After watching the recently released Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I decided to look into a couple reviews to see what other people thought of the movie. Now personally, I enjoyed watching the next installment of the Jurassic Park/World film franchise. However, I can admit that there were some elements of story telling and plot that were over the top ridiculous. Then again, we are watching a movie in which dinosaurs are (once again) walking the same ground as humans; suspension of disbelief should probably be the norm by the fifth movie. Out of all the reviews I had read, there was one in particular that decided to pick on some points that got me thinking about the larger themes of the movie that I had enjoyed. So, since he decided to pick on those points, I decided to pick on his points.
BE WARNED! THIS DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the review in question can be found here:
I’ve spent a good amount of time trying to figure out how I would approach my criticism of our tireless hero’s review but I find myself a little lost as he doesn’t really break it down into specific points. In fact, it reads a entirely like a rant about how stupid the movie was and in a few cases, he doesn’t even explain his reasoning. Despite this, I’ve managed to pick out three points that I would like to tackle specifically. My review of his review goes a little something like this…
“Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is now an activist for the protection of dinosaurs, and already the movie has fallen apart.”
I would really like to know why this is relevant to his view that the movie was dumb. Is it because she’s a woman who cares? Is it because she learned to care in the first movie despite being labelled as a cold, calculating bitch in the opening? Is it because the character went from being a high level corporate employee to someone who works in a nonprofit to advocate for animals that can’t speak for themselves? We never really know because the author of this fantastic little review didn’t explain why. In my mind, it makes sense that Claire has developed as a character and a human being after what she went through. That is what people do – they change, they grow, they evolve. Is Claire not allowed to change as a person? Is she not allowed seeing the error of her ways and trying to correct them to bring about a change for the better? Are the dinosaurs not worthy of the same level or protection and advocacy that others are being granted in this world? Maybe we just aren’t meant to know; it seems the author didn’t care enough to elaborate anyway. Speaking of caring…
“Fallen Kingdom operates under the assumption that we want the dinosaurs to live. Even if you think they shouldn’t go re-extinct (and they totally should because they’re a freaking hazard and the best thing anyone could think to do with them is put them in a theme park), their extinction on Isla Nublar wouldn’t matter because the previous movies establish that the science exists to just make more dinosaurs. Throughout the film, every time someone brought up trying to save the dinosaurs, I instantly responded, “Why don’t you just make more?”
Reading this quote really hit me in a way I didn’t expect. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that instead of dinosaurs, the exploding island was about to lay waste to a whole population of cats and/or dogs. Would we be sitting here thinking “why don’t you just make more?” We can simply breed them; pop out tons of kittens and puppies to replace the ones dying a horrible fiery death. We could even use science to make more! Perfect! Problem solved. Are you freaking kidding me?!??! Yes, the dinosaurs are clones, but they are still living, breathing animals. Ones that we created. Ones that we fed, cared for and brought into this world. We are ultimately responsible for their existence (or re-existence?) in the first place. That’s on us. Expecting mother nature (aka the volcano) to correct our mistake is just laziness. These creatures can’t be replaced or tossed aside like a car or toy. I would also argue that the first Jurassic World movie already effectively covered the question of them being labelled an asset or a living being. Speaking of what constitutes life…
Point # 3 (This one is a 2 parter)
“There’s about 26 different species, and they’re all in the same room together. Then there’s a big red button that leads to the outdoors, which is the only precaution in place. Maisie pushes the button and says, “They’re just like me,” so I guess Maisie eats people and destroys ecosystems.”
This is where everything gets messy and I’m glad they decided to cover this in the movie. The girl, known as Maisie, is eventually revealed to the clone of John Hammond’s partner’s daughter. The intention here, in my opinion, was to drive the point home that the dinosaurs count as living beings just as much as you or me, despite the fact they were created in a lab. Maisie, was created (we assume) in much the same way as the dinosaurs. We have also seen her think, feel and love on her own through the length of the movie. While I give the author of this review points for sarcasm and ass-hattery (a word that spellcheck does not enjoy apparently), I feel the point may have been lost on him. Once Maisie’s history has been revealed to her, there must have been some questions going through her head about her own existence. Owen and Claire, despite their original mission and intent, decide not to save the dinosaurs in the end and let them die for the good of humanity. Maisie, on the other hand, comes to the conclusion that the dinosaurs are worth saving because they are just like her – the dinosaurs are real. Out of all the people in the movie to take responsibility for the creatures that we created, it turns out to be the clone who steps up and sees the job done. It has nothing to do with the dinosaurs eating people or destroying ecosystems – ironically these are two things that humanity has proven to be capable of regardless. He then continues his attack on Maisie with…
“…there are bad people in the world, but the person who let loose the dinosaurs was the dumb little girl who didn’t understand her relationship to these creatures.”
If anything, she proved that she is the ONLY one, as a human being, who understands her relationship to these creatures.
The movie was not perfect. I am fulling willing to admit that there were some questionable character motivations. I will even say that I might even agree with some of this review’s arguments and points in reference to story and plot. However, he loses me when he takes shots at, what I thought were, the three central takeaways from the movie.
- There is nothing wrong with a person, regardless of their past, becoming the change they want to see in the world. It is never too late to better one’s self.
- Life is not something that can be thrown away or replaced easily. Life, in all its forms, is precious.
- Humanity needs to take responsibility for its problems rather than waiting for something or someone else to take care of it for us. Especially the ones we ourselves have created.