Jurassic World

Jurassic World

Jurassic World is another mediocre addition to a franchise that is mostly mediocre additions. The worst film in the franchise, Jurassic World doesn’t have any of the original cast, the action is serviceable at best, the sexual politics are abhorrent and retrograde, and the whole thing falls apart if you think about it at all. You literally cannot think about the simple events and actions that occur in Jurassic World without remarking that it is so stupid that it might actually be insulting. Should we be insulted? For all of the riffs and references that pack it’s running time, the filmmakers did not take any of the lessons on tension and release that the first Jurassic Park contained in spades. That is because Jurassic World is busy busy busy. So busy that it doesn’t have time to even be scary. Or have awe for dinosaurs. Characters and dinosaurs know how to do what they do and appear where they appear on the whim of the script, storytelling be damned. At one point someone says to the annoying little kid in the film, “Aren’t you supposed to be a genius?” Who called this kid a genius? His behavior indicates he’s a fucking moron, so I guess his genius moment was cut for time. Raptors are proven to be dangerous and untrainable, but then trainable, but also untrustworthy, but then loyal to the very end. So I guess raptors contain multitudes. Vincent D’Onofrio is a bad guy because he gets in arguments with Chris Pratt, who we know is a good guy because he treats raptors with respect. D’Onofrio’s bad guy plan doesn’t really make sense and at one point he stands on a ledge and looks at everyone being attacked by pterodactyls and smiles. Why does he smile? Nothing he has done indicates that he wants people to die. Does he smile because they needed cinematic shorthand to say “This guy is bad” and couldn’t actually write it into his actions or dialogue? That seems more likely. You may have heard that a minor character is viciously killed during the third act of the film. You guys, this is the most incredible overkill I have seen in a long time. This is the Jurassic Park version of Steven Seagal breaking a guy’s back, gouging out his eyes and throwing him down an elevator shaft. It is disgusting and vile and easily the best part of the movie.

There is one interesting aspect to Jurassic World and that is the strange behavior of the teenage lead character Zach. Zach is your typical dejected and angst filled teen who is being forced to leave his snowy home at Christmas and go to Jurassic World with his dumb brother. We meet him as his girlfriend says goodbye to him out in front of his house. It starts like a tender moment in the first wide shot but when the camera closes in on the actor’s faces you can see that the actress playing the girlfriend is smiling and happy while Zach looks bored and over it. Is he planning to break up with his girlfriend? Is he just a bad actor and unsure how to play the scene? Perhaps they shot the scene a couple of ways and then just fit together the “best” takes? The dad in the scene plays his line like he is breaking up two lovey dovey teens but Zach clearly gives no fucks and is ready to go. Later, Zach is shown briefly starring at a photo his girlfriend has sent of herself holding a sign that says “I Miss U!” Zach’s face doesn’t convey anything in regards to whether he misses her back. But! While waiting in line for the gyroscope ride, Zach makes eye contact with a group of teen girls. They look at Zach and smile and he regards them with confusion. Zach’s face isn’t its usual sullen sag but he seems like he is regarding these girls with a strange detached curiosity, not arousal or lust but something closer to analytical. It is at this moment that his little brother remarks, “You need to actually talk to them, not just stare.” Now, we have firmly established that Zach has a girlfriend back home. It could be he acted dejected around his girlfriend because she is the alpha in the relationship and essentially instigated their union and Zach isn’t sure how to break it off. Or, Zach is aware of his parent’s crumbling relationship and impending divorce (the divorce subplot is there to get the kids to Jurassic World and then it is dropped and never resolved) and he is wondering if only heartbreak awaits him as well. OR, my third theory, Zach is gay. Hear me out.

I have heard firsthand from many gay men that their first relationships in high school were with girls and that even in some cases they had sex with girls before realizing or fully facing their sexual preference for men. Zach has taken on a girlfriend in his cold, snowy midwestern town because that is what you do as a straight teenager. But he doesn’t have any particular feelings toward this girl and he is not sure he even wants to have any feelings for her. When she sends him photos saying how much she misses him, Zach can only reflect that the feeling isn’t mutual. When he sees the girls in line at the park, Zach looks at them hard, trying to will any sort of attraction or feeling for these girls and finds nothing. Yet, the first time Zach breaks from his mopey vibe (besides when his trying not to die while being pursued by dinosaurs) is when he meets Owen, played by Chris Pratt. Zach calls Owen “awesome”, and says he will follow this big, sweaty alpha anywhere he says to go. Of course, like all other subplots in Jurassic World, it is underwritten and never fully explained. I’m pretty sure he’s gay.

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