, Bethany, Spencer, and Martha. Danny DeVito and Danny Glover add to the mix as Eddie (Spencer’s grandfather) and Milo (Eddie’s estranged best friend) who also make their way into the game. While most of the movie feels much like a repeat performance, the addition of DeVito and Glover add enough to make the move fresh and entertaining. The offensive language is found through much of the movie, and there is no shortage of God’s name being used in vain. For this reason, I can’t recommend this as a family-friendly movie. I can say it was entertaining enough to keep me interested and laughing through the film.
The story picks up a few years later from where “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” left off. The main characters have moved on from high school on their separate paths and have a meetup planned for their break home from college. When Spencer doesn’t show up, the rest go looking for their friend. Soon we find the four friends back into the game to rescue their friend along with DeVito and Glover. The game rules remain the same with each character within the game getting only 3 lives. Dangers abound and everyone loses at least one life on their journey.
Once again, the characters have to save Jumanji to be freed from the game. The main antagonist this time is the the evil Jurgan The Brutal. Plenty of excitement fills the storyline from new weaknesses for the characters as well as stampeding ostrich herds and other creatures who cause great peril for the players. The film is well acted, directed, and the pace kept me in the movie through the entire running time.
This film lives up to the hype trailer. It sticks to the same basic formula but this gives the viewers a fun ride through the adventure of getting sucked into a video game. I would have liked it more had they avoided the unnecessary use of profanity. Most Christians will not want to be subjected to the added GDs which were not in the last film.
The objectionable content ranges from a handful of profanities to implied adultery of the game characters. God’s name is misused numerous times, 22 misuses of the word “H*ll”, 3 “d*mn”, and 1 “go scr*w yourself.” Characters also reference their testicles and breasts. And there is one implied reference to the size of someone’s penis, but they cut before you hear it. Other language is listed below.
I do wish Hollywood directors like Kasdan would keep so much objectionable material out of anything remotely billed as a family movie. This makes it very unwise to bring kids to what could otherwise be an enjoyable movie. Given the director’s previous raunchy movies, perhaps it makes sense that the family genre was a bit of a stretch. Jake previously directed movies such as “Sex Tape,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” and “Bad Teacher”—all highly offensive.
A few positive themes are exhibited among the characters. These come from the value of life made in the image of God.
“And God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them.” —Genesis 1:27
Also, the importance of loving your friends more than yourself.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” —Phillipians 2:3
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.