Jumanji: The Next Level Parent Guide
Comic actions sequences, lots of laughs, and characters who learn important life lessons - this movie is fun for older kids and not too bad for their parents.
Parent Movie Review
After escaping from Jumanji, a game that comes to terrifying life, Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Anthony (Ser’Darius Blain), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) agreed to destroy the game to prevent anyone else from being sucked in. Secretly, Spencer decided to keep the pieces, and reassembled the game for another chance to be the muscular Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) in a virtual world. When his friends try to rescue him, they accidentally bring along Spencer’s grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his old friend Milo (Danny Glover). With such an unlikely cast of heroes, what hope do they have of rescuing Spencer?
If you saw the last entry in this franchise, you’ll have a good idea what to expect here. Another case of “second verse, same as the first”, Jumanji: The Next Level still manages to be a reasonably entertaining way to kill two hours, provided you have two hours to kill this close to the holidays.
With a surprisingly character-focused premise, Jumanji: The Next Level has a good time bouncing around between goofy CGI action set pieces, being chased by mandrills, madmen, and…uh…”m-emus”, with characters rapid-firing quips and banter at one another and their surroundings. I was actually expecting to be frustrated with this movie, since my sequel fatigue is approaching terminal levels, but the film is sufficiently sincere and well intentioned to keep me from ranting as much as I had expected.
I seem to recall the comedy being a little stronger in the first film, but this doesn’t reach failed-comedy levels of aggravating. About three-quarters of the jokes landed, which is better than most dumb action comedies I’ve seen. The content is cleaner than most as well, with almost no sexual content (barring Ruby Roundhouse’s silly outfit), little profanity more significant than “hell” or “damn”, and violence that is firmly in the “slapstick” category.
It may be too frightening for small children, but for older kids and teens, this is a fun time with some good messages about self-worth, talent, and friendship. Better yet for a kid-friendly movie, it’s not so long or so irritating it makes the parents in the audience start trying to induce air embolisms into major arteries with their $5 drink straws. I don’t know about you, but this kind of movie doesn’t come around quite often enough. If more films were this much fun, I would have far fewer weird straw-shaped bruises on my arm.Directed by Jake Kasdan. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release December 13, 2019. Updated December 16, 2019
Watch the trailer for Jumanji: The Next Level
Jumanji: The Next Level
Rating & Content Info
Why is Jumanji: The Next Level rated PG-13? Jumanji: The Next Level is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for adventure action, suggestive content and some language
Violence: Dozens of individuals are knocked unconscious in comic martial arts fights. Several individuals are “killed” by wild animals and explosions, only to “respawn” moments later. Some hyenas are fed what is said to be human meat. There are many scenes of intense peril, including frightening depictions of wild animals.
Sexual Content: There are several non-descriptive sexual innuendos.
Profanity: There are perhaps a dozen mild profanities, another dozen religious profanities and terms of deity, and two moderate profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated December 16, 2019
Jumanji: The Next Level Parents' Guide
One of the most important parts of the movie is realizing that, while everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, they are all important to the success of the team. How does this apply to your life? If you were designing yourself as a video game character, what strengths and weaknesses would you have? Since the last film, the Ruby Roundhouse character (Karen Gillam) has learned how to use nunchucks. Are there any skills you would like to learn? How could you go about learning them?
Eddie and Milo have been struggling to get along since their restaurant closed, Eddie because he feels like Milo took his work from him, and Milo because he feels that Eddie has been ungrateful. Milo comes to Eddie to work this out, but Eddie doesn’t want to hear it. How can you resolve conflicts with your friends? What does Milo do right? What does Eddie do right?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
The movie trilogy has its roots in Jumanji, a picture book by Chris Van Allsburg. He is also the author of Zathura: A Space Adventure.
Another story in a similar vein is The Gauntlet. Written by Karuna Riazi, this teen novel tells the story of a girl who discovers a wooden board game, only to become trapped inside.
In Stephanie Garber’s teen novel Caravel, two sisters make a long-desired trip to the Caraval games. When one disappears, the other must find her within a magical game or lose her forever.
Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus weaves a magical tale of an enchanted circus and the magicians whose power upholds it. This novel contains some non-explicit sexual content and is best suited to older teens.
In Melanie Cellier’s A Dance of Silver and Shadow, twelve princesses are forced to compete in a dangerous tournament. This re-working of the traditional story of the twelve dancing princesses is suitable for tween and teen readers.
Related home video titles:
The original Jumanji, starring Robin Williams, is one of my all time favourite movies from childhood. It’s a little scary for younger kids, but not unmanageably so. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sucks the kids into a video game. A sequel, Zathura, takes the premise in a more sci-fi direction, and is pretty bad.