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  • You'll Want To Hug Your Parents Right After Watching Jumanji: The Next Level

    Who knew that a video game-themed movie could bridge the generation gap between you and the kids?
    by Karen Mae de Vera .
You'll Want To Hug Your Parents Right After Watching Jumanji: The Next Level
PHOTO BY courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) and Kevin Hart revived the Jumanji franchise just two years ago with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. And its box office success has led to a sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, now showing in theaters near you. Planning to catch it this weekend? Here’s a quick peek of the movie.

    The Plot: Jumanji: The Next Level

    We are back in jungle with the teens from the first film. Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’ Darius Blain), and Bethany (Madison Iseman), with the help of Gen X dad Alex (Colin Hanks), return to the game to rescue their missing friend Spencer (Alex Wolff).

    Upon taking the roles of Dr. Smolder (Dwayne Johnson), Mouse (Kevin Hart), Professor Shelly (Jack Black), Seaplane (Nick Jonas), and Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), the teens suddenly realize that Spencer’s Grandpa Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his old buddy Milo Walker (Danny Glover) are also trapped inside the game.

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    The adventure map’s expanded with more obstacles and adversaries standing in the way to victory. How is everyone going to deal and escape in one piece?
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Columbia Pictures
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    Why the whole family will love Jumanji: The Next Level

    1. The intergenerational friendship between the senior citizens and the teens will make you go, “Aww!”

    We know that grandparents form a lifelong alliance with their beloved grandchildren as soon as they are born. So the interaction between Grandpa Eddie and Milo and the young cast will be a source of endless amusement for you and the kids.

    We love how the friendship between grandparents and grandkids are portrayed in Jumanji.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Columbia Pictures

    2. There are slapstick physical comedy routines for the kids and did-I-hear-that-correctly adult jokes for the parents.

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    The comedic back-and-forth between frenemies Grandpa Eddie and Milo  reminds us of the ’90s movie Grumpy Old Men. But almost every character has their moment to crack an amusing joke.

    All these jokes will fly over a younger child’s head. But expect a knowing smirk about specific topics addressed in the film from your teen. Due to the in-game fictional setting, Jumanji can get away with a lot of cartoon-style violence, such as accidentally falling off a ledge or being attacked by an animal only to be revived a few seconds later.

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    3. The character flaws are relatable and may remind you of your children and even your own parents.

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    Grandpa Eddie is impossibly stubborn and rarely listens to advice, while Milo takes way too long to provide vital information that could help the team. It becomes frustrating for the tech-savvy younger team members who have to keep teaching them over and over again. It’s reminiscent of those moments when the kids teach the grandparents how to play a mobile game during reunions.

    On the other hand, these Gen Zers have faults of their own, as they become overconfident their second time around the jungle. But they remain respectful of their elders and patiently guide them through the jungle.

    We love how the teamwork improves throughout their journey as they learn to combine elderly real-life know-how with youthful in-game experience to successfully take on challenges.

    4. Jumanji has both heart and humor!

    Jumanji has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments that will reverberate in the theater, but there’s also an unexpected tear-jerker moment. We won’t reveal much, but let’s just say that you’ll want to hug your parents right after the movie. Through their Jumanji journey together, the old and young ones develop a greater understanding of the other’s generation. The older players learn that they can still chase after new pursuits regardless of age. The younger players learn to grow up and accept change as a constant part of their lives.

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    The Rock and Kevin Hart are hilarious in this video-game-inspired world.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Columbia Pictures

    5. There is a major throwback easter egg to the first Jumanji film!

    If you can’t help feeling nostalgic for the original film (you know, back when Jumanji was a terrifying board game?), then you’re in luck! While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle made a few visual and verbal references to its predecessor, The Next Level features an actual cameo by a character from the first film: Bebe Neuwirth as Aunt Nora. There is also a scene toward the end (which we won’t spoil) that hints at the possibility of Jumanji’s world clashing with reality: the exact premise of the 1995 adventure movie. Here’s hoping Kirsten Dunst reprises her role as Judy Shepherd and shows the Gen Z teens how it’s done!

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    As we wait for a future film to materialize, parents should take this opportunity to educate their children on the comedic prowess of the late great Robin Williams and do a rewatch of Jumanji.

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