Twenty years after the trapped-in-a-board-game family adventure flick, here comes the trapped-in-a-videogame sequel. Four teens serving detention at school stumble across an ancient console, and get sucked into an Indiana Jones-lite puzzle about a sacred jewel and lifting a curse, blah blah blah. It’s incredibly dull, literally like watching people play a videogame, and anyway it’s mostly an excuse to have Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart run around acting like the “hilariously” opposite teens occupying their avatars: The Rock is actually clumsy, scared, skinny nerd Spencer, for instance, and isn’t that just a riot; a mincing Black is actually pretty, popular Bethany (sample dialogue: “I, like, can’t even with this place”). Along with the “humor” of gender stereotypes and boner jokes come low really stakes: Not only does everyone have three lives to play with, we never learn what would happen if they game-overed; they might just go back to the real world, for all we (and they) know. It would have made for a shorter movie, at least.
Director: Jake Kasdan
Producer: Matt Tolmach, William Teitler, David Householter, Jake Kasdan, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Ted Field and Mike Weber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Rhys Darby, Bobby Cannavale, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Ser'Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, Sean Buxton, Mason Guccione, Marin Hinkle, Tracey Bonner, Najah Jackson, Natasha Charles Parker, Kat Altman, Maribeth Monroe, Missi Pyle, Michael Shacket, Jamie Renell, Marc Jackson, Carlease Burke, Jason New, William Tokarsky, Rohan Chand, Tait Fletcher, Steve Dunlevy and Rob Mars