Jurassic World

Jurassic World

I can't bring myself to rate this, I don't know how to simplify it. Maybe after I have more time to process it.

This movie wants you to think it's Chris Pratt, but it's Vincent D'Onofrio. This is a mean, gnarly, absolutely cynical movie with a contempt for the human race – more specifically its own audience. Right away it starts with callbacks to JURASSIC PARK, using the theme music and iconic symbols to tap into a childhood joy in a way that felt almost intrusive, certainly manipulative. This put me off right away, and it never let up. The number of winks to JURASSIC PARK is insane, bordering on parody. At one point, a character happens upon a particular artifact from one of the movie's most famous moments and LITERALLY SETS IT ON FIRE. Is this a joke? Is this self-awareness supposed to be a mutual appreciation of a great movie or a middle finger to the people who paid to see this out of brand loyalty? I don't think the director even knows the answer to that, which makes every clever attempt fall flat on its face. By the 100th reference, it's downright embarrassing. Beyond that, it's a badly written visually boring mess. True, there are moments of excitement when I felt thrilled, but there was no joy in it. Instead I felt disgusted with myself – the rush of seeing pterodactyls run (fly?) amok is immediately followed by one of the nastiest deaths in recent memory. This is the pattern of the film – a cute joke immediately followed by something terribly ugly. It sets up a weird dynamic that feels like a “fuck you” to the audience, a way to make you have fun and then feel ashamed for it. I kept thinking of THE LEGO MOVIE, both films use nostalgia to bring people in and then make a lame attempt to parody consumerism and greed...to make a shitload of money doing so. In the back of my mind I kept thinking, they shouldn't be allowed to get away with this! If all of that wasn't bad enough, it switches gears from gross and contemptuous to downright stupid for its disappointing conclusion. I left logic at the door when I walked in, but I can't give this whole thing a pass because it apparently thinks it's saying something important. The characters make no sense, seem to represent philosophies that are convoluted or nonexistent. The only clear message I found is that women without families should be shamed, the half-hearted attempt to make this woman become a badass is totally negated by its patronizing conclusion (You won't make it a minute out there, especially not in those ridiculous shoes that you only wear to make yourself look taller, stronger, more attractive so that you can compete in a world dominated by men who will never take you seriously, who will see you as a cold-hearted bitch if you act like they do to get ahead.
But look! You DID make it out there, even in those ridiculous shoes you found a power within yourself that you didn't know existed, and your prize is...a man).

There's a glimmer of something here and there – the story of the brothers was nice but seemed to only be there to later shame the career woman. Honestly, if this had gone straight up STARSHIP TROOPERS when the army showed up I would've welcomed it. I would gladly give up my money for a movie about a psychotic asshole who breeds dinosaurs for war, with no bullshit in between. This could have been cynical satire, it could have had some optimism or a conscience, it could have been silly fun, but in trying to do all it created a dynamic that left a very bad aftertaste. What was the point of this, and why in god's name did it make so much money? If it's supposed to be a “turn off your brain” spectacle, where was the spectacle?

A lot of this comes from disappointment. I actually really enjoy parts 2 and 3, they're very dumb but at least fun and have something approaching moral standards. I readily admit I like seeing things get blown up and killed, I’m obviously not opposed to it in general, but the movies I truly love find optimism or beauty or hope in their bleakness. I felt like JURASSIC WORLD hated me. I don't even know if I’d say I hated it back, as there were some enjoyable parts. Above all, I think it perfectly represents this nostalgia culture run by white men that I’ve grown so very tired of.


Side notes:
-I don't even like Chris Pratt all that much, I think if he's going to break out as a serious leading man this was a badly written role (though I guess The Public disagrees), but ahh...I gotta agree with Armond White here.
-I will fight anyone who defends this but condemns Michael bay. At least his movies are blatant about their assholeism, and he makes it look pretty.
-Vincent D'Onofrio and B.D. Wong are the clear highlights, characters who, unlike the movie that contains them, know who they are and where they stand and wear it with pride. They're fun to watch and add a spark – the scene where B.D. drinks amber colored tea with the chunk of amber on his desk is maybe the only beautiful image in this movie.
-The main thing I'm angry about is that they fucked up a dinosaur movie!!! Unforgivable.
-READ THIS: www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/burying-the-dinosaurs-why-blockbuster-directors-need-a-change

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