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Review of Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom

The most significant scene in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is one where the corporate villain accosts the people making accusations against him, that they too are just as corrupt as he. We've seen this many times before in recent environmental holocaust films, where the good guys pretend to be wholly virtuous, but usually the cocky, gloating "guy in black" who isn't much afraid to just simply show himself AS the "guy in black"--the very living embodiment of a stereotype; as the bad guy with transparently awful motivations--isn't allowed to have much of a case--think, for example, of Avatar, where no taint ends up sitting upon the science team, even though an exploitive, profitable enterprise is "what pays for [their] science." Here, though, it's different. After the villain has his say, his rebutal, it sticks, resonates, entwines with the motivations behind how the subsequent plot will now unfold. Even as we're sure his upcoming immediate fate is to succumb from someone WITH a voice to become someone only backing off of one, dutifully awaiting his turn until he himself becomes the focus of his own being ripped apart by dinosaurs, we know that our heroes in the film will not in the end permit themselves to come off as if they got exactly as THEY wished and wanted, but for someone else to represent as the possessor of rock-solid virtue.
That the virtuous would be up to their own being... unsettled, in their sure hold on virtue, felt obvious to me through how the young black professional in their organization was portrayed. At a time where very clearly the preferred progessive social ideal of the black man is as overtly proud and masculine in the Lebron James, Luke Cage and Black Panther mode, which is not open in any way to being lamented as effeminate by chauvinists, here the progressive agency he is associated with is shown as one that is oblivious to black needs, black pride--young black men, growing up mostly fatherless, are supposed to be delighted to find themselves in organizations full of female PhDs, that are lead by women, that have no element of the martial but are only about tending and saving... making them, perhaps, live vicariously through the dinosaurs they study, who get to be BOTH caring and martial, and take just as innocuously as any young white man in their midst, taunts of their being dressed by their moms and their being perennial scaredy-cats (i.e., those of a perennial need to run home to their mommas). This idyllic organization, this specific one of endangered species care, is shown as obtuse to the fact that for black men, the "carrot" they've thrown to the black community is for them to climb out of a problematic, father-absentee environment into one, a Ivy-League-granted, "professional" one, which offers no redress of it but its amplification. Or, rather, its eradication, as an issue, because what is portrayed in this progressive work environment is "Nirvana"; by definition, perfection in its final realized form--to doubt it is sacrilege, impossible: your complaints, emerging out of genuine felt distress, cannot be heard. You may, or you may not, but it is possible that through the movie as you see the young black man running away from terrifying dinosaurs, while the white female associate of his, who's so much in full ownership of every situation she finds herself within that she can daunt the ostensibly forbidding chief trophy hunter as readily as the greatest biological predator ever created can, humorously taunts him over it, that white progressivism is being portrayed as of virtue-signalling and the subtle encouragement of black enslavement by a different name. Liberals... they don't care for blacks, not really, because there is no way otherwise they could be so obtuse: this is what the movie highlights as part of our problematic current reality: our best, really aren't. Not just gross corporate venturism, but our heroes, the helping, liberal, professional class, have been venturers of the selfish, and are fundamentally self-focused. From bottom to top... we're bad. This is the core message of the movie.
At one point the young black man, fearing he'd been recognized as an assailant, as an enemy, is actually mistook as a ship-worker, as a member of the all-men working crew of the quasi-military operation that is carting the dinosaurs away for profit... and so strongly and unfair is the adverse female-stewardship over him implied to be, so grossly obtuse and inconsiderate, it actually feels, when he is yelled at to do his job and join up with the rest of the workers, like an unexpected rescue, a rescue that could never be admitted out in the open as such: here's his chance to be yanked away into the world of rough-edged, battling-hard, working men!... all that he had been somehow triangulated out of admitting he most craved and wanted! He and the audience can pretend he "joins" because he has to, but so strongly does the film portray his character as being used by progressivism rather than being a beneficiary of it... as being akin to the dinosaur Blue in choosing ultimately to leave his friends at the end for something she correctly identifies as superior, that if the man demanding he "suit up" and join the crew had been black rather than white, it would have felt more like the military drawing the young black man out of the female-dominated home into a life of genuinely masculine "work" than his being made to temporarily join the rank of pillagers and thieves.
P.S. Whether it is a sign of unconscious overt misdirection or not, ostensibly the issue of what to make of traditional conceptions of masculinity follows the usual progressive path here, in that it is embodied in the white beefcake, in Chris Pratt's character, who makes complaints of his past-girlfriend now choosing lawyers, doctors... members of the professional class, over more working-class, humble-aspirations him, more a matter of immediate dismissal than consideration, as he luxuriates just as much as anyone could in his own huge white male advantage, as overlord, in his private ranch, of trees, lake, ridge-advantage, sky... of a giant generous cupping of the wild.
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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is not supposed to be, itself, about dinosaurs herded into an amusement park ride--it delineates a fallen previous one, not one in full go. But this assumes we'd apply a narrow conception of what it is anyone would hope to get from a "dinosaur" experience, and it isn't only of their living amongst lushness. After any camp started off simply offering that became popular, we know that some enthusiasts would eventually suggest that another sort of park be put into operation, in competition, that brought the public as close as possible to the other subject concerning dinosaurs that fascinates us: the astonishing, operatic moment of their demise. Rather than dinosaurs meandering amongst hills, dales, and riversides, there would be dinosaurs coaxing their own desperate attempts at survival, as an onslaught of the repercussions of an earth-struck meteor brought catastrophic doom to their lives. This experience, coming very close to that, is what the scientific adventurers in this film get to come close to see when they enter the Fallen Kingdom. See it, and escape from it... and in overt, fun, Indiana Jones-style, to boot.
They've escaped onto a boat, but though at first only glad, exhilarated and gleeful, they look back to see one mighty straggling dinosaur, a brontosaurus, the dinosaur of all dinosaurs that represents, like an elephant does, something grand and unpresuming, something to revere and devote ourselves to, something holy, left alone to provide with his massive frame and bulk something that in its last moments might temporarily use the huge yellow glow of an island that is now half spilt lava, to actually draw focus to itself, like a mountain, and a mountain only, might a sunset. Watching this, this contrast with ourselves, as we were only just barely past savouring own escape and getting ready to focus on the next escapade, the next glop of fun, it feels almost as if we had just done ourselves an "Animal Farm" and abandoned the mighty Boxer to a glue farm... the ostensible thing we were most beholden, most loyal, to. We feel not righteous, but selfish. We experience huge guilt, even if we self-identify as those who are normally stalwart in our efforts to save the world.
If people want to know what the ending of the film is about, it is about absolving ourselves of guilt. We know the dinosaurs let loose into wild, will not just be as they were in the film--devoted to eating overt bad guys. They'll go after and eat, surfers, families, children. There are no innocents amongst us, for face to face with these mighty, dignified dinosaurs, we can't mistake that it isn't clear that if humankind was left out of the picture, that these beings are in any sense less grand, less fit, than the ones currently dominating our planet. And yet we had been all resolved to think of them as those that couldn't co-exist with us, couldn't compete with us, only to be resurrected amongst us like those who've agreed they exist again, but not legitimately, for they themselves proved unequal to the demands of change and time. Dinosaurs could only exist now, as "dinosaurs," as remnants of an outdated, outpaced, past world of grandeur: wild west charlatans doing carnival tricks for an age past rough civil war incivility and onto something gilded, electric, intellectual, modern, contemporary. Does the lion really have it over the T-Rex? Does the elephant, over the Bronto?... would WE continue to exist if a large meteor hit our planet? Does an outside meteor count fair as a component of "Mother Nature"--something we'd assume presumed only to count, our wonderful planet, Earth--having its say as to who stands out as fit and evolved, and who, doesn't? Maybe the lion's status as chief of the wild, and our own, over the planet, owed to a kind of cheat, something kinda actually really outside the rules, which we took full advantage of when we really ought to have in fairness, mostly overlooked it: Loki, a villain, someone barely, hardly, Asgaardian, tricking Asgaard onto a different fate until things finally, at long last, got righted, and back onto Thor and Odin.
And given that what is currently happening around the world is that people are putting into power governments that proclaim that our entire current order, which has waylaid manufacturing, nuclear families, the working class and its ideals, as outdated, as living fossils, as dinosaurs, while privileging the professional classes and new sorts of family matrixes as evolved, has been built out of a kind of trickery itself, for it ostensibly never being proven to be uncompetitive and outdated but only forced into being conceived as such by an unscurpulous class that took advantage of something fundamentally good and which had upheld good public order--the innocent trust of the people in their institutions--to make their own thievery be understood as purposeful, and others' legitimate work, as marginal and useless, to give themselves a long-held false reign over the planet, we should check ourselves before liking how the film ends, for it has extensions.
In a nutshell, it supports Brexit; it supports Trump. If America put tariffs on international goods, would it really be revealed that the reason Harley-Davidson shut grand factories in the U.S. owed to their intrinsic uncompetitiveness, as we've been long-instructed to believe? Or because some force alien to what out to be counted as any legitimate constituent, any legitimate player, of what determines the evolution of a proud nation's narrative, saw it could be done through lawyerly-trickery, through a cheat, heavily exploited, and whatever it might due to a nation's overall vitality and health, such would serve they and their families, quite grandly?
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Another young, stranded girl, wearing a red coat. An image that's popping up in films and in real life. Why the fixation? Does it matter that the girl is always just barely prepubescent, always just before, adolescence, growth into one's own full personhood?
Dinosaurs in cages, asphyxiation. If scenes like this are everywhere in film, then when we document the horrors of reality are we really so actually horrified to see what we have been interested in finding in films played out for us in real life?
Film begins with volcano blowing apart it's fragile cover to spew rocks over an island. Film ends with dinosaurs on top of a roof, crashing down through its own fragile cover, deep into a household's sturdy core chamber, constituted by a redoubtable bone fossil. Motion is first outside onto the world, and then retreating back in, like a person exhaling, then inhaling, forcefully.


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