I am going into unchartered territory to discuss the validity of a concept. A repeated concept, I should say. I am going to review a franchise of work based on it’s most recent iteration of the Jurassic Park series, specifically Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I’d like to point out that I could also write this review about the most recent Pixar film, Incredibles 2, but I don’t want to go into that territory just yet. Prepare for spoilers.
For this post, I am going to use the term ‘production’ to mean show or movie with little indication other than surrounding context to help you along the way. I’ll do my best to be as clear as possible, feel free to leaving me a scathing review in comments.
When is it tiresome for a concept to be repeated, not only as a framework for a production but for an entire series? What happened to the days of Shakespeare who provided us with endless themes and works? And, to extend our pleasure, broke it out into multiple parts (e.g. original productions of Richard, Henry IV, etc.) to engage us and keep us wanting more–leaving the plot line dangling with unresolved answers to get viewers back in the theater.
Now, in today’s world, it’s seemingly more important to have a audiences comforted with a recognizable plot. This is actually a fact scientists have proven–viewers, people like you and I, enjoy watching our ‘favorite’ movies because it is comforting and stress relieving (even if there’s a dinosaur wreaking havoc. Fallen Kingdom was a similar plot line to The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Further irritation: the new revamp of this series isn’t even original with its titling, Jurassic World and the original The Lost World–come on, Hollywood writers!
I love the Jurassic series. I know a lot of random facts about the original animatronics and conversion to CGI from robots, etc. I mean, this stuff is on the top 20 of my favorite movie concepts–who doesn’t like dinosaurs? Well, I guess every one because they will save themselves if you get in their way. Let me get back on track.
I’m trying to find some silver linings to this story and I want to circle back to typical theater, if I can make sense of the thoughts in my head. So, here I do my interpretation of Tinker Bell and think good thoughts:
- Blue, the raptor, is the fem-positive model I needed as a girl growing up to be a woman; brutally fierce and empathetic. Oh wait… I already am, haha! I think that’s only funny to me.
- Despite the uproar from the last movie, the costume designer did not get rid of Claire’s heels entirely. She had them at the beginning to grab coffee for her team of lobbyist but did switch to boots for the mission.
- Raise the roof for a loud and proud female scientist who saved Blue’s life.
- Clap hard for the systems analyst, I could not predict which way his character was going to go
I want to pause here for a moment because I’d like to commend this change. I am bothered when a woman feels obligated to make a change due to backlash and criticism. This change didn’t feel like it was a response to that at all. I honestly felt they purposefully, they being the director and designer, put her in heels to start and focused in on them as a big F you to the critics. BUT(!), had the character switch over to more appropriate work boots when the time arrived.
This character was no longer the park manager ignoring potential disaster. She saw the potential disaster come to reality. She knew what made for impractical decisions. This is one change I do not oppose.
And because I couldn’t resist, here are less pleasant thoughts:
- Why is Dr. Wu still alive?
- Why is Dr. Malcolm important?
- Please stop throwing in random clones to distract the audience. Maisie was not worth the time or the effort.
- WHERE IS DR. GRANT–the actual dinosaur doctor?! Can’t we figure out how much we need to pay this actor to return and recapture the loss beauty of these films. His poise and composite nature made the original films endearing.
- Why. the. poop. did. they. kill. that. beautiful. Brachiosaurus?!
I’m going to come back to the point and how this relates to theater. Reiteration of stories with limited differences from the original.. and in this case, no longer Jurassic Park, but Twelfth Night.
|Twelfth Night||Jurassic Park|
|All Shook Up||Jurassic Park|
|Illyria||The Lost World: Jurassic Park|
|Music is||Jurassic Park III|
|Play On!||Jurassic World|
|Your Own Thing||Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom|
I specifically linked these two very different productions together because there are five of the exact same version for both of them. There isn’t much linking them other than the original theme of rescuing yourself (or loving yourself) which runs rampant throughout all the production iterations. Do I sound bitter? Maybe. I could finally be tired of the over use of the same idea.
Am I wrong to feel this way? Maybe not. I’ll stop ranting ’til next time.