Friday, June 12, 2015

Jurassic World: Born Out of Greed

Keywords: sci-fi, dinosaur, theme park
Audience: PG
Violent content: dinosaurs fight each other, humans eaten by dinosaurs (mild visualization) 
Sexual content: two short kisses

Jurassic World is the movie that I looked forward to this summer (even more than Terminator: Genisys). I saw Jurassic Park as a child and really enjoyed it (not too happy with JP 2 and JP 3, though). I even read the comic adaptation and played the video game (on SEGA console) for at least four times. Like for many of you, Jurassic Park is a part of my childhood.

I thought the Jurassic franchise was dead. I'm happy I was wrong. And I'm pleased that the development team decided not to rush the development of Jurassic World (or Jurassic Park IV, as the project was earlier called). And it's cool that it is a sequel, not a reboot of the franchise, since I don't think anyone can do a better Jurassic Park.

If you want to take your children to see Jurassic World, I can tell you that it is less violent than Jurassic Park in terms of fighting, eating, and blood (there is a talk about war, which is inappropriate for children, but I don't think little kids will understand or even care). However, if your kids are easily scared, you should consider showing this movie later when they're older.

Jurassic World is a living theme park in Isla Nubar. It's been opened for years to the point that people get used to seeing dinosaurs. The park's income slows down and the board of directors decided they need something bigger, louder, cooler, and has more teeth. Thus they invent a hybrid dinosaur: Indominus Rex. The movie follows two brothers venturing the park when Indominus Rex runs amock in the island and some people, including their aunt who happens to be the park manager, trying to save the day.

My first thought after seeing the hybrid dinosaur in the trailer was: what's with the silly name? FYI, Indomie (of Indofood company) is a very popular instant noodle brand in Indonesia (it's even exported to many other countries). You can check this video to see the all-time favorite Indomie Goreng. And when I heard that the name came from the corporate decision, I thought: Indofood is a big sponsor of the dinosaur theme park? LOL.


Jurassic World exploits humans greed. Of course, that was what Jurassic Park about as well. However, Jurassic World explores more layers of greed. Humans do not only lust for money, but power as well. There's a party (InGen security) who insist that research on dinosaurs should be expanded to the possibility of using them as weapons. Listening to its reasoning made me sick. Moreover, I think the good guys oppose this idea just because they're afraid the dinosaurs can't be tamed and will only eat the owners. There is no objection about how war shouldn't happen at the first place. (I smell Jurassic War is coming, but there's no enough information yet about any sequel for Jurassic World.)

Indominus Rex was born out of too much greed and a question of how far science can do with dinosaurs. Even the scientist who made Indominus Rex wasn't sure of what things the hybrid dinosaur can do. Surprises are thrown at us: mimicry and hiding thermal boy heat are only two of them. It was then revealed that Indominus Rex was designed from Velociraptor DNA, a fast and intelligent dinosaur species. I suppose its proper name should be Raptor Rex? That would sound much better and still easy to pronounce. But sure it's a great idea that its silly official name covered its identity, though some people had claimed that Indominus Rex looks like raptors.

I am mildly impressed by the variety of non-white people in the movie; I say mildly because the main casts are white (the kids, the aunt, the badass raptor tamer). There is a brown COO with India accent. There are Chinese scientist and Asian soldiers. The black guy is one of the smart guys (and he survives!).

Chris Patt acted brilliantly as Owen the raptor tamer. However, his character is the all-the-time cool guy (he did nothing stupid, really). Bryce Howard's role (Claire Dearing, the park manager) is more interesting. She has a fulfilling arc and she's not a damsel in distress (of course she's less experienced than Owen, but she has her shares of braveness). The younger kid, Zach (Ty Simpkins), acted naturally, and he's just adorable. Again, the one with a fulfilling arc is the other one, his big brother, Gray (Nick Robinson).

Not you, Blue
I love the fact that the dinosaurs have their time to shine. They are not just there to make the theme park looks real; they are part of the plot. And you should love Blue, one of the raptors. I wish to see more marine dinosaurs on the next installment of this franchise.

The downside of Jurassic World, however, is the fact that it is not as terrifying as Jurassic Park. People are less desperate. The advanced technology sold in the park gives the impression that things will be fine in a matter of time. Indeed, the whole adventure happens in 24 hours. I think Jurassic World is a little too fast-paced and the kids should spend more time being hunted by the dinosaurs. All in all, Jurassic World is a satisfying summer treat for your family.

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