Director: Colin Trevorrow
Written by: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
Even if it may not seem like it on the surface, most films have a theme underlying everything that happens within the script. Whether it’s the importance of family, the effect of racism or mental health, there is always a message that the director is trying to convey to their audience using the medium of film. More often than not, the message is supposed to make audiences think on their own lives and reflect on what they would do in such a situation were it to arise.
Jurassic World is a sci-fi disaster film which follows on from the events of the original Jurassic Park trilogy while revamping it into something new. The story follows the re-opened park, Jurassic World in which the owners believe that they won’t make the same mistakes that John Hammond did and that they can control the dinosaurs. You can guess how well that works out.
While the Jurassic franchise has often been labelled as silly as many believe that there is no chance that they would make the same mistake over and over again, I would like to raise the idea that that’s the point of the film. I mentioned themes earlier and the theme that is prevalent is human greed.
Human greed is presented in a number of ways during the film and through different characters. There is no clear sole protagonist but rather a group of main characters (you could argue that Owen [Chris Pratt] is the protagonist but he isn’t introduced until well after Zach, Gray and Claire are all introduced.) The greed that is presented within their character flaws is also constantly juxtaposed with the greed of the Indominus Rex. But we’ll get onto that in a moment.
While there is no true protagonist, there is also not one sole antagonist, even though you would likely believe that the Indominus Rex is the antagonist. There are three others – Doctor Henry Wu, Victor Hoskins and money itself, with the latter being the most dangerous out of the group. Without the pursuit of money, it’s likely that none of this would happen which is a point that is made throughout the screenplay. The scientists and business CEOs are so eager to make money from the dinosaurs that they don’t realise the impact that this could have – they just see the dollar signs.
Firstly, let’s talk about the greed of one of our main protagonists, Zach (Nick Robinson). Zach is introduced as a regular moody teenager that only looks for what he can get and how the events of the day affect him rather than what is best for everyone around. He knows that this trip is important to his little brother, Gray (Ty Simpkins), but he is more obsessed with talking to his girlfriend back home and seeing which other girls are on offer in Jurassic World. His greed is self-fulfilling and equally damaging to the characters around him. The impact that it has on his little brother is sufficient as he is constantly pushed to one side in lieu of Zach’s needs.
The Indominus brings out the best in Zach as he is forced to put the needs of Gray before his own. He realises that shouting and bullying his way through this will only result in getting them killed. With his selfish-glasses off, he begins to see that Gray is brave, intelligent and worth looking after – he just didn’t see that when he was focussing on his own wants and gains. Gray is his antithesis as he is automatically much warmer and vibrant than his brother from the moment we meet him. He is clearly excited to be spending time with him and is aware of the people around him – namely his parents when he has begun to notice that their marriage may not be as pleasant as it seems on the surface.
Next, we have Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong). A callback from the past films, he has clearly learned nothing from the events of the past as he is still pushing for dinosaur breeding to become a regular practice that will continue to generate income for humanity. His greed comes from his need for success which neatly compares him alongside Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who even though she doesn’t openly state it is also eager to impress. She pushes aside her own life and responsibilities within it to do the best possible job that she can do for Jurassic World.
Despite the fact that Dr. Wu was an active part of what happened in Jurassic Park, he is still eager to get the science right in order to generate profits from the park and be known for his knowledge in the science field.
[The Indominus Rex is] meant to embody [humanity’s] worst tendencies. We’re surrounded by wonder and yet we want more, and we want it bigger, faster, louder, better. And in the world of the movie, the animal is designed based on a series of corporate focus groups. There’s something in the film about our greed and our desire for profit. The Indominus rex, to me, is very much that desire, that need to be satisfied.Colin Trevorrow
Finally, we have Victor Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) whose greed comes from a far darker place – his need for war. War and greed often come hand in hand as a pair and Vic is a perfect representation of a warmonger. When others see the dinosaurs as an advancement in technology and new life, he sees them as nothing more than a weapon which comes back to bite him. Literally. From the moment the audience are introduced to him, he is automatically figuring out how he can use the raptors for his own gain and inevitably, it is by their power that he meets his end.
As far as themes go, Jurassic World is quite open in its commentary on corporate and human greed while also creating a tense romp for audiences to sink their teeth into. There’s plenty more that can be said about this franchise so if there is any other essay you would like to see from it, comment below.
I hope you enjoyed this essay. Please comment if there’s any other films you would like to see an analysis on and follow for more film analyses.