SALT LAKE CITY — As many of you have been eagerly anticipating the release of the film "Jumanji: The Next Level" to brighten this holiday season, you may also want to know how appropriate it is for some of your younger viewers. Here is a break down of a few things you should be aware of as you consider taking the family or dropping the kids off at the movie.
"Jumanji: The Next Level" relies heavily on the dictionary of PG-13 swears to fill in the gaps of its script. There is nothing here that you did not hear in the last Jumanji movie, but it did seem to skew quite a bit toward deity-based expressions of emotion. All in all the language was limited to PG-13 levels and will not surprise you if you are familiar with these movies. There was no demeaning or overtly sexual language.
There is a scene where there is some passionate kissing that is repeated several times for comedic effect along with some flirtatious dialogue. The scene immediately following carries the joke a little further but does not get offensive. There is a scene where there is talk of a eunuch and male genitalia is referred to a couple of times. You may want to consider this if you don't want to have this conversation with your kids in the theater since it could raise some questions with children unfamiliar with what a eunuch is while they are watching it.
There is a lot of cartoon-style violence in this film; all of which is meant for entertainment purposes none of it is used in a bullying or demeaning way. We see characters in the film being killed on several occasions by various means. There are a couple of instances where wild animals unexpectedly kill characters, as well as scenes where bad guys kill people. Some of the death scenes look like the character has exploded into a wet mess but is not graphic in its depiction. Another scene shows a villain feeding raw meat to hungry hyenas as he implies he is feeding the animals the remains of his best friend he had recently killed. If you are familiar with these movies you know that the characters we see on screen are video game avatars and re-spawn immediately after they are killed.
The story promotes a positive message based on friendship, teamwork and acceptance. There is a subplot that deals with old friends making amends after years of unspoken resentment. The biggest benefit of this movie is the positive message it promotes, as well as the humor it uses to get the message across.
If you're looking for a movie you can enjoy with your family and you are confident of their ability to deal with some of the themes contained therein you will enjoy this film if you are not looking for anything that takes itself too seriously.