An Open Letter To The Academy Regarding Their Blatant Disregard For Jumanji: The Next Level
After seeing your nominations for this year’s Oscar contenders, I couldn’t help but notice that one movie was missing. A star-studded masterpiece that has more action, adventure, romance AND comedy than all the other nominees combined. I’m obviously talking about Jumanji: The Next Level.
How could you overlook this instant classic? It’s called “The Next Level” for a reason. Just look at the cast! The Rock, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart rocking it with legends Danny DeVito and Donald Glover. You can’t tell me they aren’t giving The Irishman a run for their money with this epic line-up.
This gem of a movie is constantly surprising — unlike 1917. Seriously, guys, it’s about a war that ended 100 years ago. Even my 12-year old nephew could predict that ending. And Marriage Story? A film about two people shouting at each other in rooms for two hours. Yeah, if I was entertained by that I would still be living with my parents.
I was honestly expecting you to give this tour de force some recognition for acting. I mean, holy shit, the double acting in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was already pretty epic. The Rock as the muscle-bound avatar of a nervy high-school nerd? And Jack Black as a whiny self-absorbed teenage girl? HILARIOUS. But Jumanji: The Next Level? It’s the ultimate acting challenge, as everyone’s ages, races and genders switches around like it’s no big deal. Genius! Mind-blowing! Woke as hell!
The Rock AND Awkwafina both kill it as an elderly DeVito with raspy New Jersey accents. Honestly, Meryl Streep could learn a thing or two! And how about Kevin Hart channelling Glover’s long-winded delivery? Just the fact that it’s the least Kevin Hart-like performance ever seen from Kevin Hart should earn that man a nomination. So maybe this time the ACADEMY are the ones who should apologize to him!
Sure, Joaquin Phoenix does a good job of portraying someone with mental problems who is neglected by society. But hey, isn’t that a description of just about everyone living outside of Hollywood?
You know, I could have lived with the movie being overlooked in all the big categories, if you had at least included it in Visual Effects. (Hell, you actually considered nominating Cats?!) Jumanji: The Next Level is filled with impressive visuals, like giant ostriches chasing dune buggies and airborne encounters with snarling monkeys. It’s like Lion King x 1000, except this movie doesn’t try to pass it off as live-action.
But maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that you’re holding out. You always seem to have a problem with video game related movies. Hitman. Nothing. Mortal Kombat. Zilch. I thought Warcraft at least stood a chance after all the love you showed LOTR, but no! Well, don’t worry, I’ve already lowered my expectations for your reception of the epicness that will be Sonic The Hedgehog.
I’m crossing my fingers that you’ll have opened your eyes when Jumanji 4 drops. Because like all good video games, there’s a hint of yet another level at the end for those, like me, who are not ready to say “Game Over”.
With hope for the future,
Christina Anaya Mortensen