Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Jurassic World’ (2015)

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

The dinosaur-populated tourist attraction at the center of Jurassic World is heavily promoted as a place to bring the family. But what this theme part is really about – technology and genetics research at its most impersonal – is at the opposite end of the feeling-spectrum. The constant archetypal interplay between high tech and the heart – the warmth of Lunar emotions vs. the chill of Uranian test tubes and corporate Saturnine cold-bloodedness – is what makes Jurassic World thunder through its running time, like so many ’sauruses racing across the lushness of the grounds of Islar Nublar, the creatures’ Caribbean habitat.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow, Jurassic World opens with the hatching of two dinosaur eggs. The critter-sibling theme gets its human counterparts through brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), whose clingy, emotional Mom (Judy Greer) is sending them off for a week at Islar. There the boys will be looked after by her sister, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), a hot shot executive at the park, who hasn’t got a maternal bone in her body.

Claire’s behavior at the site contrasts greatly with that of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a Navy veteran who’s a sort of Velociraptor Whisperer, giving these meat-eating, large-of-jaw creatures obedience training. He’s skilled at it – up goes the hand in an “Easy now” motion, and his scaly buddies are subdued. In fact, they have names and behave like siblings – lots of rivalry, unsurprisingly – with Owen acting like a concerned, responsible, single-parent father. Unlike Claire, Owen is all about his family.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

It doesn’t take long to learn why Claire is so busy that she foists care of her newly arrived nephews on onto her assistant. Islar, which has been operating for a decade and increasingly losing revenue, is about to pump up its bottom line by unveiling the park’s newest dinosaur attraction named Indominus Rex.

As in the past, Uranian high-tech – here specifically through the chief experimenters (Vincent D’Onofrio and B.D. Wong) – has been the spark that’s generated the site’s animals. But then the new Rex plus Claire’s young nephews go AWOL – Uranus is also tied to the eruptive freedom urge that doesn’t like to be contained – and disappear off the grid. With “Indom” – she ate her own sibling, incidentally – taking the “clever girl” descriptive from the original film in the franchise to new heights, Claire is forced to enlist the help of Owen, with whom she once had a very bad first date.

The search-and-rescue side of the movie contains thrilling visuals. But Jurassic World’s more philosophical slant – seen through Islar’s stupendous educational and benign high-tech offerings – present the larger issue of whether technology can be tamed through Saturnine rules and discipline. The people in charge might start by cloning more Owens.

Archetype: Scientist. Genius. The Fool. Family. Caregiver. Technology. Freedom. Utopia. Disciplinarian.

Astrology Archetype: ♄ ♅  (Saturn, Uranus)

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