Jumanji: The Next Level picks up where Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle left off. Following the events of the first movie, in which four teenagers are sucked into the Jumanji computer game and must survive as avatars, Spencer (Alex Wolff) has become bored with the real world. He feels that he can’t live up to the exploits of his Jumanji avatar, Dr Bolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), particularly when it comes to the affections of his girlfriend, Martha (Morgan Turner). Spencer locates the partially damaged Jumanji game console and reinserts himself into the game.
Spencer’s friends and fellow Jumanji survivors – Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Martha – are worried about him and go to his house. There they meet Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie (Danny Devito), and his friend, Milo (Danny Glover). Realising that Spencer has returned to Jumanji, the three friends decide to go in and save him. But Eddie and Milo are also sucked into the game.
The game has the same avatars – Professor Sheldon ‘Shelly’ Oberon (Jack Black), Franklin ‘Mouse’ Finbar (Kevin Hart), Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), Jefferson ‘Seaplane’ McDonough (Nick Jonas) and Dr Bolder Bravestone. But the damage to the console has means people end up in different avatars from the first time around.
The friends, along with Eddie and Milo, must work together to find Spencer, retrieve the Falcon Jewel from the antagonist Jurgen (Rory McCann), and show it to the sun to win the game and return to the real world.
Friendship; teamwork; self-esteem; self-belief; reconciliation; graceful ageing
Jumanji: The Next Level has frequent and sudden violent scenes. For example:
- A giant snake suddenly bites Shelly from above, covering his head and shoulders. It snatches him up into the trees.
- Marauders attack a village, beat people with clubs and set huts on fire.
- Dr Bravestone is killed by a violent ostrich. He explodes and disintegrates.
- Ostriches violently attack a fleeing vehicle, pecking off its roof.
- Hyenas viciously attack people.
- A bazooka bomb blast blows up all the characters.
- A woman slaps Dr Bravestone in the face.
- While in a female avatar, Spencer is hit and killed by a flying axe.
- In a fight scene, Dr Bravestone violently hits his enemies and they go flying through walls and are thrown about like rag dolls.
- During a fight, Dr Bravestone violently hits Mouse, making him fly back into a rock formation. A large boulder falls from above, crushing him.
- The team come across some vicious mandrills (a kind of monkey). The first mandrill suddenly appears in close-up, violently growling and hissing. It has an open, drooling mouth and big teeth. A mandrill grabs Ruby, holds her above its head, and throws her into a valley.
- While holding a huge knife, Jurgen threatens to cut off people’s heads.
- Dr Bravestone violently hits Jurgen in the face several times.
- Jurgen grabs Dr Bravestone by the neck and lifts him up off his feet.
- In a fight scene, Ruby confronts several enemies. She uses nunchucks to strike at their heads and bodies.
- Seaplane is hit with flying darts and dies several times during the same scene. One of these darts hits him in the neck, and he explodes.
Jumanji: The Next Level has some sexual references. For example:
- Dr Bravestone and a game character kiss with open mouths.
- After kissing a game character, Dr Bravestone suggestively says, ‘I’ve got a clue for her!’
- Fridge swaps avatars and becomes Ruby. He marvels at how good the avatar is, realising that she has ‘boobs’ and presenting them with his hands (through clothing). The character who used to be Ruby says, ‘Don’t touch my boobs’. Fridge replies, ‘Too late. It was pretty much the first thing I did’.
- A character says, ‘Go screw yourself’.
- When a character becomes a horse avatar in the game, someone says, ‘You should see the size of your ….’. Then the scene cuts away.
- In a scene where two male characters are posing as brothers, it’s revealed that one of the brothers is a eunuch. The word ‘balls’ is used several times – for example, ‘Right, I’ve got no balls’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
Jumanji: The Next Level has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Ruby’s outfit shows a lot of skin. She wears little shorts and a small crop top that shows her stomach and torso.
The following products are displayed or used in Jumanji: The Next Level: Nutter Butter and NYU.
Also, a supermarket scene shows a lot of products in the background. The store manager specifically mentions toothpaste, and products shown include Crest Toothpaste and Oral B.
Jumanji: The Next Level has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Jumanji: The Next Level is a worthwhile sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It’s has plenty of action, some genuine laughs and some new twists on the first movie. Violence and sexual references mean it’s best suited to families with older children.
These are the main messages from Jumanji: The Next Level:
- Look at things positively. See things as they truly are, and don’t be misled by negativity.
- Reconcile yourself to the way you are, and this will help you reconcile with others.
- Try to grow old gracefully. Not everyone is able to do this.
- Believe in yourself.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the following:
- Open and honest communication: Spencer is depressed and isolated because he thinks he doesn’t meet Martha’s expectations. When he tells Martha how he feels, he realises that he has things wrong.
- Friendship, teamwork and community: the characters survive only by helping each other. In this story, the bonds of friendship get stronger as the characters go through trials together.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:
- Risk-taking: Spencer takes a risk by entering the game on his own and not telling anyone. You could talk about how it’s important to always let your parents know where you’re going. Also, Ruby charges into a game area without considering the potential dangers. You could point out how she could have used the expertise and knowledge of the other team members.
- Animal education: animals are presented as vicious predators. For younger children particularly, you could talk about the differences between wild and domesticated animals. While it’s always important to be careful around animals, many domesticated animals are unlikely to hurt you if you treat them gently.
- Respect for women: you could talk about how the movie presents Ruby. She’s the best fighter and the group genuinely value her.
- Online safety: the real-life characters in this movie sometimes swap avatars. You could talk about how online predators often present themselves as young children or teenagers in order to groom children. You could use Jumanji as an example of how easy it is to use an avatar to create false impression of yourself.