“Jurassic World”, and a rant about Self-Immolation

“Jurassic World” is a bad movie. This isn’t to say that one can’t get some enjoyment out of it, but never have I seen a movie fail this hard at gimmicks, commentary, self-deprecation and entertainment since…well, ever. Apparently, the same shitty attitude that is propped up by the likes of Birdman has now infected the modern blockbuster. If that’s the case, the next few years are going to be insufferable, not to mention sexist (though to give this movie credit, the token Black and Asian people don’t die). It’s often said that it’s not attractive for a person to put themselves down in harsh ways, especially if one is trying to get approval and/or into someone’s pants. But here is a movie that not only attacks itself, it also attacks its audience, and while the premise is entertaining on paper (with, to be fair, a few entertaining bits in reality), the entire production has an air of self-loathing that sucks the fun out of most of the proceedings until the 3rd act, where the movie FINALLY embraces how ridiculous it really is. That’s not even getting into the plot holes (which critic Devin Faraci already covered).  “Jurassic World” may make one jolt, it may even make one laugh with how ridiculous and inconsistent it is, but it’s still a bad movie all the same, and the box office numbers can’t erase that. Here are some reasons why.

One moment this movie tries to pull a, “Tomorrowland” and lambast people for being cynical (thankfully without the shitty lectures). Then it becomes mean-spirited and has a lot of innocent people killed (boy, THAT will certainly put a dent on the park being opened again, eh?). Then it tries to be a commentary on the military-industrial complex/corporate takeovers with a side of genetic engineering, which is a neat idea up until one realizes that it’s all just a bit of franchise-building up for possible sequels, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One would be tempted to blame director Colin Trevorrow, coming fresh from the movie, “Safety Not Guaranteed”, for infusing the movie with a contradictory mix of self-loathing and a modern understanding of irony. Except the screenplay for this movie is written by four people (Trevorrow included) and being a studio machine, there’s no way anyone can say that this is the work of an auteur (however misguided). All of this makes a movie that is just plain bad edging on mediocre, like every other movie in the, “Jurassic Park” series since the first one, and not even an illogical third act where the movie finally allows itself to be overblown and unironic can salvage it.

But the worst thing about it is that unlike the last 3 movies, it’s not actually ABOUT the dinosaurs or the adventure this time. The science and VFX of “Jurassic Park” may be outdated now, but from the get-go the series was a love letter to Science…a love letter that also said, “Oh, by the way, Raptors will bite your face off and know how to open doors, so watch your shit”. Sure, the sequels to, “Jurassic Park” are far from good, but they’re are rooted by a belief in exploration and adventure. Here, “Jurassic World” has devolved the entire series into the very thing Steven Speilberg mocked with the first movie: a run-of-the-mill theme park/adventure ride, only this is a theme park that says, “Oh, look at me, aren’t I an evil capitalist! Come on, guys, let’s hate-consume together!” UGH, enough with this self-loathing bullshit, already! Just because the source material of “Jurassic Park” is not on the same level of, “Selma” and “Pather Panchali” does not mean that one has to beat oneself up and do a shitty job on purpose. Lots of movies based on questionable source material have been made into great works of art before (try reading the short story the Alfred Hitchcock-directed, “Rear Window” is based on sometime), and it’s a shame that, “Jurassic World” goes around carrying around this self-hatred, despite the fact that it has fucking DINOSAURS.

If, “Jurassic World” was a person on a date, they would be the kind who tries to woo you through their self-loathing, talking a big pretentious game about how shitty everything is while trying to do amazing things (poorly, with “irony”). By the time they’re finished introducing themselves, you wouldn’t know if you want to walk away or shake them and tell them to get the fuck over themselves. I know that sounds harsh, coming from a guy who talks about their own issues and constantly draws attention to themselves when they’re feeling sad, but…goddamn, movie, have some fucking FUN. I mean, I’m glad you set up that ridiculous final dinosaur fight. I’m also glad that you at least are not afraid of a little concept called, “consequences” when it comes to being an action/adventure/horror/sci-fi hybrid…but stop hating yourself.

Stop hating yourselves, artists. It’s not attractive, and it’s not impressive. People who aren’t into your shit anyway would be LESS into your shit if you walked around telling everyone how much you shit on your job. Somehow, artists (and so many other people) have confused self-loathing with self-deprecation as done by Conan O’ Brien, Richard Pryor and Melissa McCarthy. Somehow, we got it into our heads that the only way to be taken seriously, or even to be given the time of day by someone, is to not only hate ourselves but to tell people HOW much we hate ourselves. Then, we believe that we have a license to do a shitty job on purpose BECAUSE we hate ourselves. A person who is not interested in a certain thing to begin with would totally be turned around if they only knew how much the other person disliked themselves, right? Wrong. I’ve tried it in relationships, and it doesn’t work. I’ve tried being friends with people who not only hated my friends, but were shown to hate my kind as well, to the point where I was the, “Good One” to them (you know how shitty that position is). Sexual harassment on Tinder/OkCupid won’t stop if the victims self-immolate. Hating yourself in advance does jack shit to prevent people from disliking or hating you in the future.

Stop hating yourself. Just do the work, and have a bit of fucking pride, no matter who refuses to give you the time of day. Sex workers and trans people do not need Naomi Wolf’s approval. bell hooks does not have to sleep with Rush Limbaugh to be considered a, “Good writer”. Ceasar Chavez did not have to kiss the ass of the bosses who paid him and the other workers jack shit to be a human being. Don’t EVER let anyone convince that you have to hate yourself to be worth anyone’s time…especially not Hollywood.

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