CFC: We CAN do an episode about Jurassic Park; does that mean we SHOULD?

From Hannah: It’s been almost thirty years since we first were welcomed to Jurassic Park on the silver screen. And this weekend, the sixth movie in the franchise (which, uh, many of might say never should have had one sequel much less this many) Jurassic World: Dominion will premiere on North American screens. I’ve been wanting to do a Jurassic Park episode for years, actually, so I figured here’s our opportunity to be semi-timely.

But I don’t want to just talk about the original film (although it may be one of the most magical pieces of cinema that remains enchanting to this very day). I want to talk about the entire legacy, starting with the 1990 Michael Crichton novel. When I read Jurassic Park as a teenager, it was one of novels that most prominently changed my worldview … in that it was perhaps the first thing to make me think, “Oh capitalism leads to a lot of bad consequences.” (And the movie definitely softens its stance, although the critique is still there.) Honestly, the smartest thing about the Jurassic World film series is that it recognizes capitalism acts against majority interest. I’ve read multiple interviews from the first and third film director that allude to this. In the article I’ve linked, Colin Trevorrow is quoted as saying, “To me it’s about greed. The first film is about how if there’s money on the table, there will be somebody who will do the worst imaginable things, or in a lot of cases, the dumbest imaginable thing in order to get that money.”

And just like how many people revisiting the Jurassic Park sequels during the pandemic, I too found something redemptive in them. I’m pretty convinced, in fact, (and you hear me say this in our 2022 Box Office episode) that Jurassic World: Dominion is accidentally a pandemic movie. It speaks to our times.

(We can’t forget how many dollars Jurassic Park has generated in all its forms from books to movies to merchandise to theme park attractions …)

Capitalism isn’t the only thing explored in Jurassic Park, of course, there’s scientific ethics, automatization, animal rights, evolution, control of the natural world … and so on.

So, why is Jurassic Park (in any of its forms) important to you? Why does it still speak to audiences? Have we missed something in this blog we should absolutely discuss on the show? Can Jurassic World be redeemed at all, or am I just a sucker?

Also: Dinosaurs are cool.

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