CERT: 12A / DIRECTOR: JAKE KASDAN / SCREENPLAY: JAKE KASDAN, JEFF PINKNER, SCOTT ROSENBERG / STARRING: DWAYNE JOHNSON, KAREN GILLAN, JACK BLACK, KEVIN HART, AWKWAFINA, DANNY DEVITO, DANNY GLOVER, NICK JONAS / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 11THSome time has passed since Spencer, Martha, Bethany, and Fridge survived the treacherous game of Jumanji - but Spencer (Alex Wolff), now living and studying in New York has drifted away from his friends and needs something to help him rediscover his bravery. So he turns to Dr Bravestone and ventures once more into the world of Jumanji, but this time, it’s The Next Level. After the box office success of 2017’s reboot/sequel Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Columbia Pictures has once again teamed up with director Jake Kasdan to bring us this sequel that isn’t entirely necessary, yet however, brings us back into this world to rejoin these incredibly likeable characters to witness more of their story. This time, we are introduced to Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie, portrayed by the ever hilarious Danny DeVito and his estranged business partner Milo (Danny Glover), who unwillingly are sucked into the game along with Fridge and Martha who are hellbent on saving Spencer - but this time, due to the game being damaged, they are unable to personally select their own avatars. This is where the film excels and sets itself apart from its predecessor - we still have a similar format (complete the levels, escape the game), but this time, our main cast comprising of Johnson, Gillan, Black, and Hart are different people within their bodies. For example, instead of Kevin Hart (whose avatar name is Mouse Finbar) playing a teenage boy, he is now having to portray a softly spoken, confused Danny Glover, which provides a large portion of the laughs throughout the film. Along with the new ‘real-world’ characters, we have new ‘playable’ characters too including the cat-burglar Ming Fleetfoot (Awkwafina), who absolutely steals the show in this film having to embody a variety of personalities when the players discover a ‘character-swap’ mechanic. Every single member of the cast nails the delivery of their comedic material and, even though not every joke is necessarily funny, the performance of the actors makes it a laugh out loud moment - whether it be a one-liner or some physical comedy. As previously mentioned, there are a lot of similar story beats, which is expected but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable with plenty of laughs, over the top action sequences, and superb chemistry between each member of the cast, both new and old. Jumanji: The Next Level doesn’t quite catch the surprising ‘lightning in a bottle’ that the 2017 film accomplished, but still has enough juice in the tank to provide a solid two hours of entertainment suitable for all.