#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Jurassic World | Colin Trevorrow

July 12, 2015
Jurassic World (2015)

Slick, loud, violent, merchandized to death, politically retrograde, largely scrubbed of idiosyncrasy, and also pretty exciting, Jurassic World is, like the original 1993 Jurassic Park, simultaneously we-tampered-in-God’s-domain overreacher sci-fi and an amusement park ride about being an amusement park ride. The characters constantly point out that their corporate overlords demanded moral, technological, and ethical compromises and bigger, sexier products in support of the bottom line, and when their genetically modified dinosaur killing machines escape captivity these same people are duly surprised that they must now reap what they have sown. Does the film’s self-awareness excuse its more obnoxious attributes? Probably not. But nobody is going into Jurassic World for a discussion of artistic integrity. They are in the theater to see dinosaurs eat people. To that end, Jurassic World the theme park seems to have been engineered by the filmmakers to be the most danger-enabling attraction ever devised. How else to explain a tourist destination that allows visitors to roam unsupervised through a jungle populated by carnivorous reptiles? Sure, just take some canoes down the river, it’s perfectly safe. By the way, we’re secretly training our most intelligent and vicious predators to be weaponized by military contractors. Yeah, right over there, within walking distance of your hotel! The owners and operators, at least the ones who survive the inevitable breakdown of this merry-go-round, probably ought to be jailed for criminal negligence. Stupid technological hubris is a trope of this series, though, and you’d probably miss it if it were gone. Every ludicrously deficient security protocol doubles as a hilarious, tantalizing promise that big monsters with teeth are very likely to circumvent it, and pretty soon too, so it’s endlessly satisfying when they finally do. Director Colin Trevorrow can’t match Steven Spielberg’s elegant setpeice construction, and so he settles for cleanly-staged digital excess and constant absurdity. Thrill as a pterodactyl jams its beak through a helicopter windshield, impaling the co-pilot, or a hapless young woman is tossed about by some attacking dinos like kids playing with their food. Or how about the part where the velociraptors literally engage in a debate with a gigantic, genetically-enhanced hybrid superpredator over whether or not to eat Chris Pratt? Maybe the best way for Jurassic World to really comment on itself is to fall back on the only thing anyone really needs from it: empty spectacle.

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