Get Back in the Game with Jumanji: The Next Level
Remember when it was announced that Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan were going to star in a Jumanji movie in 2017?
Given that the late, great Robin Williams had made a much-loved Jumanji film in 1995, surely, it would be sacrilege? Not only did Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle respectfully acknowledge Williams’ original, but it also blazed its own adventure-comedy trail, chalking up almost $1 billion (£771m) globally, with BALANCE cover star Black on show-stealing form as a teenage girl trapped in the avatar of Professor Shelly Oberon via the mysterious titular video game.
Audiences lapped it up to make for one of the surprise hits of the festive season. When a movie proves such a smash (even Black confesses to checking its box-office takings each week and being pleasantly surprised), there can only be one outcome: sequel.
The gang knew they couldn’t just reheat the original. With the sheer quality and quantity of programmes available to audiences these days via streaming services, director Jake Kasdan (son of Hollywood legend Lawrence) has upped the stakes.
Not only are there more locations, but Hollywood elder statesmen such as Danny DeVito and Danny Glover also make extremely welcome appearances. You’ll also see the stars of the original playing a range of parts across this globetrotting adventure to ensure their comedy chops are given a full workout.
The success of the Jumanji films also serves to remind Hollywood execs that characters don’t need to wear a cape or wield a lightsaber in order to connect with audiences. Sometimes, you just need wit, warmth, heart and a bit of life. In fact, three lives are even better.
Jumanji: The Next Level is in cinemas from 11 December