Friday, June 19, 2015

Boundaries are a problem here

Jurassic World is, in many ways, a decent 1980s action-adventure creature feature. That means that it's fun, silly, and a decent way to waste an afternoon, but it is by no means perfect.

This isn't Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park is nearly fucking perfect. Jurassic Park has Dr. Ian Malcolm. Jurassic Park has the best fucking scary dinosaur scenes the world has ever known. Jurassic Park has Ellie Saddler shooting off one-liners about sexism in survival situations. Jurassic World has Claire Dearing presented as bitchy and cold, being told that she would reproduce someday, and wearing high heels through the entire movie. If you can ignore those things it's a pretty good flick.

If, however, you can't ignore those things the movie will irritate the shit out of you. I could get over the heels, I really could, but the older sister's insistence that "when, not if," Claire, her younger, successful, busy, career-driven, living-on-a-goddamned-island-full-of-dinosaurs-sister, had children that her life will change.

Fucking seriously? This lady doesn't want kids. Claire wants to increase shareholder value and hang out with her billionaire boss and wear completely amazing outfits with impractical shoes that she clearly loves (and which she has every right to love, impractical or not). Claire doesn't give shit one about making babies. Look at the way she deals with her nephews and her sister - she hardly relates to or emotes toward any member of her family that we see (until the dino crisis of course).  She seems pretty fucking happy just being a badass executive who works with movers and shakers and makes kickass pitches that motivate sales. She also has some goddamned standards, which is not a fucking crime. She turned down a sexy dino-wrangler because he wore boardshorts on a date, and he may be sexy and dino-wrangling as fuck but his laid-back attitude is not on her checklist of acceptable behavior. Why would she want a baby? Seriously, why? She's emotionally fulfilled by her job, which takes up pretty much all of her time (since she literally lives at work), she's driven by order, and she's got no fucking time to incubate and raise a disorderly, shit-spattered pink grub as a result.

Also what the fuck is up with the creeper older nephew? I get the feeling that he's supposed to be eye candy for young women in the audience who might be intimidated by the more adult looking (but no more emotionally mature) raptor wrangler but, like, why the fuck would that be attractive? He's got a girlfriend at home whose name is never given but who he clearly cares about (if his lingering over photos of her on his phone is any indication) but he spends most of the trip up until the dino fiasco pointedly staring at other girls. Like POINTEDLY staring. Hard. Like if this was an adult dude staring at me with the same intensity and duration I would have dialed "91" on my phone and be waiting to press "1" if he took another step toward me. I think his fixation with girls was supposed to read as "hormone-driven, cynical teen so wrapped up in hiding his boner that he can't even care about the miracle of dinosaurs all around him" but it came off as "potential future rapist considers how to isolate victim from friends for thirty minutes or so." This movie had a color-changing mutant dinosaur and Vincent D'Onofrio in it and I consistently found myself more scared by a teenager being so poorly socialized that he thought this was acceptable behavior. He is like the poster-child for the weight of the male gaze. Didn't your mother ever teach you not to stare? No, of course not, because she has boundary issues herself and was busy planning the future of her sister's uterus.

So that's the biggest issue in the movie, to me at any rate. Boundaries are a problem in this story, and I'm not talking about the fences between the dinosaurs and the people.

Um. But it's not wretched. And I did have fun. But the film has issues.

     - Alli

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