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 Jumanji gang – Spencer, Fridge, Martha, and Bethany – have gone to college since their last adventure, but Spencer has had a hard time adjusting without his friends. When they all go back to their hometown, Spencer puts Jumanji back together so he can relive his time as Dr. Smolder Bravestone. The friends go to Spencer’s house to find that he has gone back in the game, and it pulls Fridge and Martha inside.
Back in Jumanji, Martha returns as Ruby Roundhouse, but Fridge is now Shelly Oberon, while Spencer’s Grandpa Eddie has become Dr. Bravestone, and Eddie’s estranged best friend Milo Walker has become Mouse Finbar. They learn from Nigel Billingsley that Jumanji is threatened by the warlord Jurgen The Brutal, who killed Bravestone’s parents in the game and has also stolen the Falcon Jewel, which has left Jumanji in a drought since it’s theft.
The group finds Spencer as a new character, Ming Fleetfoot. After outrunning dangerous animals and murderous henchmen, the group starts to lose lives since Eddie and Milo keep putting everyone in trouble with their inability to adapt to their characters, as well as their constant feuding since Eddie stopped speaking to Milo after the latter sold their restaurant business. Milo has only since come back to talk to Eddie because he is sick and doesn’t have much time left. They are found by Bethany, who got help from Alex Vreeke to return to Jumanji as a horse named Cyclone and as Seaplane McDonough. The group then finds a river to let them change back into their original characters’ bodies, but Eddie and Milo (now as Ming and Cyclone) get taken by Jurgen’s men.
The friends get inside Jurgen’s fortress to save Eddie and Milo and to get the jewel. After defeating the mercenaries, Spencer fights Jurgen on his zeppelin, leading to Jurgen falling to his death. Spencer gets Eddie and Milo to fly up above the clouds to hold the jewel to the sun, winning the game. Everyone but Milo returns home, since he knows he’ll get to live longer in Jumanji, and Eddie parts ways with his best friend.
The friends return to the real world and go to the local restaurant, Nora’s, owned by Nora Shepherd (from the original Jumanji). Eddie convinces her to let him be co-manager. Spencer also vows to stay more in touch with his friends.
Later, a repairman hired by Spencer’s mom activates Jumanji again, only this time some animals have come to the real world.
In 2019, three years after their adventure in Jumanji, Spencer Gilpin, Anthony “Fridge” Johnson, Martha Kaply, and Bethany Walker lead different lives, but plan a reunion brunch in Brantford that year. Spencer, apprehensive of the meeting due to depression, contemplates returning to Jumanji where he had purpose, and spends his first night looking over the broken video-game system he held onto. The following day, his friends visit his home, meeting with Spencer’s grandfather Eddie, who is recovering from hip surgery, and Eddie’s former friend Milo Walker, who is visiting for an unknown reason. Learning that they have no idea where Spencer is, the group search the house, and find the Jumanji game repaired in the basement. Realising Spencer returned to the game, his friends decide to follow him.
The game malfunctions when starting up, sucking in only Fridge and Martha, along with Eddie and Milo, forcing Bethany to contact fellow Jumanji player Alex Vreeke for help. Inside the game, Martha finds herself as her avatar Ruby Roundhouse, yet Fridge becomes Bethany’s avatar Professor Sheldon Oberon, while Eddie and Milo become avatars Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Franklin Finbar respectively. After instructing Eddie and Milo on the game’s rules, the group encounter non-player character Nigel Billingsley, the game’s guide, who reveals that since its last use, Jumanji is suffering from a massive drought. To leave the game, Nigel reveals that the group must recover the “Falcon’s Heart” – a magical necklace stolen by warlord Jurgen the Brutal – which can end the drought if brought before sunlight and uttering “Jumanji”.
Transported to a desert called the Dunes to track down Jurgen, and after narrowly escaping a flock of pursuing ostriches, the group encounter Spencer operating as skilled thief Ming Fleetfoot, a new avatar, who agrees to help them after blaming himself for their predicament. While attempting to escape the Dunes, the group face new challenges and problems, along with collecting an in-game item called a Jumanji Berry, and discovering a pool of glowing green water that allows them to switch avatars. In the process, Eddie bickers with Milo, revealing their friendship ended when a diner they owned was sold behind Eddie’s back, forcing him into retirement. After the group convince the pair to work together in escaping a troop of mandrills, they soon become reunited with Alex, as his avatar Jefferson McDonough, and Bethany, operating a new avatar called Cyclone – a black horse that can only be understood by Finbar.
Working together, the party leave the Dunes, and find a river with the same glowing green water, allowing Spencer, Bethany, and Fridge to become their original avatars, while Eddie and Milo respectively end up as Ming and Cyclone. Shortly after changing characters, Jurgen captures the group with his mercenaries and brings them to his fortress. Escaping their confinement, Spencer pursues Jurgen to his airship, while the others distract his men. Finding himself unable to best Jurgen, Spencer discovers he is weak to the Jumanji Berry, incapacitating him long enough to send him plummeting to his death. Discovering Cyclone has retractable wings, Eddie and Milo work together to rescue Spencer and bring the recovered Falcon’s Heart to the sun, calling out “Jumanji” and ending the drought. With the help of Alex, he found out Cyclone also had strengths and weaknesses, one of those strengths being able to fly.
Returning the necklace to Nigel for safekeeping, the group are surprised when Milo elects to stay behind and protect the land. Learning he was dying in the real world and thus sought to make up for his actions, Eddie reconciles with him before parting ways. Upon returning to the real world, Spencer decides to teach his grandfather about video games, while Eddie uses what he learned in the game to convince the owner of his old diner to hire him on as a manager, with his grandson and his friends turning up to enjoy a meal together.
In a mid-credits scene, the heating mechanic Spencer’s mother hired finally shows up, only to be drawn to the game, while Spencer and the others are surprised to witness a flock of ostriches rush past the diner.
Ever since the adventure that changed their lives, Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blaine), Martha (Morgan Turner), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) have gone off to college but have kept in touch through a group chat. They all plan to meet up again in Brantford over the holidays. However, Spencer has had a harder time adjusting to his new life in New York, struggling in school and barely getting by at his retail job. He has also broken up with Martha due to his insecurities.
Spencer returns to his home with his mom (Marin Hinkle) and Grandpa Eddie (Danny DeVito). Spencer talks to Eddie about his friends and how things have been going for him. At night, Spencer reminisces about his time in Jumanji, and he goes into the basement where he takes out the console that he saved, along with the damaged game cartridge.
The next morning, Fridge, Martha, and Bethany meet up at the restaurant Nora’s for brunch like they planned. Meanwhile, Eddie is visited by his old friend Milo Walker (Danny Glover), though Eddie is less than pleased to see him. After noticing that nobody has heard from Spencer, the three friends go to his house. Eddie recognizes Fridge from when he and Spencer were kids, and he lets them in. Fridge also knows Milo since Nora’s used to be called “Milo and Eddie’s”, as the two ran a restaurant together before Milo sold it to the new manager, which caused the rift between him and Eddie. The friends go looking for Spencer until they hear the drum beats from Jumanji. Terrified, they go to the basement where they see that Spencer put the console back together. They realize that he went back in the game and that they need to go get him. The game then starts to pull them in, but only Bethany is left behind.
Martha finds herself in the jungle once again as her avatar Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). She finds Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) and thinks it’s Spencer, but it’s really Eddie. Milo has also joined the game as Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart) while Fridge has become Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), to his extreme dismay. Martha and Fridge must explain to Eddie and Milo that they are in a video game. Martha saves Eddie from getting eaten by a hippo, but as Fridge explains this to them, he gets eaten by a large snake, losing one of his lives. The group then sees a plane in the sky and they go after it.
The group is picked up by Nigel Billingsley (Rhys Darby), who explains the newest Jumanji adventure. A sinister warlord named Jurgen The Brutal (Rory McCann) has stolen the Falcon Jewel, which provides growth to the land in Jumanji, but has now brought a drought in its absence. Jurgen is also the man who killed Dr. Bravestone’s parents when he was a child. The group must retrieve the jewel and hold it to the sun to save Jumanji. However, Nigel notes that not everybody is going to make it out of the game this time.
Nigel drops the group off in the desert for them to begin their quest. They all check out their skills, seeing that they have new skills, like linguistics for Mouse and nunchucks for Ruby, but Fridge is annoyed that Shelly has no good skills. Bravestone’s new weakness is only described as “Switchblade.” They encounter an ostrich, and Milo uses Mouse’s zoology knowledge to bring up info on the bird. Unfortunately, he is slow to explain that ostriches in herds are dangerous, as Eddie finds out when he gets chomped by one after trying to confront it. A herd then happens to appear and chases after the group, and they must board ATV’s to drive out of there. Eddie drives the group off a cliff to avoid the ostriches, but they just barely make it to the other side of the cliff.
The group makes it to the Oasis where Nigel has instructed them to go to find a fruit called the Jumanji Berry. They find Jurgen and his goons there with the jewel. A thief named Ming Fleetfoot (Awkwafina) tries to steal the key to the jewel, but Jurgen’s goons catch her, and Jurgen throws an axe at her, causing her to die. The gang realizes this is Spencer in a new avatar. They catch him outside and he explains to them that he missed feeling the way he did before now that he felt lost away from home. Suddenly, the group is found by a woman (Dania Ramirez) who is a former flame of Bravestone’s. She helps clue them in on where to find the berry, but warns them about her husband, Switchblade (Massi Furlan).
Fridge and Martha go off to find the berry while Eddie uses his new body to fight off dozens of bad guys. Martha runs across to the tree where the fruit is, but she falls into a glowing pool of water. As Fridge pulls her out, they then switch bodies. Fridge takes a moment to admire his Ruby body and tries out her skills, but then falls into the pool and they switch bodies again. They return to find Eddie after beating everyone up, and they are discovered by Switchblade and his goons. They manage to get further away from the Oasis with the berry in tow by riding camels that Milo managed to talk to, but Switchblade launches a rocket that strikes the whole group, taking away another life for everyone.
Back in the real world, Bethany goes to the home of Alex Vreeke (Colin Hanks) to find a way to get back into Jumanji.
The group continues moving ahead, but Eddie and Milo continue bickering, which leads Eddie to punch Milo so hard that he hits a rock and gets crushed, leading him to only having one more life. They continue walking until they come across a series of bridges, which all begin to revolve. Figuring out the timing, the group hops across the bridges, but they are soon pursued by wild mandrills. Martha gets thrown off a bridge by one of them, while the others manage to outrun them and hop to the other side. Eddie cuts the rope to drop the mandrills down below. Even as they reach the other side, the mandrills surround them, but they are scared off by the arrival of Alex returning as Seaplane McDonough (Nick Jonas), and Bethany as a horse named Cyclone. They bring the group warmer clothes as well.
As they figure out their next plan, Eddie and Milo talk like friends again, and Milo reveals to Eddie that he showed up again after so long because he has an unspecified illness, and he doesn’t have a lot of time left. The two finally reconcile, which Spencer sees and feels inspired by. Fridge then accidentally leans backwards and falls down a hill, but it helps lead the group to a river of the same water that made Fridge and Martha switch bodies. Spencer, Fridge, Bethany, Eddie, and Milo all jump in, which returns Spencer, Fridge, and Bethany into Bravestone, Mouse, and Shelly, while Eddie becomes Ming and Milo becomes Cyclone. Not long after, Eddie and Milo are taken by Jurgen’s goons.
The friends follow the henchmen to Jurgen’s ice fortress on top of a mountain. Fridge and Bethany pretend to be the Brothers Kebabic, famed among Jurgen and his mercenaries. Spencer, Martha, and Alex try to find a way to get to the others. Spencer and Martha take the time to discuss their relationship, with Spencer admitting he thought Martha was better off without him based on her social media pics, but Martha says that her life is far from perfect. Alex tries to free Milo but loses two lives because of booby traps, but he manages to finally free Milo. When Jurgen sees Fridge and Bethany, he asks them about their sister who is due to marry him. Martha shows up and pretends to be her, but one of Jurgen’s men informs them that the Brothers Kebabic are still on their way to meet him, outing Fridge and Bethany as imposters. Fridge pulls a boombox out of his backpack to play music for Martha to activate Ruby’s dance-fighting skills to fight off the henchmen.
Jurgen attempts to make his getaway on his zeppelin with the jewel, but Spencer goes after him and fights him inside the zeppelin. Spencer uses the Jumanji Berry to weaken Jurgen, just as the zeppelin is shot and starts to come down. Spencer tackles Jurgen, sending the warlord plummeting to his death. Eddie rides on Milo’s back, revealing that Cyclone can fly, and Spencer tosses Eddie the jewel to fly up and hold up to the sun. The group calls out “JUMANJI!” and the land is once again restored to normal.
Nigel meets up with the group again as they are ready to go home. However, Milo chooses to stay there as Cyclone, knowing he will at least have more time to live in there. Eddie says goodbye to his friend, and everyone returns to the real world in Spencer’s basement. After returning, Mrs. Gilpin comes to find Spencer and Eddie bonding over a video game.
Later on, Spencer and Eddie go to Nora’s to meet with Fridge, Martha, and Bethany. Spencer and Martha appear to have rekindled their relationship. Eddie sits down to talk to the “Nora” of Nora’s, who happens to be Nora Shepherd (Bebe Neuwirth; same character from the original movie). Eddie uses the Bravestone smoldering intensity that he learned, which convinces Nora to let him work alongside her as co-manager. Spencer then vows to stay more in touch with his friends, and they promise to remain closer than ever.
During the credits, Mrs. Gilpin brings a heater repairman (Lamorne Morris) to the basement. He sees the Jumanji console and becomes fascinated with it before touching it. Cut back to outside of Nora’s where the group finds the herd of ostriches running through the streets.