‘JURASSIC WORLD’ is not the ‘JURASSIC PARK’ we need, it’s the ‘JURASSIC PARK’ we deserve


jurassicworldAs far as JURASSIC PARK movies go, JURASSIC WORLD is a solid No. 2 behind the original. It’s an orgy of dino fights– bigger, badder and more teeth. Make it scarier. On the surface, it relies on the same sort of nonsense that THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK and JURASSIC PARK III did.

But, if you watch JURASSIC WORLD the same way I did, you’ll see a brilliant social commentary that has everything to do with CGI, product placement, over-the-top effects without storytelling context, and nothing to do with dinosaurs. JURASSIC WORLD isn’t a just a summer blockbuster popcorn sequel. JURASSIC WORLD is a satire.

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS (very specific spoilers)!!

About five minutes in, I changed the way I was watching JURASSIC WORLD.

About five minutes in, you get to the island. The visitor center is lined with Starbucks, Pandora, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and, at the center, the big visitor pyramid, is the Samsung Innovation Center. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), shows up to the command center with a Starbucks cup that’s too big to ignore. The new hybrid dinosaur? Was funded by Verizon. I’m not joking. It’s “Verizon Presents the Indominus Rex” IN THE MOVIE. That is the actual line!

My eyes were opened.

Almost EVERYTHING in this movie has a brand attached to it.

This is not the park John Hammond envisioned in the original JURASSIC PARK.

And that is the point of the movie.

JURASSIC WORLD (the movie) is an (intentional) perversion of JURASSIC PARK (the movie) by portraying Jurassic World (the park) as a perversion of the original Jurassic Park (the park).

JURASSIC WORLD is a social commentary on not just JURASSIC PARK movies, not just franchise movies, but all of entertainment media.

It’s about how ideas spin out of control and are corrupted by greed.

It’s about how we are so easily bored with the things that should excite us.

It’s about how we need something new and flashy and bright for five minutes before we get bored and need something newer, flashier and brighter.

Jurassic World isn’t the Jurassic Park we need; it’s the Jurassic Park we deserve.

There are several key points that support my theory:

Screen shot 2015-06-18 at 4.05.11 PM1. The Throwback

Lowery (Jake Johnson) is the guy that represents the throwback. He’s wearing an original Jurassic Park shirt that he got off eBay for $150. He’s the one who, from the beginning, thinks it’s a bad idea to have a corporate sponsored dinosaur. He’s a small voice of reason that no one listens to. In a way, he is me. Why do you have to corrupt Jurassic Park? Why can’t you just be happy with the original? He is the minority. He asks: “why does everything need to be bigger, better, more teeth and scarier?”

He is ignored.

Screen shot 2015-06-18 at 4.06.31 PM2. The Perversion

The only original character from JURASSIC PARK to return is Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong). He plays the lead scientist, much like he did in JURASSIC PARK. At one point, he tells the head of Jurassic World that the Verizo-saur is exactly what was asked for: something to scare the children. Later, we find out that the doctor has actually been cooking other things up in the lab at the request of the nefarious InGen (the company that originally funded John Hammond’s vision).
The one living throwback to the original Jurassic Park has been corrupted and perverted by greed. He’s the embodiment of all that is wrong

JurassicParkJeep3. The Original

There are several key callbacks to the original park. The two brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) find themselves stranded in the restricted area after being attacked by the Verizo-saur. They stumble upon the the original Jurassic Park Visitor Center, the same place the climax took place in JURASSIC PARK. They walk through the main area – scaffolding still there – through the dining room, soon to find two of the original Jeeps.

This is all in stark contrast with the over-the-top new park.

And, despite the fact that Mercedes is the car of choice for the rest of the film, it’s the original Jeep that does the most ass-kicking. No matter how flashy the new stuff is, the original is always better, bringing us to:

557ef0d9320a56cf42410fee_jurassic-world-chris-pratt-bryce-dallas-howard4. The Climax

We’ve all seen the preview where Chris Pratt rallies his amazing trained velociraptor biker gang and goes to hunt down the Verizo-saur. Well, it obviously doesn’t go as planned.

We’ve all seen the preview where Chris Pratt rallies his amazing trained velociraptor biker gang and goes to hunt down the Verizo-saur. Well, it obviously doesn’t go as planned.

The climax takes us to the middle of the Jurassic World’s TOWN OF BRANDS, where our four main heroes are surrounded by three velociraptors.

Guys, this is literally the same ending as JURASSIC PARK.

Pratt convinces the raptors to attack the Verizo-saur. And the raptors are losing. Bad.

So, Claire calls the Throwback (Lowery) and tells him to release the Other Throwback.

Claire unleashes the T. Rex. She takes a flare and throws it at the Verizo-saur, inciting the T. Rex to attack. The hero who saved the humans in JURASSIC PARK is unleashed to save the heroes once again.

It’s like they were bringing back Coca-Cola Classic.

The raptor and T. Rex take down Verizon’s big, bad dino. The original has it.

10377442_1519709768290848_5390203994879154458_nJURASSIC WORLD is not just another movie in the JURASSIC PARK franchise. JURASSIC WORLD is making a point that maybe things shouldn’t be about corporate sponsorship, marketing and PR.

It’s not about the flashy special effects. It’s not about making it bigger, badder, more teeth and scarier. It’s pointing to the audience and screaming, “Are you not entertained?”

It’s a stunning ode to JURASSIC PARK classic, where things were simpler, special effects and CGI were a means to an end, not an end in-and-of-itself.

I suspect this is why JURASSIC WORLD got the green light from Steven Spielberg. He recognized the path that the original JURASSIC PARK started down. And, the over-inflated, over-budgeted, overblown JURASSIC WORLD is the inevitable continuation on so many levels.

In conclusion, I’ll let Ian Malcolm and John Hammond sum it up:

Ian Malcolm: “You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you’re selling it, you wanna sell it. Well…”

John Hammond:I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody’s ever done before…”

Malcolm: “Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

JURASSIC WORLD is in theaters today.

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