The latest installment of the Jurassic Park/World saga has hit theaters and taken a slight mix of receptions. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is not as agreeable as its immediate predecessor from a cinematic standpoint. Colleagues have, however, pointed out that the minor innuendos and crass moments from Jurassic World (2015) were almost entirely absent in this sequel.
Like many of today’s action stories brought to the screen, J.A. Bayona’s modern thriller brings in a significant amount of comic relief. Chris Pratt, an actor who boldly proclaims his Christian beliefs, and actress and Bryce Dallas Howard return to their appropriate roles.
The fatalities of several characters are more gruesome than those in a few of the past films, and this evolution in and of itself can be expected with the direction Hollywood’s been heading. After all, more dramatic deaths depicted on the silver screen results in a more sensationally-spurred audience. We are just left to wonder which of those sensations will linger in a viewer’s mind, and whether they are beneficial or harmful.
The slight twists in some of the scenarios along with the notable shadows and silhouettes are a few of the telltale signs of a horror director. Bayona is quite familiar and successful working within this genre of entertainment. Typical of so many modern movies, Fallen Kingdom was filled to the brim with political slants. (If a T-rex walked by, creating a ripple in the cup, the excess politics would surely spill out.) The characters obviously hold certain views, but the very way the plot progresses includes a number of nods to social justice/animals’ rights ideals.
Subtle concepts along these lines include a cruel “bad guy” death brought about while he is in the very act of marring a creature’s body, trying to steal a tooth for a trophy. From many perspectives, this sequence can be taken as a retelling of the all too common “poacher killed while hunting” story, an occurrence which is seen by many people as a form of poetic justice. A good deal of these same individuals will say the cruel poacher, in fiction or reality, deserved it too.
This is a sad truth, and serious animal rights activists will be glad at the death of such a person but outraged at the killing of any animal. Fallen Kingdom seems to take this concept to heart with the eventual demise of Ted Levine’s character. The writers have taken this agreeable (to some) idea and had it play out in the course of the film. They are using the cinematic medium to promote this message.The audience members who feel a strong dislike for him get their vengeance in due time. Granted, the character is not a morally good one. But inspiring viewers by showing them that their hate is justified is not good either, especially in our present age where many are filled with anger. The element of revenge or “getting what was coming to him” is a common practice in action films, but it may not be a healthy one.
As for the story itself, the second Jurassic World film seems to follow a number of points which already appeared in the second Jurassic Park film: the company returns to the island to collect dinosaur species, there are good guys as well as bad, and eventually dinosaurs are brought back to the mainland which doesn’t turn out too well.
This is just an excerpt from Culture Wars Magazine, not the full article. To continue reading, purchase the January, 2019 edition of Culture Wars Magazine.
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