14 June 2018

From Capitalist To Naturalist

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John Hammond, the creator of the original Jurassic Park, was a fucking moron. He brings the dinosaurs back to life and decides that the best thing to do with them is to stick them in a theme park? Who thinks like that?! That's like being the first person to meet a martian and deciding that the best thing to do is to stick it in a lap dancing club and charge people to watch it jiggle its massive space tits. After spending a fortune on this park he then decides to try and run it with about five people after sending his own grandchildren out on a test-run. To make matters worse he has a big fat fucker in charge of security that he actively seems to hate and who seems dissatisfied with his work load and pay. Hammond literally may as well have handed his staff pictures of himself going nuts deep in the dinosaurs' egg-pooping-holes because it's seemingly obvious that he wants to be blackmailed and this way'll be safer for everyone else. Had all of this somehow worked out and the Park opened though, it seems that the dopey fucker had also built the thing on an active fucking volcano. I presume the exploding island that he bought must have been slightly cheaper than the other options of a nuclear testing site and an ancient Native American burial ground. Sadly for all involved, the creator of Jurassic World saw every dumb thing that Hammond did and thought, “Fuck it.. I reckon he was just unlucky”.

So now we get to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom which starts with the same old problem that most of this franchises entries have.. how do you convince the characters to go back to an island on which they're lunch? In Jurassic Park 3, Alan Grant was promised a metric shit ton of money, and like a little old lady being asked for her life savings, he didn't bother to google the company sending him to see if he'd be double-crossed. In this case, it's that exploding volcano and a rescue operation to save the dinosaurs that draws the heroes back. Since the previous film, the character of Claire has had a complete personality change and decided that she now cares about the creatures having presumably walked passed a mirror and spotted quite how two-fucking-dimensional she was. In her new mission she recruits her old chum Owen to help her out because he's BFF's with a velociraptor and having Chris Pratt's face on the poster will probably help get people to see the film. To stay safe, they're also going with a group of expert hunters that are being paid by a suspicious man in a suit who they also don't seem to have googled to check if they'll be double-crossed. “Fuck it”, “I guess they must have thought, “Alan Grant was just unlucky when he was double-crossed too”.

The interesting thing about this new instalment is that it's essentially a film of two halves, with both of them playing to director J.A. Bayona's strengths. Although unlike Full Metal Jacket, another film of two halves, you don't spend the second half wishing you were still watching the angry man and the fat nutter as they scream about donuts. The first Jurassic World was dressed up as a sequel but contained so many references and structural similarities that it was essentially a remake of the first Jurassic Park. Following that, this latest film borrows from the second movie The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in that both show a bunch of arse-holes trying to take the dinosaurs off the island before then dealing with the consequence of their success. However unlike Jurassic World, the sequel Fallen Kingdom isn't so interested in simply re-hashing the previous film and hoping that nostalgia will see you through to the end. I suppose this could be because beyond the scene in which Julianne Moore falls onto the shattering glass window, not many people are that fond of the second Jurassic Park movie. Or perhaps it's because Bayona is just a more ambitious director than the previous film's Colin Trevorrow. Either way I feel happy to report that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is possibly the best Jurassic Park movie since the original T-Rex spat a goats leg onto a car roof and caused a lawyer to run for a crap. 

The first half of the movie is essentially where you get all of your big blockbuster shit as we see the dinosaurs running away from a mountain as it explodes. There's even a few dino-on-dino fights as they race away from the burning lava because 65million years later and some idiots still can't get their fucking priorities straight. Here Bayona reminds us that he's the director of the disaster movie The Impossible and is more than capable of showing both how destructive mother nature can be and how entertaining it is to watch. However if there's one thing that runs through all of Bayona's work, from The Orphanage to A Monster Calls, it's his ability to elicit sadness and that is definitely also present here in spades. As fun as it is to see all of the dinosaurs rampaging, we're never allowed to forget that they are real creatures that are frightened and trying to escape a molten, fiery death. There's at least one shot of a Brachiosaurus as it mimics the movement of the first dinosaur we ever properly saw in the original film before being smothered in a lethal fog that's absolutely heartbreaking. Although you also can't help but wonder how fucking delicious that island will smell by the end of the day. I've recently turned vegetarian but even I could be tempted by a prehistoric BBQ on this scale. Also knowing how silly this franchise is I look forward to the sequel that returns to the island to investigate the haunting of the dinosaur ghosts. 

The second half of the movie is where things get a little less generic for a Jurassicsequel and the movie begins to get a little insane. I won't spoil the story but suffice to say the whole thing begins to turn into an old school style hammer horror movie in which a young girl is stalked around her house by a newly created monster. The tension in this whole section is enough that if you'd stuck a bit of coal between your arse cheeks then by the time of the credits you'd be able to fart out a diamond. And it's in this half that we're reminded of quite how great Bayona's The Orphanage was and how talented he is with horror. Some of the imagery is straight out of horror history from the creature's long Nosferato-esque fingers to the nightmarish sounds of the monster creeping along the roof above a child's bedroom. And speaking of this child, I think she is key for me realising quite how well this film was succeeding because there's no denying how fucking ridiculous the whole franchise is... but at one point I mistakenly thought that somebody was revealing that the little girl was actually a dinosaur that had been made to look like a human. They weren't revealing that, before you get angry with me for spoiling something. I just misunderstood what a character said. But rather than screwing my face up like I'd just gotten a whiff of dick and questioning how stupid this revelation would be, I completely accepted it. I was enjoying the movie so much that had a couple of little raptor claws ripped out through the girls shoes then I'd have gone with it. 

If I have one criticism of the movie it's in how little Jeff Goldblum is in it, with pretty much his entire appearance essentially appearing in the trailer. Although let's face it, even The Fly could be criticised for not featuring enough Jeff Goldblum and he's in almost every fucking scene. His character from the first couple of movies pops back for a cameo to explain the moral dilemma of the film which is that of the dinosaurs' fate. Dinosaurs shouldn't exist now and only do exist because John Hammond apparently got bored of riding the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride at Disney World. Although at this point, who of us isn't completely fucking bored by Pirates Of The fucking Caribbean? With the volcano about to wipe them all out again, is it our responsibility to save them or allow the status-quo to be restored and watch them all go the way of Kevin Spacey's career? Not that this is given too much thought, with most people concluding that we should allow this volcanic act of God to kill them. Although if anybody throws God into an argument then I feel their point is instantly made redundant and I'd save the dinosaurs out of sheer spite. At one point a character explains how unknown the life-span of the creatures are now that they live in our world. “If a caveman would originally live for twenty years” they say, “then in our environment they could live for up to five times longer”. As annoyed as I am that a caveman apparently has better odds of living to be one hundred years old than I do, I really hope that this means we'll be seeing Jurassic Park movies for decades to come. Thanks for reading motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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