Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart bicker to ‘The Next Level’ in ‘Jumanji’ sequel

Today’s funniest screen tandem Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are back as in-game avatars Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Mouse Finbar, respectively, in Columbia Pictures’ epic action-adventure Jumanji: The Next Level (now showing in Philippine cinemas).

But there are twists! Because the game was smashed at the end of the previous film, it’s not functioning normally, which means anything can happen.

Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Johnson), the intrepid archeological adventurer and muscle-bound action hero is back in the game, complete with his laundry list of strengths: fearlessness, climbing, speed, boomerang, and his trademark smoldering intensity. However, this time, he serves as the avatar for Eddie (Danny DeVito), Spencer’s grandfather. In the previous film, he got to play a neurotic teenager, and now he gets to play the opposite end of the spectrum. The juxtaposition of Bravestone’s heroic abilities, and Dwayne Johnson’s physicality inhabited by a cantankerous elderly man recovering from hip surgery, results in a slew of comedic moments. Especially hilarious is seeing Bravestone inhabited by an irritable guy from Asbury Park, New Jersey.

“Capturing the essence and nuances of Danny DeVito was the best time as an actor. I had a chance to study him, going back and watching a lot of his old movies and TV shows, all the way back to Taxi. His work is just so brilliant,” says Dwayne Johnson. “There’s just a wit and a way about him. I was able to spend time with Danny and embody him as best I could. And he was very gracious. It was a blast becoming Danny DeVito.”

Meanwhile, diminutive zoologist and weapons valet, Mouse Finbar (Hart) is back sporting his trademark red bandana and huge backpack of weapons. In this level of the game, his new skill of linguistics proves especially helpful in getting the gang over some serious humps. Finbar’s weaknesses include a lack of speed, inferior strength, and a penchant for cake. This time, he becomes an avatar for Eddie’s estranged friend and former business partner, Milo (Danny Glover).

Kevin Hart’s trademark rapid-fire style of comedic delivery is replaced by the meandering, lackadaisical narrative style of Milo, resulting in major laughs as he embodies Danny Glover’s mannerisms and speech cadence. His zoological explanations of various animals provide comedic footnotes throughout the story, even if he is constantly bewildered as to how he knows this information. He doesn’t grasp that he’s been dropped into a video game, prompting him to continually ask questions, such (“Did I die and turn into a small, muscular Boy Scout?”) and is constantly misunderstanding the circumstances of their predicament.

“You see Mouse Finbar take on the persona of an older gentleman, with me being Danny Glover,” shares Hart. “The older version of Danny Glover in movies just makes me laugh because he’s so calm. Everything he says is just happy. I thought that could be a very funny place to play with. Like that older man that’s a little more at ease, because I’m very ‘Aahhh!’ all the time!”

Jumanji: The Next Level is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #Jumanji

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart

About Jumanji: The Next Level

In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.

The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, Alex Wolff with Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.

Directed by Jake Kasdan, the sequel is written by Jake Kasdan & Jeff Pinker & Scott Rosenberg, based on the book Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg. The film is produced by Matt Tolmach, Jake Kasdan, Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star in Jumanji: The Next Level

‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ review: Hilariously good comeback

Director Jake Kasdan brings us back to a whole new exciting world of the classic ‘Jumanji’ game as we know it.

Jumanji: Next Level is one of the most anticipated sequels this year. Following the success of the previous installment, Next Level brings us to a whole new world of Jumanji with new challenges, additional characters, and a whole lot of surprises. In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world’s most dangerous game.

The film brings back all the players who have lived their respective lives a year after the first film. Spencer who is now on his college year had a realization that being in a new and different situation loses his image as the better guy, giving him the idea to go back and revisit Jumanji. When his friends Martha, Bethany, and Fridge came to know that he went back into the game, they decided to rescue him. This time they were accidentally accompanied by Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie (Danny DeVito), and his friend, Milo (Danny Glover). With the game being busted from the first film, everything now seems so different because some characters’ avatars got swapped: making things chaotic and funnier at the same time.

This is a film that should not be missed this year. Next Level is an energetic and hilarious sequel made mode wonderful by its cast members, most especially Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson who channel their inner Danny Glover and Danny DeVito within the game. You can tell that the old folks made a lot of fun in filming. Also adding to the gang is a new character, Ming, played by Akwafina, who gives a tingy touch of color to the gang.

Jumanji: Next Level feels like a new world—one we haven’t seen before despite its predecessors. What seems to have been busted is now an open avenue for more adventures—new challenges, new characters, and a new story to tell. The film expanded from merely staying within the jungle. There are new places in which our characters have never been to.

Overall, the film is so good because it does not just stick to being funny and all, but also provides plenty heartwarming life lessons about friendship and self-assurance. Also, there is this scene that connects or even sets us up to a new story that will be a connection to the very first and classic Jumanji which starred Robin Williams. It’s just worth hyping about!

Furthermore, Jumanji: The Next Level is your all-time funny and entertaining film that you and your friends would enjoy. This is the sequel that modernizes the classic game one would want to see more often.


Directed by Jake Kasdan starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Madison Iseman, Ashley Scott, Alex Wolff, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.

‘Night School’ review: Potentially squeaks out passing grade

Malcolm D. Lee’s Night School smartly puts the talents of Tiffany Haddish to her reliable co-star Kevin Hart.

Kevin Hart playing the lead in Night School will surely elicit a fun time filled with cheeky jokes and great laughs. But setting aside the hilarity, the film subtly focuses on broad important issues in education like race and religion bias, the consequences of unaddressed learning disabilities, and the need for sensitive teachers and administrators. Night School is more than just a passing grade.

The movie talks about Teddy (Kevin Hart), a salesman that lives beyond his financial means who inevitably comes to a realization that in life, there are truly no shortcuts. After a series of unfortunate events, including his failed attempt to impress his beautiful, self-sufficient fiancée Lisa (Megalyn Echikunawoke), he decides to finally get his high school G.E.D. There he meets Carrie (Tiffany Haddish), a no-nonsense, hardworking yet underpaid teacher who won’t tolerate any form of slacking or cheating. She may have an unorthodox and unique approach to teaching, but underneath all of it is a big heart for her students.

Teddy’s classmates come from different backgrounds and are likewise impacted by their different life choices. There’s the housewife who believes she’s still blessed despite having ungrateful kids and an overbearing husband. There’s the pretty hipster who’s only attending classes to avoid being sent by her parents to juvenile detention. There’s the wannabe dental hygienist who can’t properly pronounce his profession title. There’s the enlightened, “woke” brother who’s a know-it-all. There’s the prison inmate who studies via Skype. And then, there’s the father who’s at odds with his son and thinks about giving up on school. Night School has a dynamic ensemble to entertain you throughout.

The film lives up to the expectation of being funny but it also has its serious moments which would come handy in real life. It presents the attitude of indifference that many parents have when interacting with other students who learn differently. Teacher Carrie, on the other hand, is not afraid to go the extra mile in getting the best out of her students. She may indulge with excessive cursing and wrestling/choking methods to encourage student participation, but her genuine intentions triumphs over.

Night School is actually a film about second chances. A high school dropout comes back to education in an attempt to make things right, the film telling that it is never late to start over again. Teddy’s emotional speech in the end teems with the humor and life realizations. Director Malcolm D. Lee squeaks out a passing grade by using education as a fun tool that gives plenty of takeaways.


3 out of 5 stars


Directed by Malcolm D. Lee starring Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, Romany Malco, Keith David, and Loretta Devine.
Run time: 111 minutes

Kevin Hart breathes life to villain bunny in ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

Comic sensation Kevin Hart lends his voice to the bunny Snowball, in Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ new comedy adventure “The Secret Life of Pets,” opening in Philippine cinemas August 24.

An adorable and deranged Bunny who’s building an army of “Flushed Pets” who have been abandoned by their owners, Snowball is insanely cute… and also, insane.

In the film, Max (Louis C.K.), a quick-witted Terrier rescue who’s convinced he sits at the center of owner Katie’s universe, finds his pampered life turned upside down when she brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills. When this reluctant canine duo finds themselves out on the mean streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy, yet cunning, bunny named Snowball, whose army of pets are out to turn the tables on humanity…all this and making it home before Katie returns at dinnertime.

Producer Chris Meledandri states that Illumination appreciates performers who can bring a bit of wickedness and slightly off-center vocal mannerisms to their roles: “Steve Carell did a fantastic job of that in `Despicable Me,’ and Kevin Hart does this with Snowball.”

Meledandri raves that Snowball is absolutely one of the wildest, most imaginative animated characters on any film he has ever seen. He agrees with his colleagues that so much of that energy comes from the man who vocalizes the wayward bunny. “This is Kevin Hart’s first voice for an animated movie,” Meledandri says. “He loves Snowball, and it comes through in the performance. He has a blast as the character, and that is so apparent because the performance is filled with joy. Snowball’s a rascal, so it’s hard to play a character who is somewhat wicked but is still so appealing every time he’s on screen, but Kevin embodies it. His voice for this fluffy, adorable bunny—who in a nanosecond can turn crazy—is phenomenal.”

“Both Kevin Hart and Snowball are forces of nature,” adds co-screenwriter Brian Lynch. “When you give Kevin a two-line joke, he is able to turn it into an eight-line joke that is so much funnier than the one you wrote.”

Hart’s recent movie projects include the action-comedy blockbuster Universal’s “Central Intelligence” opposite Dwayne Johnson, Screen Gems’ “The Wedding Ringer,” which also starred Josh Gad; and Warner Bros.’ “Get Hard” opposite Will Ferrell.

Opening across the Philippines on August 24, 2016, “The Secret Life of Pets” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Kevin Hart reluctantly must save the world in ‘Central Intelligence’

If there’s one thing Kevin Hart can do, it’s sell shoes. If there’s one thing Kevin Hart can do better than sell shoes, it’s explode into one of the foremost comedians and entertainers in Hollywood today.

After an electrifying performance at amateur night in a Philadelphia comedy club, Hart quit his shoe salesman job and began performing full time at prestigious comedy venues in Los Angeles. However, it was his first appearance at the Montreal “Just for Laughs” Comedy Festival that led him into roles in feature films.

Hart’s recent movie projects include “Ride Along 2,” which grossed over $100 million worldwide, “The Wedding Ringer,” opposite Josh Gad and “Get Hard,” opposite Will Ferrell.

His newest collaboration is with another prolific superstar, Dwayne Johnson, in Universal Pictures’ new action comedy “Central Intelligence” in Philippine cinemas on June 15.

“Central Intelligence” follows Bob (Johnson), a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent, coming home for his high-school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” Calvin (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than he can count.

From this point, Hart says, “It’s about a lean and mean killing machine, teaming up with a 9-to-5 Everyday Joe to unravel this plot and clear his name. Calvin is doing stuff he’s never seen or done before, with barely time to react. He’s truly a fish out of water.”

Almost as maddening to Calvin is how Bob never loses his cool or megawatt optimism as they careen from one life-threatening situation to another. He also never loses his admiration for his captive sidekick. “You have one guy who loves action, thrives on it, and that’s Bob,” says Johnson. “The other guy absolutely hates it. He’s resistant. He doesn’t want to go, and that’s oftentimes a great set-up for a buddy, action comedy.

“But there’s a difference,” continues Johnson. “The coolest element about the whole thing is that Bob still has a real affection in a hero-worship way toward Calvin. It was like that in high school and it’s never gone away, despite how their lives have changed. I love the idea that these are two grown men now, and Bob has become this strong, powerful dude, but he still looks at Calvin like he’s the big hero, like, ‘You’re the best. You’re the Golden Jet. I love you, man.’”

Conversely, even though Bob can now clear a bar full of lowlifes with a sweep of his arm or out-maneuver a SWAT team by weaponizing office supplies on the fly, Hart notes, “Their relationship evolves because Calvin starts to see there’s still a level of innocence to Bob. As they build a degree of trust, Calvin realizes that it’s all or nothing, and he has to make the decision whether or not to give it his all and become a real partner.”
Hart will next appear in the animated film “The Secret Life of Pets.”

Opening across the Philippines on June 15, 2016, “Central Intelligence” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Spy action-comedy ‘Central Intelligence’ gets new poster

“Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson.” That’s the witty tagline of the new one-sheet art of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart’s new action-comedy “Central Intelligence.”

“Central Intelligence” follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Johnson), coming home for his high-school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than he can count.

“Central Intelligence” also stars Oscar® nominee Amy Ryan (“Bridge of Spies”), Aaron Paul (TV’s “Breaking Bad”) and Danielle Nicolet (TV’s “The Game”). The film is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (“We’re the Millers”). The screenplay is by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber, from a story by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen. It is produced by Scott Stuber (“Ted”), Peter Principato (TV’s “Black-ish”), Paul Young (“Black-ish”) and Michael Fottrell (“Fast & Furious 7”). Serving as executive producers are Ed Helms, who worked with Thurber on “We’re the Millers,” Samuel J. Brown and Michael Disco.

New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures present a Bluegrass Films/Principato Young Entertainment Production, a Rawson Marshall Thurber Film, Central Intelligence.
Opening on June 15, 2016, “Central Intelligence” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart team up for ‘Central Intelligence’

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart flip up the buddy action-comedy genre in Universal Pictures’ “Central Intelligence.” (Watch the film’s trailer and check out the the teaser poster below.)

“Central Intelligence” follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Johnson), coming home for his high-school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than he can count.

“Central Intelligence” also stars Oscar® nominee Amy Ryan (“Bridge of Spies”), Aaron Paul (TV’s “Breaking Bad”) and Danielle Nicolet (TV’s “The Game”). The film is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (“We’re the Millers”). The screenplay is by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber, from a story by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen. It is produced by Scott Stuber (“Ted”), Peter Principato (TV’s “Black-ish”), Paul Young (“Black-ish”) and Michael Fottrell (“Fast & Furious 7”). Serving as executive producers are Ed Helms, who worked with Thurber on “We’re the Millers,” Samuel J. Brown and Michael Disco.

New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures present a Bluegrass Films/Principato Young Entertainment Production, a Rawson Marshall Thurber Film, Central Intelligence.

“Central Intelligence” opens across the Philippines on June 15, 2016, and is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.