It’s difficult to imagine a world where “de-extinction” is so commonplace that the existence of living, breathing dinosaurs no longer carries the “wow factor” anymore. But in the ambiguously futuristic Jurassic World, it’s true: dinosaurs are passé.
However, the corporate response is quite possibly one of the biggest idiotic moves I’ve seen in an action film. Seriously. Somehow, no one on their R&D team thought it a bad idea to take one of the biggest and deadliest apex dinosaur predators and make it bigger, stronger, and smarter? No one? And all in the name of entertainment, too. If this film has any sort of moral lesson, it’s that humans are terrible judges of what can versus what should be done.
Also, the introductury sequence leading up to the Indominus rex‘s escape reads like a worst-case scenario instruction mangual, but not a single person questions the safety of the whole endeavor. “Oh, we need to make the walls higher and sturdier, but we haven’t gotten around to it yet? Hey, did that dinosaur change color? Wait, you said it ate its own sibling? And I thought this glass was dino-proof…” Honestly, the biggest failure is the intellect of everyone who is supposedly qualified enough to get a job at this park.
Many moves are predictable, but enjoyable all the same. When the film introduces an aggressive, un-PC, overweight boss character who enjoys needling the male protagonist while trying to coerce the raptors into military involvement, you know he’s going to be eaten by one. It doesn’t make it any less satisfying when he’s finally devoured.
Also pretty obvious: the relationship between frigid boss-lady Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and rough-and-tumble, Indiana Jones-ish Owen (Chris Pratt), forged in the battle between man and beast. At the very least, they have chemistry. But still, it’s such an apparent play; his devil-may-care attitude saves the day, and she realizes that it’s better to let her hair down (or, in this case, out of the constraints of her smoothly coiffed bob) from time to time.
In fact, Claire’s entirely storyline is a little unoriginal. On a tropical island, she somehow manages to walk around in all white, including a pair of stiletto heels, with a sleek hairdo. But she’s too buttoned-up, too prim and proper, which leads to the park’s downfall as she plays by the book, failing to notice the aforementioned, glaringly obvious warning signs. In order to stop the rampaging I-rex., she has to think outside the box. It’s kind of tiresome, seeing the same scary cold career woman storylines time and again (see: The Proposal). Also, as has been discussed many times over (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), she wears her stiletto heels throughout the film, running in them through mud, grass, and wet concrete, even after Owen directly calls her out for her inappropriate footwear. It’s unnecessarily symbolic of her role in the film, relegated to Owen’s businesswoman-at-heart sidekick. I liked Claire, honestly. I liked her transformation. I just wish the film didn’t have to hammer me over the head with it.
Then again, that’s pretty much the entire point of Jurassic World: hammering audiences over the head with everything. It’s a ham-handed look at man’s role in evolution, or more specifically, if we should be playing god with animals we barely understand. It could also be taken as a sort of meta criticism of its own schtick, by calling out the creators of the I-rex. — the desire for a bigger, cooler, flashier dino attraction is reminiscent of Jurassic World‘s CGI-heavier response to the original Jurassic Park.
In the end, though, it promises dinosaurs. And it delivers.