WARNING THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR JURASSIC WORLD IN THIS POST SO DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MOVIE YET. Considering the amount of money it has made, I’m sure you have seen it already.
Movie: Jurassic World
Release: June 12, 2015
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writers: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Stars: Dinosaurs, Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Nick Robinson, Vincent D’Onofiro, Ty Simpkins, Irrfan Khan
I enjoyed this movie (I really did), but in a year when exceptional action movies like Age of Ultron and Mad Max: Fury Road have been released, it’s hard to love this one. I know people in general love this flick more than the former two, it’s an easier movie to love due to its simplicity and high (yet typical) action sequences. But when it comes to characters, storyline, visuals, pacing, and framing, the former are far superior to the latter and will probably stand the test of time more because of the conversations surrounding them long after the films have been released. When the dinosaurs take center stage, the characters are drawn in broad strokes so the director can essentially mail in the scenes that have just people in them. Every stereo type in an action film is present: the badass main man, his sidekick, the Type A female companion, the nerds, the evil corporate guy, the militant bad guy and his henchmen, and the innocents. There was even a mad scientist thrown in the mix.
There have been some complaints about how the movie treats Howard’s character saying she is a belittled and sexualized because she is a female (something I have discussed before) and her treatment by the male characters (specifically Pratt’s character) as very 70’s esc. I can see the reasoning for those complaints, but the thing of it is this is how females in these movies are treated. It is much more noticeable now because of movies like Ultron** and Fury Road where all of the characters (including the women) are fleshed out humans that we connect with more. If Jurassic World would have been released back in April, no one would have thought twice about Howard’s portrayal of Clair or how Pratt’s Owen treats her, it would have just been seen as typical action movie banter and their love connection at the end would have been seen as inevitable. He is the main guy, she is the main girl so they must fall in love at the end or admit they have been in love with each other the whole time. The female must also be very Type A (read: bitch on wheels) and not want children cause it will mess up her career, but in the end the sheer maleness of the main guy will wake up her biological clock and she wants to have his babies then and there. It is what action movies see as character development. Also stop complaining about Clair running in heels. I have run around in heels many times before and women (like me or Clair) who wear them all the time can do it without a problem. Now running around in the jungle with them might be a little more difficult, but I am confident I could do better in those than if I were barefoot.
Jurassic Park and The Lost World were an anomaly not because of the subject matter (and the very awe inspiring dinosaurs), but because they were action filled movies that were not action movies (well The Lost World kinda was). I have some issues with liking or even following Spielberg’s movies sometimes, but the man knows how to make a damn good flick in terms of pacing, characterization, and framing. The first two movies were not about the dinosaurs so much as it was about the characters reaction and interaction with them. It was about the dangers of science for the sake of science (a big debate still raging to this day) and the dangers of messing with (insert your personal belief here)’s plan. The dinosaurs were just the exciting way of sparking the debate amongst the characters (and us). Spielberg made the movies about the people in the park, not the park itself. Every sequel since has been about the park or the dinosaurs and it is why those movies (including this one) have been inferior to the original two. The only moment of gravity in Jurassic World was when Owen and Clair came upon the dinosaur that was dying and the cameras pull back to show the field of slaughtered dinosaurs. It invoked the moment in Dances with Wolves when the Sioux came upon the herd slaughter buffalo.
Am I being overly critical of a summer popcorn flick? Yes. Should I just shut up and enjoy the ride? Absolutely! I found myself bouncing in my seat like a goof ball when I realized Clair was going to go get the T-Rex to fight the I-Rex. It had an air of Godzilla verses King Kong like fight. And apparently if you look at the T-Rex, it has the scars from the climactic battle with the raptors from Jurassic Park, so we get a nice little Easter Egg. Training raptors and developing a relationship with them like we would police dogs was an interesting thought. Chris Pratt was a big bottle of awesomesauce as usual. The fact that both the movie and Verizon were willing to make fun of corporate tie-ins was very meta. In the end, I enjoyed the movie (despite the flaws) and will most likely see the sequels when they come out.
What did you all in the Nerdom think of Jurassic World? Are you looking forward to the sequel? What was your favorite park? Let me know in the comments section below.
Till Next time!
**Yes I know there are complaints from the “feminists” about Ultron as well but the complaints were about Black Widow’s storyline. She was still a fully formed character that we as an audience could connect to.