The first reactions to Jumanji: The Next Level have arrived. When the previous installment was announced, fans of the original were skeptical, to say the least. However, Welcome to the Jungle hit theaters and became a box office smash, thanks to an all-star cast and positive word of mouth traveling far and wide. Now, the team is back together, with some twists, and members of the press were able to catch an early screening of the highly anticipated sequel. Does it live up to the hype?

Shortly after the launch of a real Jumanji video game, we finally know if the sequel is worthy of its predecessors. And it sounds like it is. Jumanji: The Next Level is already being praised, with more than a few stating that it's better than Welcome to the Jungle. That seems like a pretty massive feat, but it appears that the sequel is worth the wait and at the very least, on par with the last installment. The first reactions are nearly all positive. You can read one first reaction to the movie below.

"Jumanji's sequel The Next Level does what few sequels can do... make a movie that's just as good, if not better than the first. They kept what was fun and built on it, with hilarious changes that left me laughing out loud often."

While many say that Jack Black was a standout last time, it is believed that Kevin Hart stepped up his game in a big way for Jumanji: The Next Level. Dwayne Johnson and the rest of the cast are also praised, but Hart is getting a lot of love in these first reactions to the sequel. Another first reaction declares that the movie "is hilarious. It's impossible to pick one cast member who stands out above the rest. It has some unexpected heart, too. Big time. Everyone is so damn funny."

While this sequel is getting praised for being hilarious, which we could tell just by watching the latest Jumanji 3 trailer, it has also been receiving praise for its emotional storyline. "Super fun, higher stakes, more emotional moments," says another first reaction. Fans of the franchise are definitely in for some major surprises this time around too, though those are going to be kept under wraps until the movie hits theaters next month. Regardless, fans should be pretty happy to know that the first reactions to the sequel seem to all be positive.

RELATED: Jumanji: The Video Game Is Available Now, Watch The Launch Trailer

Jumanji: The Next Level hits theaters on December 13th, which is one week before The Rise of Skywalker opens. Star Wars will dominate the box office during its opening weekend, but will it be able to hold on throughout the holidays? Welcome to the Jungle was able to hold on while competing against The Rise of Skywalker and it seems like the latest installment will be able to do the same, as long as the positive word of mouth continues. You can head over to Sony Pictures for advanced ticketing information and check out some first reactions below.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick