There are only a handful of weeks left in 2019, but they are overflowing with exciting upcoming titles. Certainly one of the most anticipated is Jake Kasdan’s Jumanji: The Next Level, which is arriving about two years after Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle turned out to be a $960 million global hit. There is still some time to wait for the new sequel, which won’t be hitting theaters until mid-December, but if early buzz is any indication, it should be another fun and funny adventure to get us through the cold winter months.
With the stars of Jumanji: The Next Level preparing to do press interviews this week, the first screenings of the movie were held tonight, and one member in the exclusive audience was CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell. Without giving a broad sense of his opinion on the matter, he noted that the sequel goes far in terms of expanding the universe of the series, and had particular praise for the performance by Kevin Hart – who in the movie plays a video game avatar representing a human character played by Danny Glover:
Also taking part in the big screen action tonight was Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, who also very much approved of Jumanji: The Next Level’s body swap comedy. While she didn’t highlight any performance in particular, one addition to the ensemble that she apparently appreciated is Awkwafina, who is having a pretty fantastic year in 2019 thanks to all of the acclaimed earned by the drama The Farewell this past summer.
Host Maude Garrett also had some extremely positive opinions to share about the movie, suggesting that with some more consideration she may consider it an even better adventure than its 2017 predecessor. She not only laughed a lot, but appreciates how Jumanji: The Next Level builds upon what was previously established in the last chapter:
Finally we have ComicBook.com’s Brandon Davis, and he too had a bit of trouble trying to identify just which performance he appreciated most in the film. Also, in addition to making him laugh out loud, it also apparently showcases some real emotion:
Directed by Jake Kasdan, Jumanji: The Next Level reunites audiences with the high schoolers from the last movie – Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Martha (Morgan Turner) – and has them once again playing the special video game that sucks them inside its world and creates insanely real stakes. The hitch this time is that they are not playing alone, as Spencer’s grandfather (Danny DeVito) and his best friend (Danny DeVito) are also in on the action. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas all return as the aforementioned avatars.
Jumanji: The Next Level will be in theaters everywhere on December 13th, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend between now and then for a whole lot more of our coverage.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.