To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Jumanji: The Next Level Ticket

Jumanji: The Next Level the players looking up at something off camera

The drums are calling, the adventure is back, and the game is on. Jumanji: The Next Level has brought the players back to the world of adventure that saw them fighting for their lives in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Only this time, there’s new terrain to explore, different creatures to beware, and a fresh villain to face off against who may be holding a secret to the future of the franchise.

However, with this new adventure comes some familiar questions, one of which we’re about to answer for ourselves: To 3D or Not To 3D? If you’re curious as to what we felt about Jumanji: The Next Level as a film, head over to our official review and get the lowdown. But if you’re ready to see if you should spend the extra 3D ticket money, or if you’d be better off sprucing up a video game at home with some fancy DLC, this is where you need to be.

3D Fit Score: 5/5

Jumanji: The Next Level is as bread and butter as any major blockbuster with a 3D release. There’s tons of action, adventure, and visual delights that are begging to be taken one step further and into the realm of 3D. If a movie featuring vicious swarms of Mandrills or ridiculous flocks of Ostriches isn’t the sort of movie that should be in 3D, then maybe we need to rethink this whole medium from top to bottom.

Planning & Effort Score: 3/5

Just because a film is a good fit for the world of third dimensional enhancement doesn’t mean all 3D presentations are created equal. When it comes to the planning and effort that went into Jumanji: The Next Level’s premium exhibition, there are some areas that are more lacking than others.

The most pronounced problem involving this version of the film is, unsurprisingly, the brightness factor. While most other segments are good to great in Jumanji: The Next Level’s presentation, the dimness of the film during certain scenes is what ultimately causes the entire experience to suffer the most.

Before the Window Score: 4/5

Looking back at the 3D presentation for Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, it’s clear that there were some notable improvements made between that film’s execution in 3D and that of Jumanji: The Next Level. This is best realized when looking at the Before and Beyond The Window experiences the movie has to offer its” audience.

In terms of the “before,” where items are shown to leap off of the screen and into the laps of the audience, there’s a significant amount of improvement to be had. Various animals zooming towards the screen are quite intimidating, and even when it comes to the standard explosions and debris, there’s more coming off of the screen than in this film’s predecessor.

Beyond the Window Score: 5/5

Perhaps the greatest upgrade that Jumanji: The Next Level has added to its arsenal is the “beyond the window” factor, which showcases the depths of picture shown inside of the world seen on screen. As director Jake Kasdan’s previous entry in the franchise just stopped short of being a world of limitless depth, our latest trip into the adventure filled land of Jumanji goes all the way, with characters and their environments being well defined in terms of spatial reasoning.

You can especially see how remarkable the film’s landscapes look when the adventure takes to the skies, as one scene involving some tricky navigation of a shifting set of bridges and another involving a zeppelin fight are the two most notable sequences in a film that learned some lessons from its last time out.

Brightness Score: 2/5

Hello darkness, my old foe. Perhaps the greatest adversary to a 3D movie is, naturally, the brightness factor. While your mileage may vary in this respect, as various theaters maintain their equipment to differing degrees of standards, there’s still quite a bit of work that needs to be done in terms of converting a film like Jumanji: The Next Level into a premium presentation such as this.

This time, not only are the night scenes still extremely hard to watch, but there’s also a general dimness that plays foul with the rest of the visual action as well. By time the film moves from the bright desert through the jungles of lush greenery, and to the stark sparsity of the Jumanji: The Next Level’s grand finale, we move from the bright to the dark in increasing degrees. If there was anywhere the filmmakers should have learned their lesson on this film, it’s in this particular criteria.

Glasses Off Score: 4/5

As far as the blur that’s used to draw the 3D depths and projections of Jumanji: The Next Level’s eye-popping thrills, there’s a good amount of quality put into the work on display. The standard of backgrounds being super blurry, with some 2D anchors being included through close up shots of characters in mid-frame, is upheld well with this film. It’s blurry enough to show a solid 3D illusion, and that shows throughout the film’s product.

Audience Health Score: 3/5

While determining whether you should see a 3D film, the audience health score is important to pay attention to, as anything from motion sickness to eye strain could present itself at any given moment. Jumanji: The Next Level’s specific problems pertain to the latter, rather than the former, as the dim and dark picture causes a fair amount of tiring when it comes to an audience member’s eyes. Other than that, it’s a smooth journey, as the action doesn’t affect the picture’s quality in the slightest.

Jumanji: The Next Level

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Jumanji: The Next Level is an improvement in some areas of the 3D spectrum, and shows that there’s movement to be had in terms of how franchise evolve in their premium presentations. With the pre-determined factor of Brightness still suffering as much as it did in the previous film, there’s still a good ways to go for any potential sequels to redeem the 3D history of the Jumanji franchise. If you’re a 3D loyalist, this might be worth the time; but if you’re just looking to enjoy the movie without distractions, 2D is the way to go.

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Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.