I Can’t Help but Endorse “Jurassic World” – A Self Loathing Takedown of Blockbusters

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is one of the landmarks in populist blockbuster films. Like every child in the 90’s I watched that movie both in VHS and revival screenings. It was an adventure about a theme park populated with genetically re-engineered dinosaurs (brought to life with excellent movie special effects) and the concept alone was enough to thrill me as a child and even today fill me with child-like wonder; but I know that the craft behind Spielberg’s 1993 film was ultimately what makes it so effective even 20+ years after the fact. Nowadays, almost anything that can be imagined will be brought to life on screen, spectacle and imaginative concepts aren’t enough to carry a movie along anymore and modern audiences have become increasingly jaded and cynical with every passing summer movie blockbuster season. Couple that cynicism with Hollywood’s predilection for sequels, franchise-building and recycling old intellectual properties and the landscape for big-budget blockbusters are mostly embarrassing time-fillers of diminishing spectacle. To this, there was a golden opportunity for the fourth sequel in a 20-year old franchise that diminished with each successive feature. The opportunity was two-fold: they could skillfully bring back an aging-yet-respected franchise to a public increasingly obsessed w/ nostalgia OR they could respond in kind to the current state of blockbusters. Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World attempts to do both but fails to bring back any respectability to the Jurassic franchise yet it somehow, against all odds, succeeds as a self-loathing takedown of blockbuster filmmaking. This isn’t a review per se but rather a defense of summer 2015s biggest (it’s hit record-breaking billion $ marks) yet possibly most critically misunderstood movie in a long time.

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