Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Only now does it occur to me... JURASSIC WORLD

Only now does it occur to me... that the JURASSIC PARK series has steadily and perhaps deliberately evolved into the ROCKY series.  Allow me to explain (spoilers will follow for all the JURASSIC PARK films and the first four ROCKYs).

JURASSIC PARK and ROCKY are both classy, well-constructed films with serious tones; they were followed up with sequels that tried to capture the spirit of the original on a larger scale, but with mixed results.  JURASSIC PARK III and ROCKY III both stride solidly into camp territory

I.e., Michael Jeter as a mercenary....

and Hulk Hogan as "Thunderlips."

and introduce absurd, larger-than-life villains (the exaggerated Spinosaurus and Mr. T, respectively).  JURASSIC PARK III especially mirrors ROCKY III when the T. Rex (sort of the Burgess Meredith of the JURASSIC PARK universe––unrepentantly irascible, and a great motivator) is killed by the Spinosaurus in order to "raise the stakes."

Thus, the stage was primed for JURASSIC WORLD to embrace its destiny as the ROCKY IV of dinosaur movies, and hoo boy it sure did, unabashedly leaping headlong into the wondrous realm of the "clumsily endearing trashterpiece."  In JURASSIC WORLD, our new villain is "Indominus Rex," who, like Dolph Lundgren in ROCKY IV, is a 'roided-out, unnatural laboratory creation.

 "I must break you."

"If he dies, he dies..."  Yet both easily tamed by Grace Jones.

Like ROCKY IV, it purports to ironically demonstrate the shortcomings of "bigger is better" commercialism by unironically embracing "bigger is better" commercialism.

Whether in Las Vegas...

...or at Sea World?

There's a zany "celebrity cameo... as themselves" (James Brown in ROCKY IV and Jimmy Fallon in JURASSIC WORLD), and JURASSIC WORLD ends with a dino punch-out session more ludicrous than anything ROCKY or the WWF ever dreamed up, with dinosaurs literally tagging each other into the ring (they really should have played rockin' entrance music for each of the contenders... "And now, tagging in with folding chairs, the Mosasaurus and The Ultimate Warrior!"), delivering head-nods, inspirational beatdowns, and the like.

The whole thing was more than worthy of a faux-Gorbachev slow-clap.

I have no doubt that in whatever form JURASSIC PARK V emerges, it will do so as the ROCKY V of JURASSIC PARK movies.  (What dinosaur will boldly step up to the plate and be the "Tommy Gunn" or JURASSIC PARK?)

Anyway, I'll leave you with this inspirational juxtaposition:

And after all that clobberin' you may have the overwhelming desire to purchase cuddly variants of the main characters. 


John Guedes said...

Awesome job connecting the two franchises! JAWS 3D also came to mind. I went into JURASSIC WORLD with very low expectations and was actually pleasantly surprised. The film has its flaws but makes up for it by proudly wearing its 80's camp badge. That and any film that features Bryce Dallas Howard sprinting in high heals is worth recommending in my book.

Cannon said...

Ancillary villains Vincent D'Onofrio and Brigitte Nielsen. I haven't any meta or in-movie connection to make here, but simply find it opportune to mention these two (real life) characters in the same sentence.

Rocky IV also has a robot. A robot. In a Rocky movie. Thank you, 80s.

Sean Gill said...

Glad you enjoyed! Yeah, JAWS 3-D is definitely a point of reference, too. I, too, went in with low expectations, but found a special breed of dumb fun to be had.

That's a fine sentence, my friend. I do love SICO the robot. I love even more that apparently James Brown kidnapped him from the set and took him on tour throughout the 1980s!