Ask any fan of the “Jurassic Park” films why they love the movies, and you’ll get a resounding one-word answer — dinosaurs. It’s the reason that more than 20 years after the original film’s release, “Jurassic World” is smashing box office records on its opening weekend.
There’s something both terrifying and inspiring about the “terrible-lizards.” Unfortunately, director Colin Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World” only evokes the terror.
“Jurassic World,” tries to recreate the magic of the original film, but with some fancy new toys. And in some ways, it succeeds. Even with the advantage of modern-day computer animation, the dinosaurs still have the same look and feel of the original “Jurassic Park.” For the most part, they feel real. Which is more than can be said for a lot of the rest of “Jurassic World,” both the theme park and the film itself.
“Jurassic World,” (the movie) takes us back to the same island where “Jurassic Park” (the doomed theme park) once almost existed. Where it’s predecessor (still the theme park) failed, “Jurassic World” has flourished, drawing in millions upon millions of dinosaur-crazed fans. As is the case with any park “Jurassic World,” has to constantly up its game in order to keep park goers, and more importantly, investors interested.
While the commercialization of the dino park makes for a great anti-commercialization message, it’s pretty clear that both the fictional theme park and the film sold out. It’s also just one of the film’s “villains.” We’re also treated to the ethical and moral ramifications of the privatization of the military and even GMOs (of the dino variety).
Of course, with that many villains, you need a pretty awesome hero to balance things out, and in many ways Owen (Chris Pratt), the velociraptor whisperer, fits the bill. However, he’s forced to carry just a little too much weight since his would-be co-hero, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), is inhibited by some shockingly sexist themes woven into the plot, and a pair of five-inch heels.
If you don’t believe me, or think I’m being an overly sensitive female, I’d like to present the following two deaths from the film. Also, please consider this your official Spoiler Alert.
Claire’s assistant, Zara (Katie McGrath), is a at best a filler character, tasked purely with trying to wrangle her bosses two nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson). You barely have time to learn her name, that’s how small her part is. Yet her death is turned into an almost comedic spectacle. While just trying to do her job, she is literally turned into a plaything for a couple of winged-dinosaurs, before being tossed aside and swallowed whole by a Mosasaurus (think T-Rex with fins). It’s terrifying.
In contrast to that, we have one of the films many villains, Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), a war profiteer who plans on using Velociraptors as weapons. Hoskins, very fittingly and predictably, is taken down by one of the Velociraptors that he had hoped to profit from. Or at least I assume that’s what happened since all we really see of his death is blood spray on to some glass.
The disproportionate brutality of the two deaths is upsetting by itself. Combined with some thinly veiled opinions on motherhood, and some confusing non-reactions to Claire’s many seriously bad-ass moments. Well, you can’t help but wonder if the writers and editors meant to be blatantly sexist.
In spite of the rather confusing and upsetting plot, the fact is, fans of the dinosaurs will love this latest installment of the “Jurassic” films. And, to be honest, I can’t entirely blame them. The dinosaurs in “Jurassic World” are really cool, and it’s not really their fault that the people who created them unintentionally (or not) created a monster.
I’ll let you decide if I mean the theme park or the movie.
…just for fun: