It is my preference to write in the most organic form possible, without outlines. However, for the sake of organization I felt that it would be most effective to outline this analysis beforehand. I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers. So, without further ado:
The recurring themes and motifs that I found to be most prominent, in descending order of importance.
- Learning from the Past
Themetically this stretches across the entirety of the franchise. Throughout the film, the word and concept of control is eluded to frequently. Whether it’s Simon Masrani trying to pilot a helicopter, or dinosaurs unsurprisingly wrecking havoc upon a theme park, control manifests itself as a human illusion. The most prominent example of lack of control is Claire Dearing’s character, a symbolic representation of control itself. As an overseer of the park, it is her prerogative to know where every animal and person is at all times. Even Owen Grady comments ‘Who brings an itinerary to a first date?’, a shot at her overly planned lifestyle, which ultimately comes to ruin as the park gradually gets out of control. Humans live under the guise of control. And, although we have control over our routines, all it takes is one person, one day, or one minor mistake to change your life.
The very inception of the park is a consumerist dream. A zoo but with higher stakes, Jurassic World is the place to be. Merchandise, live attractions, rides, it’s the ultimate theme park. How could this possibly go wrong? The reputable Wikipedia cites the creation of the Indominus Rex as a symbol of consumerism itself. Seeking bigger, more dangerous dinosaurs, a new one is genetically engineered, without regard for the consequences of making such a deadly creature. Truly, consumerism stands as a behemoth, fed by American desire, rapidly growing each day. The park is designed to profit, and will do anything at the cost of many lives simply to bring in more money. Too afraid to lose business and cause panic, the park directors fail to warn its visitors of impending disaster, and many lives are lost as a result, unsurprisingly.
What I would also consider an overarching theme of Jurassic Park, and a present issue as well. Particularly in the field of science, ethical guidelines are always under fire. The question is, how far should science be taken? The creators of the park failed to take any ethical considerations, and “played god” by reviving and creating entirely new dinosaurs merely for the purpose of gaining a profit. Although it could be argued that John Hammond’s purposes were different, those that continued the park are responsible for the consequences. Is it right to create a new species? That is a central question of the film. The limits to which science should be taken to alter our world are brought into question as well. Is it ethical to imprison such dangerous yet magnificent monsters, merely for profit? To be more succinct on the issues of ethics: just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
Learning from the Past
What I appreciated about this film was the call outs to the original Jurassic Park. There are many subtleties, such as the cartoon DNA strand, or a model of the amber trapped mosquito. Remnants of the original Park are brought on screen to represent a literal and figurative fossil, with which the park directors should learn from. Lowery Cruthers is reprimanded by Claire for wearing an “old” Jurassic Park t-shirt. ‘People died,’ she says almost arbitrarily. All of this points to the park owner’s lack of learning from past mistakes. Had they simply not continued the park operation, there would be no possibility for things to get out of control in the first place.
My review – Overall, excellent film. I really had no quarrels with it, and am a fan of the franchise. I appreciated the actors’ contribution to the film, as well as the inclusion of new species and getting a look at a functioning park. Action packed, minimal plot to follow, and aesthetically pleasing, and with a significant take away. To sum it up, do not miss out on this summer blockbuster, you won’t regret seeing it.
Billy Brenan: You have to believe me, this was a stupid decision, but I did it with the best intentions.
Dr. Grant: With the best intentions? Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions. You know what, Billy? As far as I’m concerned, you’re no better than the people that built this place.
– Jurassic Park 3
About the Writer
M Stuart Persson is an undergraduate at the University of Illinois. In pursuit of a bachelors in sociology, school is merely one facet of life. Long boarding, stand up comedy, music, film and writing make up the rest of his free time. An aspiring creative writer and editor. I’m a wave about to splash.