Disclaimer: This article has major spoilers for ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’. So, read it once you have watched the movie. In case you don’t care about spoilers, please read on.
My relationship with the Jumanji franchise has been pretty uneven. When I watched the Jumanji with Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst in it as a child, I was deeply disturbed and scared. That feeling changed when I watched it as an adult and it became one of my favourite movies of all time because of how bat-sh*t crazy it was. Then came along Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle which I absolutely hated because of its cliched attempts at being a blockbuster. Finally, Jumanji: The Next Level arrived and swept me off of my feet with its charm and emotion. And guess what? I am legit excited for Jumanji 3 after that mid-credits scene in The Next Level.
Before getting to the mid-credits scene, let’s just recap the concept of how the world of Jumanji works. In the 1995 movie where Jumanji is a board game, the player basically rolls the dice, a riddle/challenge appears and that riddle/challenge happens in real life. The player has to then solve it or die! Another aspect of the board game is that if you come across the “you have to stay in the jungle if someone doesn’t roll x or y”, then you’ll be sucked into the game and you literally have to stay in the board game unless someone rolls the required number. Things are a little different in the 2017 reboot/sequel/re-imagining.
In Welcome to the Jungle, we witness the board game turn into a video game in order to lure players in and, again, suck people into the game. It’s also further revealed that there’s no way to play Jumanji without getting sucked into it and inhabiting the bodies of the in-game, playable characters. Now, in my opinion, that came with its own set of problems. Since the fictional monsters and people were wreaking havoc in the real world in the 1995 movie, I think that that gave some stakes because you could imagine a rhino hitting you. But when that aspect is removed because the protagonists are video game characters who are practically invincible, you don’t experience the same level of thrill. The Next Level corrected that by punching a lot of emotion into the story, thereby allowing the audience (or at least me) to really feel for the characters. And going by its mid-credits scene, Jumanji 3 is going to be the best of both worlds.
So, here’s what happens in the mid-credits scene. After our heroes manage to save Jumanji once again, they go to a cafe (Nora’s) to chill out along with Spencer’s (Alex Wolff) grandpa (Eddie), promising to each other that they’re never going to touch the game again. At the same time, the heating mechanic that Spencer’s mother had called arrives and touches the console. The scene cuts back to the cafe, we hear the familiar drumbeats and a few ostriches run by thereby indicating that the creatures/elements from the game have crossed over to the real world.
Now, what could that possibly mean? Well, my first guess is that the glitch has created a rift/portal (think Stranger Things) that is allowing the game to take over the real world. And now our group of misfits have to beat the game once again to stop this from happening. Because while animal control units will probably be able to capture the wild animals coming out of the game, I think it will be pretty difficult to take care of the tyrants living inside the game. In addition to that it also means that the characters played by Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Kevin Hart might appear in the real world and they’ve to collaborate with the people who have played them in order to bring things back to normal. So, we’ll finally be able to know how these people actually are because till now we’ve been seeing other people channeling their personalities through them.
I personally love this twist because this means that Jumanji 3 will be the perfect homage to Robin Williams’ Jumanji and will have new kinds of challenges in addition to likely featuring a never-before-seen kind of adventure. The Next Level has officially made me fall in love with the in-game characters. The kids? Well, I am still on the fence about them. But, if the mid-credits mean anything, I think the next movie is going to put all those notions to test. All I want to say is that I need Jumanji 3 right now!
Cover artwork by Dhawal Bhanushali/Mashable India