There are not many movies that leave me sincerely awestruck in the theatre while watching them. The original Jurassic Park however, is certainly one.
Be it the groundbreaking sound by DTS, or the wonderfully crafted animatronics, or that I was a 5-year old watching DINOSAURS on a big screen, Jurassic Park (and its sequels) was just one of those movies that I never bothered assessing thematically or from any standpoint other than pure entertainment. And it rocked…. which probably explains why The Lost World is my favourite movie in the franchise despite it being pretty bad. Also, I kinda love Jeff Goldblum. Not in a “will you marry me?” way but more of a “talk to me while I sleep” sorta thing. I’m actually not sure how the latter is supposed to sound less weird than the former…
So anyway, about Jurassic World—here’s the truth: the movie delivers on what it’s expected to. The action is great, the characters are either reptilian or decent, and you never really get around to caring about the forced back stories of the mandatory adolescent characters that will help sell toys… or something, I guess? Because if dinosaurs weren’t already gonna make the toys move, two scared boys’re certainly gonna do the trick.
Regardless, the big thing about Jurassic World is actually its treatment of female characters. I kid you not when I say that every female character (who doesn’t die) spends time crying onscreen at least once. Or thrice. While Star-Lord goes around super hero-ing on his bike saving the world with his velociraptor buddies (nope, not kidding), Bryce Dallas Howard is either shrieking at a pitch that might have killed all the dinosaurs that the Indominus Rex didn’t, or trying to make a point about women being just as badass as men.
This, of course, isn’t a new issue. Some months ago, when the international trailer for Jurassic World was released, writer-director Joss Whedon pointed out that the movie seemed to be rather sexist, saying “…and I’m too busy wishing this clip wasn’t 70’s era sexist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life-force – really? Still?”
Here’s the trailer in question:
Although Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow responded by saying that the trailer’s sexist gender roles was taken out of context, the movie does nothing to help this. In addition to having all the women portrayed as people with bleeding hearts at random moments, the only female character who doesn’t cry suffers the single most painful death, subject to not one but two dinosaurs’ ferocity. Yay for gender equality in entertainment!
Nevertheless, Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing does gain some cool points for her actions that lead to a pretty awesome four-way dino battle that was sorely lacking in last year’s Godzilla. As awesome as it is though, having all our human leads stand around and watch the battle unfold in front of them is pretty anti-climatic.
Criticism aside, Jurassic World is still a worthy entry to the Jurassic Park franchise and is not only superior to the third movie but also certainly worth at least a watch.
Also, here’s Screen Junkies’ honest trailer for The Lost World which is still pretty awesome in my books.