into a magical video game and nearly dying has a way of changing you. It
certainly did for Spencer and his friends. It made this quartet of completely
disparate teens— super-jock Fridge, cool-girl Bethany, geeky Spencer and brainy
Martha—friends, for one thing.
change things too. In the two years since their death-defying experience
(in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), they’ve all gone their
separate ways. Even Spencer and Martha—the two who came out of the game as a
definite couple—have also drifted apart.
Spencer heads home to meet up with his pals over Christmas break from the NYC
university he’s now attending, he’s feeling a bit less excited than he
expected. Which is why he digs the pieces of the smashed up Jumanji video game
console out of a box in his basement. It’s crazy, in light of all that happened
before. But Spencer longs for the thrill of playing his heroic in-game avatar,
Dr Smoulder Bravestone.
Before you can
say, “What were you thinking!?”, Spencer and his pals are once
again sucked into the dangerous video game world of Jumanji. Only this time,
Spencer’s octogenarian Grandpa Eddie gets pulled into the story, too. And
Grandpa Eddie hits the digital ground running in the role of the hero,
Bravestone, instead of Spencer.
the important question: Can a hero be incredibly muscular … and
grandfather, Eddie, and his former business partner and best friend, Milo,
are both pulled into the world of Jumanji along with the
younger folks. At first, the two are at odds due to an unresolved conflict from
years before. But as the Jumanji adventure unfolds, they gradually realise how
much their friendship means to them, and they both ask for forgiveness for
things they’ve said in anger over the years.
That moment of
reconciliation also changes Grandpa Eddie’s attitude about life. Early on, he
limps around with his bad hip and grouses crudely, “Getting old sucks!” But
after reconciling with his friend, talking through their past together and
surviving the dangerous video game journey, Eddie tells Spencer: “Getting old
is a gift.”
manner, Spencer’s attitude about his life improves. He and his friends rally
together, rely on one another, and unanimously voice their devotion. They
repeatedly put their lives on the line to save each other (and the land of
Jumanji) as well.
As was the
case in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,
Martha plays as an acrobatic female warrior named Ruby Roundhouse. Ruby wears a
shorts-and-crop-top outfit, à la Lara Croft, that exposes quite a bit of her
Bravestone is also quite muscular. The character kisses Ruby passionately at
one point as well as another female dressed in a form-fitting, low-cut outfit.
In fact, when kissing that latter woman (as he’s being controlled by Grandpa
Eddie) Bravestone compels her to kiss him passionately over and over.
magical water’s body-swap properties, Fridge has a short stretch controlling
Ruby, too. He marvels at the avatar’s body and reports that the first thing he
did upon taking control was to quickly touch her chests. A female character who
ends up embodying a male likewise bends over to look at his (clothed) crotch.
There’s also a slight wink made toward gender swapping in general.
There are many
thumping, pummelling fights, shootings and explosions that unfold during the
heroes' adventure. We also learn that each character has his or her own
strengths and weaknesses.
Bravestone, for instance, is incredibly strong and at one point takes on scores
of attackers, slamming them with mighty blows and driving marauding minions
into walls with his fists. Also, when an avatar is defeated, he or she explodes
in a red-tinged splash. We see all the heroes die in that manner (repeatedly
too). Some are pecked at and killed by large ostriches (which are portrayed like
feathered velociraptors). The heroes are also beaten and bitten by throngs of
screeching mandrill monkeys in an extended scene that could be quite scary for
young or sensitive viewers.
People get hit
with axes and blown up by a rocket launcher missile. Others fall from great
heights and are crushed by huge boulders. Cars crash and crumple. Someone is
nearly swallowed whole by a giant python, and a man barely misses being chomped
by a charging hippo.
CRUDE OR PROFANE LANGUAGE
We hear a
surprising 15 misuses of God and Jesus’ names (combined), including a whopping
eight pairings of God’s name with “d--n.” There are also two or three uses of
the s-word, a stand-in for the f-word, and some 15 uses of “h---.”
OTHER NEGATIVE ELEMENTS
points out that young Spencer only has a steady physical and emotional decline
in front of him.
latest Jumanji film can be deemed as a more-of-the-same
sequel. If anything, it leaps into the sucked-into-a-video-game action much
more quickly this round. And it offers even more of what you’d expect.
positive side, that equals an abundance of Indiana Jones-like rolling-boulder,
thump-and-tumble, slapstick action. And along with a pumped-up cast list full
of likeable characters, there are even more funny and sweet moments, as well as
some nice lessons about the value of friends, the need for forgiveness and the
quiet glory of growing old.
to the foul language and violent content, it is inappropriate for families with
These reviews are meant
to help parents determine whether a movie is appropriate for their children,
and are not an endorsement by Focus on the Family Singapore.
This review was adapted from
Plugged In: the entertainment guide your family needs to make family
appropriate decisions through movie reviews, book reviews, TV reviews, and