6/26/2015
Of Jurassic monsters and obnoxious men

A warning: this blog entry contains spoilers to Jurassic World.

But let's be honest. What is there to be spoiled? Jurassic World's premise is pretty simple: modern-day people are chased around by dinosaurs. The specifics may be different - the first movie has straightforward clones; this one, the fourth, has genetically modified ones - but the principles are the same. Dinosaurs chase people around. The people you don't care about die; the people you do care about, somewhat, survive. And in the end, all is well.

Just look at the characters. There's always one guy who sees the dinosaurs as an attraction, and another who sees them as living creatures. (And there's always romantic tension between the two.) One of the kids will have a wide-eyed fascination for all this, while his sibling will not care, at least initially. The park's owner is always a well-intentioned man who doesn't quite know what he's getting into. He'll always butt heads with someone who has a different, more sinister plan for the dinosaurs. There's always a hapless employee and there's always a geek who cared deeply for the dinosaurs at the detriment of everything else.

Of course he survives. It's Nick from New Girl. He has to survive, or else the audience turns to untrained raptors, because really, who kills off the cute guys? Nobody kills Chris Pratt. Nobody kills Jake Johnson. Everybody makes fun of that dorky guy whose life was put in danger not because of his stupidity but because of sheer luck. You know these movies - if you're not white and gorgeous, you're always unlucky. But I digress.

Jurassic World should be fun on its own. It's a stupid movie, and I say this in a good way. It's mindless, slightly frothy blockbuster fare. You don't really come in with expectations other than the whole dinosaurs-chase-people thing. And in itself, it's fun enough, exciting enough. But I couldn't help but feel it's all done methodically. Here's trope one. Here's trope two. Put the two together and something has to give. The millionaire chopper pilot will die, but not because his flying is shaky. The British assistant will be a damsel in distress. Yes. I probably have memorized this all too well. But then the film just goes to the next step like it's playing Monopoly. Roll the dice, move forward, no fanfare. Suddenly the boys know Owen Grady by name. Suddenly they trust their distant aunt with their lives.

Or maybe it because I was sitting beside an idiot.

I know I sound like a pretentious complaining film student wannabe, but I'm pretty sure I can forget all that while watching a film like Jurassic World. But then I had the misfortune of sitting beside an idiot. She's a woman in her 30s, I assume, and she was intent on talking loud about everything she sees on screen, which happens to be everything I see on screen. I would've been able to tolerate it if it was commentary that somehow adds to the experience - it's like me whispering (note, whispering) to my sister about how Hollywood dinosaurs are also racist - but instead, she takes the questions in my head and speaks them out loud. So much for show, not tell.

Let's take the final scene. Again, spoilers, but again, why bother, right? So this is the final showdown. Owen's friends, the raptors, have been flipped over, so to speak, by the genetically modified Indominus rex, and are now actually pursuing him, and eternally heeled Claire, and the two kids whose names I will not bother with. They're in the middle of the park's front end, and they're surrounded by three raptors.

Idiot: "Bakit tatlo lang sila? Nasaan na 'yung isa?"

Owen tries to reestablish his bond with the raptors, not-so-subtly reminding us of the whole "the relationship is important" thing from earlier.

Idiot: "Magpakabait na kayo!"

Of course it works, and the raptors cutely "communicate" with Owen before lunging towards the big monster, and towards their death.

Idiot: "Mamamatay sila!"

Me: "Do you really have to say everything out loud?"

Of course, that act - me not-so-subtly telling someone off - would make me look worse that the idiot who insists on talking like that throughout the entire movie. Of course I'm the bad one.

While the monster and the raptors fight to the death (in the latter's case), Owen tries to rescue the kids, who hide in a merchandise stall. Of course that stall gets hits by the fighting dinosaurs.

Idiot: "Masisira siya! Mamamatay sila!"

Buildings around them crumble, while, of course, the three save themselves. Claire, still wearing heels - a callback I'm surprised the film does not make, a callback they left to the memesters of the Internet - manages to get out of the carnage and run to one of the barriers, where she demands Nick from New Girl set the Tyrannosaurus rex free.

Claire: "Open the door!" or something.

Idiot: "Bubuksan niya 'yan!"

Well, duh, Nick opens the door. Still no kiss for you, Nick. Anyway, T. rex comes out, fights the monster, doesn't quite go off well. The fourth raptor - the beta - shows up.

Idiot: "Ayun siya! Ayun siya!"

Of course, Jurassic World ends just like its predecessors: the people realize they can't outrun the dinosaurs, so they let the dinosaurs do the fighting. Monster is pushed by the raptor and the T. rex to the water, where it is eaten by another dinosaur. Love is made, or remade. And the end shot is of the T. rex, now free in an abandoned park, perched in the mountains, looking over all those buildings, and roaring, as if saying "this is my island now!" before realizing that his arms are too short to stretch out like anybody in a similar situation would.

And your responses...

Post a Comment