When I was a kid, I thought Jurassic Park was the greatest movie of all time. I must’ve seen it with my dad half a dozen times back in the summer of ’93. Over two decades later, I would still place it in my top ten movies of all time. It was an amazing action movie, with impressive effects that hold up to this day and really memorable moments. However, the sequels were disappointing to say the least.
But over two decades later, we finally have a worthy sequel to one of the greatest movies of all time. Jurassic World is easily one of the best movies of the summer so far. I’m not going to go into any plot details because I don’t want to spoil the film for you, but it’s pretty hard to review something without giving something away, so read with caution.
Let’s get this part out of the way, because there’s only two parts I thought were bad; indeed, they were so stupid that even suspension of disbelief didn’t cover for me. The first was at one point, our two kid characters, while fleeing the rampaging, genetically engineered super dinosaur, find the old abandoned buildings from the first movie. The youngest kid is apparently a mechanical prodigy and is able to fix up one of the Jeeps… a Jeep that had been abandoned in a Central American jungle for over 20 years. No way in hell.
The other thing that bugged me was at one point the the super dinosaur breaks into the pterodactyl enclosure, releasing them all. At this point, the guests have been all evacuated into the food court, told that there is a “minor containment issue.” The pterodactyls basically make a beeline for the court and go apeshit attacking the tourists, as well as the baby triceratops in the petting zoo. (Fun fact: the plural for triceratops is triceratops. Did you know that? Because I sure didn’t before doing this review.)
This doesn’t make any sense. They’re not monsters, they’re animals. Most of the humans and dinos they were attacking were probably way too big for them to eat. If they’re flyers, they have to eat in small chunks like most birds, and they can’t eat a whole baby triceratops that they can probably barely lift. I love pterodactyls: they’re awesome. I’m glad they got used in an action scene; I just wish they had been used in a way that wasn’t completely stupid.
The two main characters, played by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, are both fantastic. Pratt’s character, with his deep love and respect for the animals he works with, is like a less goofy Steve Irwin. And Howard’s character frankly stole the show for me with her well-developed plot arc.
Jurassic World is full of many of the same Frankenstein-ish themes of the first movie, as well as themes regarding a respect for nature that don’t come off as preachy hippie crap. The “respect for nature” theme felt more like that of classic conservationism than modern extreme environmentalism. Aside from some missteps, it’s a downright smart movie at times, but it never forgets that it is first and foremost an action movie and it’s job is to entertain.
Also, while I bitched that the pterodactyls’ behavior didn’t make sense, the super dinosaur’s does even though it is just killing for the fun of it. This creature was engineered to be an extremely intelligent and aggressive predator that had been raised its whole life in not only captivity, but isolation. Unlike the raptors Pratt’s character works with, it never learned any social skills. Like a puppy taken off the teat way too soon, this creature was basically deranged. So in this case, writing it like a monster rather than merely a wild animal actually makes sense.
The Feminist Elephant In The Room
A lot of feminists are calling this movie sexist, because that’s what feminists do. Joss Whedon was the first major one to do so, when he criticized a sneak peek of it a few months ago… which I’m sure had nothing to do with jealousy over the fact that people seemed more excited for this movie than his Avengers sequel, which has been confirmed by the box office numbers. Since then, rags like The Mary Sue and The Daily Beast have jumped on the same bandwagon. Their complaint seems to be twofold, and I will take a moment here to explain why it holds no water.
At one point, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character is told by her sister that she should settle down and have a family. Also, Howard’s character is very cold and uptight and is ultimately loosened up by Pratt’s character’s influence. Well, that and the whole running for her life stuff. Of course if we had the opposite—an uptight man loosened up by a more free-spirited woman—feminists would call it a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” trope and still bitch.
Feminists don’t seem to understand that good storytelling requires different personality types bouncing off of each other. What they also don’t get is the true point of the “when will you have a family” stuff. The point of Pratt’s character mocking Howard’s character’s cold, calculating personality as frigid is to point out that her true problem isn’t that she doesn’t have a husband or kids, it’s that she has no relationships or connections whatsoever. No other living thing truly matters to her. The customers are just profits, the dinosaurs are just assets, and her subordinates are just tools.
Leave it to feminists to look at the character with the most meaningful story arc in the whole movie and just see oppression and sexism.
Go See This Movie!
All in all, I can’t recommend this movie enough. It’s a fun and smart popcorn flick, and best of all, it pisses off feminists. What more could you want?