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Jumanji: The Next Level lived up to its title by changing up the formula of the previous film by adding new video game avatar characters as well as new "real world" characters to inhabit those avatars. Seeing Dwayne Johnson do his best Danny DeVito impression in the film was good, but really it has to be said that Awkwafina was the real star of the show, as, when she took over the impression the whole move was elevated.
It seems that Awkwafina believes it was all meant to be. The comedian and actress says in one of the special features attached to the recent Blu-ray release of Jumanji: The Next Level, that she thinks she was literally born to play Danny DeVito. It all comes down to her voice. According to Awkwafina...
You’re not born with a voice like this to not play Danny DeVito at some point in your life.
It probably never really crossed anybody's mind to compare the voices of Awkwafina and Danny DeVito, but when you think about it, Awkwafina is from Long Island, New York and Danny DeVito is from New Jersey, and they both very much sound like it. Maybe that's why Awkwafina's impression is so spot on. She has a natural talent for the dialect. She probably knows her share of people who sound lust like that, and yes, she even sounds something like that already. There are few other women you would say sound like Danny DeVito, but since she brought it up, it's now impossible to not think about.
The previous Jumanji movie let actors like Karen Gillan and Jack Black play against type by playing awkward teenagers, but the addition of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover really did make the follow-up something special. The previous Jumanji surprised a lot of people by making nearly $1 billion at the global box office, by comparison, I suppose Jumanji: The Next Level unperformed, by making only $754 million around the world. Still, the film found a smart way to reinvent itself and do something new with its formula by changing around the characters.
As we all sit around more or less locked in place Jumanji: The Next Level on Blu-ray and Digital is maybe what we all need. It's a fun little adventure movie that will probably make us all forget the world has gone to hell for a little while.