Meta-Dinosaurs Fight Ghosts of Dinosaur Past
For the most part Jurassic World operates as billed: plenty of dinosaurs, plenty of cheese, and plenty of eye-candy (i.e. Bryce Dallas Howard) but there is something more to chew on at the core of this saccharine Tootsie Pop of a film; the dino-based island theme park Jurassic World needs a new attraction to "reinvigorate" the patrons of the park, and-- in an aesthetic meta-parallel-- the Jurassic Park franchise needs reinvigoration as well-- and, once again, the audience needs to learn the same lesson . . . that you shouldn't tamper with mother-nature-- so enter Indominus Rex, a genetically modified dinosaur that would enjoy this Radiolab podcast; the result is a movie about movies . . . we demand more and more entertainment from the summer blockbuster, but nothing can satisfy us . . . although, the climax of Jurassic World comes pretty close: the boys and I watched the movie in Imax 3-D and the final scene which pits Indominus Rex against a T. Rex (with a few extra twists which I won't spoil) makes a larger comment about the art of the action-sequel franchise, which is an ultimately an exercise in reductio ad absurdum which can only end in parody (and not only is there a meta-theme buried at the core of this movie, but the actors actually stumble upon the old Jurassic Park when they are lost in the wilds of Jurassic World . . . and as far as the cheese goes, there was a wonderful meta-moment when Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard were looking at a number of dead dinosaurs that Indominus Rex had killed but not eaten, and I whispered to my son Alex, "he didn't eat them . . . he's hunting for sport" and then a beat later Chris Pratt turned to Bryce Dallas Howard and said the exact same words, with the exact same intonation, and my son looked at me and said "Whoa!" and I had to explain to him that movie dialogue in this sort of story was very predictable . . . also, don't sit behind me and my boys if you go to the movies-- Alex and I both have a penchant for running commentary and Alex has a hard time whispering).