CELEBRATED director Martin Scorsese recently sparked controversy in the pop culture world when he said the Marvel comic book movies are ‘not cinema’.

It is fair to say he probably would not be overly fond of the Jumanji films either where digital trickery and popcorn spectacle is wrapped around a loose plot. Perhaps there is a debate to be had about what actually defines cinema – does it have to involve an immaculately shot and intricate story with slow-burning character studies to be classed as an art form?

That is a far cry from Jumanji: The Next Level but if you take it for what it is – just big screen fun – there is lot to enjoy.

The sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle again sees Jake Kasdan in the director’s chair and reunites the main cast along with some well placed newcomers like Danny DeVito, Danny Glover and Awkwafina.

If you are only familiar with the original 1995 film, starring Robin Williams, the reboots basically swap Jumanji’s supernatural boardgame with a malevolent video game.

The plot is paper thin with this latest addition – after surviving the ‘game’ in the last film Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Martha (Morgan Turner) agree to meet up. But when Spencer does not show, they discover he has re-entered Jumanji’s dangerous world – simply because he was feeling a bit out of sorts.

His friends hatch a rescue plan but are surprised when Spencer’s cantankerous grandfather Eddie (DeVito) and his friend Milo (Glover) are sucked into the game as well.

In Jumanji’s world they inhabit ‘avatars’ played by Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart and Jack Black and there is a lot of fun to be had from those body swapping antics.

That is where a lot of the humour comes from and is one of the movie’s main strengths.

It is also a visual feast.

Filmmaker Jake Kasdan takes advantage of the video game setting to break the conventional rules of storytelling and, well, logic. From car chases across sand dunes while being attacked by ostriches to a mandrill attack on a labyrinth of jungle bridges, it is a crazy spectacle that you just have to go with.

Yes, there is little depth and more could be explored about the avatars and the desire to escape and be somebody else.

But essentially it’s fun and you can tell the cast had a hoot too – DeVito and Johnson are particularly on top form.

RATING: 6/10