We rented Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this weekend, and it was everything we wanted from it. We weren’t looking for Shakespearean soliloquies.
So what we got were dinosaurs, and plenty of ’em, including some nice ones that haven’t been seen in the earlier Jurassic Park movies: a very nice Carnotaurus, and of course a new genetically-engineered man-made not-natural dinosaur that looks like New Jersey’s own Dryptosaurus. Three cheers! Plus the Mosasaur as big as your average township: surfers beware.
As usual, there are bad guys trying to exploit the dinosaurs, good guys trying to stop them, and the dinosaurs get loose and everything goes all pear-shaped, fanabla… I really don’t want to hit you with any spoilers, so suffice it to say that Fallen Kingdom offers a lot of the original Jurassic Park motifs, plus a couple of brand-new ones, at least one of which is just spectacular and you wonder why no one ever did it before. This is a dinosaur chase scene like none you’ve ever seen. Patty wound up dreaming she was being chased by an alligator, and I got kicked a dozen times before I could wake her up.
There are critics who want to put the whole Jurassic Park franchise out to pasture, they’re tired of these dinosaurs, the story line’s always the same, blah-blah. Bunch of spoil-sports. Sure, there are downright silly moments in any Jurassic Park movie–especially JP No. 2, The Lost World, which boasts a virtual dictionary of silly moments–but we don’t watch these movies in search of whatever it is that some of these critics are searching for. We watch ’em for dinosaurs, we get dinosaurs, the bad guys get what’s coming to them, the story line suggests yet another sequel, and we come away satisfied. What’s not to like?
Suddenly the supermarket’s full of Jurassic World 2 tie-ins to Cheetos and Doritos, which means the movie’s coming out, and here’s the trailer.
I am a total sucker for Jurassic Park movies. I shrug off the cliches. I tolerate the illusion of dinosaurs as big as Liechtenstein. And is that Carcharodon megalodon moving in on all those surfers? You’d think a couple of humans would be only the equivalent of two or three Doritos, to a shark that makes “Jaws” look like a guppy. Sheesh, “You’re gonna need a bigger ocean…”
At the very least, these movies provide escape, take my mind off things. They might even give me an idea or two that I can use in my books. Inspiration, of a kind. So of course I’ll want to see it! And eventually I will. But I just can’t be going to a movie theater, dropping $25 just to see a movie, and sitting through a dozen previews and several commercials before anything good happens.
I watch Jurassic Park movies because I love to see dinosaurs. I also appreciate them as a form of escape: cooling my brain down for a bit.
So we watched Jurassic World today, and grooved on the special effects. Even if their Mosasaur is as big as the Chrysler Building, it’s still way cool.
But the thing is, these movies have something important to say. And that is… At some level, we modern people know we’re whistling Dixie, playing with dynamite, and totally full of self-delusion, thinking we’re in control, we’ve got it covered–and then the dinosaurs get loose. These movies, and others like them, would not be made if we did not know that.
And yet we act as if we know nothing at all. We keep on playing with fire. Ooh-ooh, genetic modification! Ooh-ooh, brain implants! And so on–no end to the folly. Professing ourselves to be wise, we become fools (Romans 1).
We do keep God busy, don’t we? Busy diverting us from self-annihilation.