16 December 2019

This Film Could Reshape Your World View

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Does anybody know what fucking number movie Jumanji: The Next Level is? I'd been calling it the third one because there were clearly two that came before it but then somebody in work was referring to it as the second because they were too young to have remembered the Robin Williams one from the '90s. Fucking young people. Maybe they were right though, with these more recent ones counting as reboots because that first film had people fucking about with a board-game but now the characters seem to be going into a video-game instead. Plus if we're including the Robin Williams original as still being part of the continuity then technically we're also including that film's forgotten sequel Zathura: A Space Adventure aren't we? So that means that Jumanji: The Next Level is the second instalment if there's been a reboot, the third if there's not been a reboot, and the fourth if there's not been a reboot and we're counting Zathura. And why the fuck wouldn't you count Zathura at this point? I suppose this new one could technically be the third too if we were ignoring the very first Jumanji but still counting Zathura but I'm disregarding that as that would clearly be fucking madness. Anyway, I know the meaning of life now. I figured it out whilst watching this new Jumanji movie, in fact. Since I now know all that there is to know about the nature of our very existence, I need the little questions about which number in the franchise this new film is to keep my mind active. You want to know about the meaning of our place in the world too? Then go and watch this film, I guess!

I should point out a few things though before you expect to walk out of this new Jumanji movie having been with the kind enlightenment that you'd normally only receive from sucking off a Buddha. Firstly, I was seeing this movie having been up until 5:00am the night before in which I'd spent seven solid hours watching the results of the 2019 British general election. Secondly, those results ultimately became the final bit of proof that I needed to confirm to myself that I live amongst idiots, racists, selfish fucking cock-weasels and I fucking hate you all. And thirdly, I'd already been free-falling into nihilism with some impressive haste but this result was the dropkick to the spine that had sent me speeding like a bullet towards the dark heart of a Herzogian abyss. Everybody wants to be Han Solo but by the end of that night, I'd realised that I was actually more like Rogue One's Saw Gerrera, the boss-eyed psycho rebel who screams nothing but gibberish and likes to kill people with his giant fucking octopus. I couldn't wait for all of the bullshit and the carnage to start as a direct result of this election and I hoped it would be even worse than I'd fucking imagined. We knew that this new Prime Minister and his Government were nothing more than a lying, self-serving group of corrupt twats and yet we voted for them anyway. We deserve everything we fucking get you fucking idiots. I walked into Jumanji: Next Level, having had very little sleep, twitching, and a little manic. But then suddenly Danny DeVito appeared on screen and I was instantly calmed like a Killer Whale at Sea World after it's been wanked off by its trainer.

Danny DeVito is one of the few constants in the universe and I can't imagine a world without him. He's like Stone Henge in that I don't know what he is but I know that he's old and I imagine that our ancestors probably used to worship him. I don't think about him very often but when I do I'm filled with an infinite love for him and I can't imagine that I'm alone in that. In Jumanji: The Next Level, he plays the grandfather of the kid with the mole on his face from the first film. Or the second film if we're counting the Robin Williams one still. Which would technically mean he's the kid with the mole on his face from the third film wouldn't it because if we're counting the Robin Williams one then we're also counting Zathura aren't we?! Okay, he's the kid with the mole on his face from the previous movie and that you might also recognise as the kid with the mole on his face from Hereditary. It actually creeped me the fuck out at first as I hadn't seen the previous Jumanji film since the cinema and I'd forgotten that he was the main character but I have seen Hereditary a few times since then. I was already on edge when I went into this movie and suddenly I was getting flashbacks to a horror film in which somebody saws off their own fucking head with a bit of rusty wire. This act of self-decapitation also then seemed like a pretty fucking apt metaphor for the bleak fucking election results of the fucking stupid night before to me, too. But before I'd had the chance to fully embrace this rage, Danny DeVito was back on screen, I was calmed again and I began to feel myself smile. Maybe I'm bi-polar.

So the kid with the mole on his face decides to go back into the computer game because he feels insecure about his life having previously spent a few hours in the body of The Rock. This seems fair enough to me. I feel insecure just looking at The Rock and so I can only imagine the pleasures of being inside of him. Not like that. The Rock, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Kevin Hart all play avatars inside the game which essentially makes this a sort of body swap movie. When the game malfunctions, Danny DeVito, his friend Danny Glover, and the gang from the previous movie also end up being sucked into it with them all now finding themselves inside different virtual characters to the last time. Does that make any sense? So in the last Jumanji movie the kid with the mole on his face was inside The Rock but this time The Rock is being inhabited by the consciousness of Danny DeVito. So although The Rock was still the avatar Dr Smolder Bravestone in the previous film, he's now a different Dr Smolder Bravestone, right? The Rock basically has to play the part as though he's Danny DeVito but if Danny DeVito was slowly coming to terms with the fact that he's now essentially The Rock. Is this making any fucking sense at all? Because to confuse things even further, they then all start body-swapping inside of the game too and the only way to keep track of it all is to remember their various personalities and names from the real world. To simplify it, I walked into the movie as a nihilist and I walked out of it with an added sense of existential fucking angst.

The miracle of Jumanji: Next Level is that despite how complicated that all sounds, it all makes total sense when you watch it. We're presented with a fake reality but because it seems completely real to us, we instantly accept its rules and we go with it. It's just like when a Government or the media start making shit up and the world then begins to bend to this new narrative as though it was true all along. We all live in a fake world like Jumanji, except at least in the film it's all good fun. The Rock acts like Danny DeVito.. and I accept that. He then starts to act like the kid with the mole on his face and I can accept that too. In both cases, I'm just looking at The Rock but I'm seeing the various characters that he's meant to be inhabited by. Cogito, ergo sum. It's not about what's real anymore, but about whether people believe it. If I keep telling people that I have a massive porn star dick then I suspect that people would eventually start to treat me like I have a massive porn star dick. Does it matter to the kid with the mole on his face that he's not really The Rock if everybody treats him as though he is? And considering that barely anybody seems interested in looking at my dick, does it really matter whether or not it actually is of a porn star sized standard when I claim it is? What matters is that if people treat me differently as a result of believing it then I'd probably go through some Kafkaesque big dick recreation of The Metamorphosis and I'd begin to view the world with a different perspective. Jumanji and its believably fake world and with its body-swapping characters essentially makes a pretty strong case for the subjectivity of reality. Nothing really matters and nothing is really real. Although, for the record, I do have a big porn star dick.

Not that the film really deals with any of that in the slightest. I was just a little wired whilst watching it. But have a good time and look after the people around you appears to be the message of the film which seems pretty fair to me when you've completely lost track of all reality. It also seems like some pretty good advice when you no longer believe that the people in charge of the country have any intention of caring for anybody but themselves. All of the external things in our lives are like the randomly generated challenges of Jumanji and our job is to just survive them as best we can. Did I ask for Boris Johnson to be given five years in power and the freedom to do whatever he wants? No. But Danny DeVito didn't ask to inhabit the body of The Rock and then have to run away from a flock of killer ostriches but his friends helped him get through it in one piece. You can't stop Jumanji but you can help those around you survive it and I guess that's true of a shitty Government and a stupid election. Maybe we're all in a computer game right now and I'm actually the avatar for an eighteen-year-old dweeb that thinks his sixth form rantings about the nature of reality are worth hearing. It'd certainly explain my porn viewing habits. But when you can't be sure of anything you can do worse than simply trying to have a good time whilst taking care to be kind to those around you. Also, I've just Googled the answer and apparently Jumanji: The Next Level is the third instalment in the franchise. Which actually makes pretty much zero fucking sense at all when you think about it. What a load of bullshit. Thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time.

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