Don’t worry, I know that middle aged is still an old fart, and younger audiences might not have seen some of the most epic movies in the world, so I’m going to talk in generalities and avoid spoilers.
I know you know I love dinosaurs, and I remember looking for Jurassic Park on Netflix before, it’s been ages since I’ve seen it. I tried again and the whole trilogy was up there, so I had myself a little movie marathon.
It turns out that it’s been probably over a decade since I’ve seen it last. I’ve achieved an entire degree, and I graduated a handful of years ago, so it’s been forever. Especially when you consider that I took the meandering route, maxing out my financial aid and taking seven years to get a four-year degree because I had to grab every class that I thought looked interesting. I couldn’t stop myself.
I was a Psych major picking up Sustainable Ecology, International Film, Pulp Fiction, all kinds of fun stuff. At one point I realized I might be able to get an English minor with all my credits, but I was short one class that they didn’t offer online, and during the last couple of years, online was all I could do. That was fine with me, the extra education was just to add spice to life anyway.
Therefore, because it had been so long, and I’ve been thus educated, this time I got to see the trilogy with a completely different viewpoint. I remembered a movie full of fun action with some hints of a plot, but if you had asked me what it was about, I would have said man vs. nature with a message about not playing God, and the sub plots were to increase tension.
As I fired it up most recently, when Grant was scaring the piss out of the kid with the whole foreshadowing raptor claw thing, I remembered someone saying the real story of the movie was how he came to love kids, and sure enough there he is living in the shadow of his lie in the first scenes of the movie.
Next thing you know, he’s telling dad jokes with an electric fence. You know, right before the man-hero must protect the smallest and most vulnerable member of the entire movie.
This is quickly followed by a series of contrasts between relief and terror, and the fulfillment of the promise, “When you see it, it will already be too late.” Also, the ethical teaching of never leaving children unattended, they will be in danger if you do.
And naturally, it’s pulp so there’s the muscular hero and the wussy dude is the enemy. So are all people who show greed, cowardice, and disloyalty. Sometimes the greedy “mean well”, sometimes they are straight up villains (man I enjoy seeing Peter Stormare in all his beautiful, sexy, yet skeevy glory getting poetic comeuppance. We don’t like people who disrespect animals and nature here, Mr. Satan.)
Heroic altruism is rewarded, the hero is a glistening untarnished pure of heart dude. I particularly liked when Grant seemed to be behaving like a captain going down on a sinking ship, the last paleontologist standing fast against the decline of his life’s work, not jumping ship to the new empire based on monstrous advancements in Science over the ethical purity of Nature. Enemies unite under common threats, putting aside their differences, all that pulpy moralistic goodness.
At least the sexist message in the first movie was remedied by the gymnastic attack in the second. The children also grew more heroic as the trilogy progressed, to the point of straight up rewarding Grant’s acceptance of their kind with a heroic rescue for himself.
I mean, the first time I saw it, I was all “wow, this new CGI technology is really cool!”, but with education, now all the things that all the people have told me went and did what they are supposed to do. They shaped my experience into the next level of enjoyment, pulling out meaning and hidden messages like a kid with a plot decoder ring. Awesome.
P.S. – After writing this, I went on to update my profile because it’s about due. I wrote about wanting to camp in spooky places (and all that other profile stuff), then went on to reward the day’s hard work with a movie picked for me by Netflix. I hit play without bothering to read the description (it’s the little adventures that make life bearable). Turns out that it’s about camping somewhere, and I just bet it’s going to be a bad idea. Hello synchronicity, I’ll take you as a good omen.