By Chris Kavan - 11/05/19 at 07:17 PM CT
A slight improvement over last week's... slight update - we have a duo of new wide releases receiving some ratings love. Up front is a sequel to a surprisingly big update to a beloved 90s films - Jumanji, where it looks like our friends are going back to the video game setting - with some new (old) characters along for the ride. Otherwise, we have an action-packed (non-MCU) film for Chadwick Boseman, who puts New York City on lockdown while uncovering a vast, far-reaching conspiracy. Not bad - not bad at all. Hopefully the ratings board keeps things coming fast and smooth.
I, like every child of the 90s, have a soft spot for Jumanji. I wasn't sure what to expect when a new film was announced back in 2017 - though the cast (Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan) had me somewhat interested. Even with the pedigree, I don't think anyone expected the film to do as well as it did - over $400 million domestic, and over $960 million worldwide. Given the response, there is little surprise that the studio fast-tracked a follow-up in Jumanji: The Next Level. The main cast all returns and the setting remains the same - a video game where our characters once again have to "win" the game in order to escape. But things go beyond the jungle - with a snow-capped mountain and a vast desert included. Another change - our group gets two new editions to the game - as Danny Glover and Danny DeVito are now part of the game, with DeVito inhabiting Dr Smolder Bravestone (Johnson) while Glover gets transported into Mouse Finbar (Hart). Both actors should have a hoot playing their respective elderly counterparts - I'm especially interested to see how they try to figure out how video games work. Also back is Bethany (Madison Iseman) who once again gets stuck in Professor Shelly Oberon (Black) and at some point, so does Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain) while Spencer (Alex Wolff) now takes over for ace pilot Alex (Nick Jonas) and Martha (Morgan Turner) once again takes over for the kick-ass Ruby Roundhouse (Gillan). Rhys Darby also returns as the trusty NPC Nigel Billingsley while Awkwafina and Dania Ramirez are also joining the cast in yet-to-be-disclosed roles. I was a fan of this new version of Jumanji - the video game setting was nice, the characters were a lot of fun and the effects were amazing. I think casting DeVito and Glover is an excellent choice and I think the best part of this film is going to be Johnson and Hart portraying these characters. We'll see if this brings in as much as the Welcome to the Jungle, but I think it certainly has a strong chance to do so. Rated PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language.
While there has been no shortage of action films featuring cops and criminals behaving badly this year, perhaps none comes with as big a pedigree as 21 Bridges. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Andre Davis, who has grown into a very specific kind of police officer - one who specialized in hunting down cop-killers, after going through the death of his own father (also a cop). When a duo of killers tries to escape New York, Davis locks the entire city down - including closing down all escape routes. But he soon realizes this is no thrill kill or random act, as a deep and vast conspiracy soon emerges. Anthony and Joe Russo (the duo behind The Avengers films) produce this while Brian Kirk (his first major film, but a TV veteran including episodes of Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful) directs. Now, there is some cause for concern as 21 Bridges has been delayed twice - from July and September - while also finding itself going up against a Juggernaut in Frozen 2. Even the addition of talent like Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons, Sienna Miller, Keith David, Gary Carr and Jamie Neumann isn't likely to make much of a dent in Pixar's flagship winter release. It's too bad, as this looks quite exciting. Rated R for for violence and language throughout.
Those are your big two to look forward to this week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated R for violence and language throughout.
Rated R for bloody violence, grisly images, and language throughout.
Rated R for some disturbing material, and language.
THE GREAT WAR
Rated R for war violence.
Rated R for some bloody violence, sexuality and language.
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
Rated PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language.
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
Rated R for some nudity and sexuality.