Movie Review: Jurassic World

Jurassic-World-Banner

 

Jurassic World is a luxury resort where, over the past years, people have come to see real life dinosaurs. Sure, they were once extinct, but, thanks to a little genetic DNA manipulation, scientists can whip up any dino they please. People are getting bored now of regular dinosaurs- as is the case of humanity. So, in order to keep attendance up, a new dinosaur is bred.

This dinosaur is the “stuff of nightmares” as the owner calls it. So we are introduced to some characters we are supposed to care about, a park where everything is going great, and a Indominus Rex that is smarter than everyone else.

Thankfully, it is in a cage. Until it gets out and starts killing stuff. Surprise surprise… I mean, seriously, what did you expect to happen?

Moral Messages

Two brothers/nephews are introduced in this movie, and they are the typical set. The hyper excited younger and the the girl chasing/depressed older. While their relationship is, at best, tolerable of each other, the various events with dinosaurs escaping bring them closer together and result in them sharing real, personal fears with the other. Likewise, Claire gets a wakeup call in the horrendous events of the Indominus Rex escape. She realizes her nephews and family are so much more important, that once they are reunited, she doesn’t let them out of her sight. The pain of divorce is touched on as well, giving this film a minor, yet solid approach on family values.

“Assets” are the parks main priority. As well they should be, as these assets are the dinosaurs people come to see. What appears to be forgotten, is these assets are living, breathing, and thinking creatures. Claire disregards this point that Owen brings up, saying “extinct animals have no rights.” Later on though, it is made clear through a dire scene that these animals may not have a human soul, they certainly have life, and should be cared for as such. Many relationships of man and beast in this movie asked excellent questions about the dominion of nature vs. being submissive to it. Ultimately, a well struck balance was found and was lacking in the typical progressive agenda which we find in other films.

How do you live a happy life? Claire is asked this question in the midst of her business speech. A man simply states “The key to a happy life is to accept you are never in control.” A quote like that should not be forgotten, especially in a movie like this. How true it is that man has no control over anything, and this is emphasized in Jurassic World. The people who try to hold onto everything and manipulate every situation often wind up unhappy (or dead), while those who live Hakuna Matata style wind up with that Disney happy ending.

Content Cautions

What would a Jurassic movie be without the carnivorous violence? A dinosaur zoo- that’s what. While I personally think that kind of movie would be awesome (Please Pixar?), apparently Hollywood disagrees. In the couple of hours we sit through this movie, all kinds of voracious violence ensues. The Indominus Rex kills her share of humans. We see several munched up off the ground waist up, others are clawed and impaled, some are crushed with her tail, and yet others are simply squished by her huge feet. She picks up a tourist filled glass ball with people inside and attempts to break it open. The death count by her savagery is easily exceeds three dozen, most of whom are military personnel who signed up to stop escaped assets such as herself.

But it doesn’t stop there. The aviary is broken open by a crashing helicopter (all men die in said copter), and the Pterodactyls wreck havoc upon the civilians trying to escape the park. Many are grabbed and dropped in the air. Others are pecked to death. Some even are impaled by beaks of Pterodactyls who have been shot down by the park security. Unfortunately, one woman in particular is not only hoisted in the air by the flying beasts, but fought over by two of the dinos… only for the Pterodactyl and the woman to be eaten whole by a huge Mosasaur (Whale-type Dino).

Let’s not forget the Raptors. Those wolf-type creatures who are way too smart for their own good. This results in messy blood spattering deaths in not only the woods, but also in the lab where the raptors track the last of survivors down. In one particularly gruesome scene, a man’s arm is bitten in half, then the rest of him attacked.

Finally, in case the CGI Dinosaurs eating people wasn’t enough, we are treated to a full our monster mash of dinosaurs battling and beating the complete life out of each other. It is a terribly spectacular fest which leaves you in awe of not only what we can do with technology, but also what it might have looked like thousands of years ago had these beasts met.

Expletives are proficient with about a dozen S and D words, A man is called an A, another mention of a B word. God’s name is used in vain seven times.

There is one extra-marital kiss, and a crude reference of mating with another.

Closing Thoughts

It truly is remarkable how a single movie can alter the course of the film industry. Jurassic Park did that in 1993. This long awaited sequel by the fans of the original is nothing short of a beautiful and well told CGI spectacle teasing back and tipping the hat to the “glory days” of the first movie. This film delivers on all fronts when it comes to a telling a quaint and simple story, while feeding the masses’ bloodlust for more bone crunching, more explosions, and more dino action.

While there is so much more to be dug up in Jurassic World, that is where the flick leaves us. Instead of exploring greater into the depths of some pretty heavy themes that are merely touched upon… We are given humans being juggled and torn apart by pterodactyls. The same old themes in the old movie are resurrected, and once again, trampled.

While themes of family bonds are showed to us by the two brothers, nothing lasting is established. Claire and Owen wind up together, against all odds of complete clashing of persons throughout the entire film (spoiler alert). The film isn’t such a “clever girl” to be honest, while it could have been. All the musings about life control and the state of nature disregarded as the Indominus Rex takes the screen.

But while we are being honest, no one going this movie wanted a discourse on the morality of genetics now did they? Who is going to go see a movie where everything goes right in an abusive dinosaur zoo? No one in this generation, that’s for sure. So, if you want to see more things going wrong, more humans turning into snack food, and a really cool scene where raptors team up with Chris Pratt riding an old motorcycle… Yeah, this movie is for you.

Advertisements

Why You Can’t Change Your Gender

Man and Woman

(Content Warning: This post deals with mature themes of sexuality and sexual orientation)

Oh National Media, how we love thee for thy spotlight shining on issues here today and gone tomorrow. Directing our attentions by saying “Squirrel!” and the populous running to that story like a dog from Pixar’s UP. This most recent direction of Vanity Fair’s Magazine Cover has created quite the stir. The story isn’t surprising really, as it addresses fundamental questions regarding who we are.

You Can Change Your Biological Sex

While the U.S. is in awe of the physical change that has been wrought in and through this individual, fiery arguments have developed as to what to call Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. Who he is. What his legal name now is. And so forth and so on. What is not disputed by either parties, is that he is biologically, now a female.

Thanks to science, it is possible to accomplish incredible things. Biological 3-D printing is opening up transplants with the possibilities of no patient rejection. We understand more of our creation than ever before. But with that understanding in a fallen world, we’ve seen twisting of application of science- like the person we see today.

Ever since Roe v. Wade, society has operated under the impression that people have rights over their own bodies to any extreme. Scripturally however, this body-owning mindset could not be further from the truth. We are but stewards of the physical shells in which we have been given. Granted, from a Christian perspective, this truth is simple to grasp. It is communicating this truth to the world is what has been and always will be- a difficult task.

You Can’t Change Your God-Given Gender

The truth of the issue is that each one of us was created by God with a specific gender in mind. That is, one’s soul apart from their biological shell. Society would say the first is dependent upon the other. The Bible says otherwise. In heaven it is said there will be women and there will be men. Yet, we will be as brothers and sisters. Will who we are in heaven be determined by our current biological setup when we die? Of course not.

One can certainly be a male or female anatomically. Yet, that can in no way determine whether our soul is that of a man or a woman. Our God created soul transcends the mere body in which we live. Our body will eventually be cast away and rot like everything else in this world regardless of whether or not we change core bodily functions or appearances.

That’s why a person can change their bodily appearance all they want, yet still be like what Christ said- a tomb inside. They are still that same lost, desperate, and hopeless individual. Trying to find meaning in things which will not satisfy. Trying make an impact in a manner which won’t last.

I’d challenge you not to get lost in the physical particulars like so many have, but to look deeper into the personal struggles which this person and so many others face. We have a huge opportunity here to be shining examples of Christlike compassion and boldness. Let’s not squander it arguing about what bra size Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner wears.