I wrote this the day I saw the movie and, on the whole, I enjoyed it. This, however, is not about the many things I liked about it. I just need to vent about what bothered me.
- I hate hate hate that one conversation between Claire and her sister where Karen insists that Claire is going to have kids one day whether she wants to or not. NO. LISTEN TO YOUR SISTER. IT’S HER CHOICE. That one ‘when’ line made me want to tear up a cinema seat and hurl it into the screen. Claire doesn’t even say she definitely doesn’t want kids: she just wants Karen to accept the fact that she might not want them. But Karen doesn’t want to hear it because she somehow just can’t conceive (hehe) of the fact that her sister’s priorities being different to her own doesn’t make them wrong. This wouldn’t be so bad if it were clear that we were meant to side with Claire here, but honestly I don’t think we were. Everyone needs to realise that just because a woman doesn’t want to be a mother, it doesn’t mean she’s a cold, unfeeling person who hates children. So in summary, it’s fine for Karen to have that opinion (it doesn’t seem too unrealistic for a mother to think that way) as long as it’s made clear she’s in the wrong for trying to force her own idea of happiness on her sister, who is a very different person. I acknowledge that I may be biased, being a woman who probably won’t want children. But I doubt it’s just me complaining about this.
- A minor point here, but that comment Owen made to Claire about: ‘ These animals are thinking: “I gotta eat.” “I gotta hunt.” “I gotta… *fist pumping action*”. You gotta be able to relate to at least one of those things’ bothers me. It seems to be implying that not wanting to *fist pumping action* is inherently bad, which I obviously disagree with, being asexual and all. I’m not necessarily implying that Claire is asexual (though there’s no absolute confirmation that she isn’t) but using the lack of interest in sex as an insult is definitely icky. Again, as with Karen, it’s fine for Owen to think that as long as it’s clear he’s wrong. Again, please correct me if I’m interpreting this wrong and he’s not insulting her by implying she lacks sexuality.
- The whole Claire/Owen relationships was inoffensive but ultimately unnecessary. It didn’t come off as completely forced, but you could remove it without impacting the story at all and it wouldn’t seem like there was anything ‘missing’. The romance plot didn’t detract from the movie, so I’m fine with them getting together. If you enjoyed their romance, good for you. It just didn’t engage my interest whatsoever. The only part that actively bothered me, rather than just not interesting me, was when Claire, after coming all this way to find her nephews, takes the time to kiss Owen before she bothers to check that they’re okay. Priorities and all. Anyway, I might be biased, as an aromantic, but I do enjoy some romantic plotlines, so I don’t think I’m totally biased. I liked them both as characters though.
- I really didn’t like the fact that Zach was shown to have a girlfriend and then be checking out other girls. Both those scenes were tiny, and it wouldn’t have made a jot of difference to take one of them away. If you want him to have a girlfriend (who really isn’t plot important at all), don’t have him wanting to go after other girls. If you want him to be checking out girls at the theme park (which again, adds nothing to the story) cut out the one-minute farewell scene and even shorter phone scene with his girlfriend and have him be single! I know that real people are flawed and their eyes do wander, but this just unnecessarily makes him just that little bit less sympathetic, in my eyes at least.
- In hindsight there does seem to be plenty of heteronormativity. First we have Owen and Claire. Well, on their own that’s fair enough; as the main couple they don’t come off as superfluous even though their romance could be removed with minimal effect. But then in addition we have Zach’s girlfriend, who isn’t relevant to most of the story, so she really only serves as confirmation that he is, in fact, attracted to women (the girls at the theme park are the same, which brings me back to the fact that one of those things could easily have been omitted). Then Lowery tries to kiss Vivian, his female co-worker, and she only says no because she is already in a relationship with a man. That scene was tiny. Why did we need it? Even if we kept the attempted kiss and refusal, I would have liked it so much more if she’d said ‘girlfriend’ instead of ‘boyfriend’. Or just ‘I’m dating/seeing someone’ so it’s at least up for debate. Or even just ‘no thanks, I just want to be friends’. Added together, it all just comes off as ‘proof’ that these characters are straight. (Obviously being attracted to another gender doesn’t automatically make you straight, but I seriously doubt bisexuality or pansexuality was on anyone’s mind when they made these scenes, given how little attention sexualities other than straight or gay get in media.) I’m not saying the movie necessarily needed more same-gender romance (though that would have been nice): rather that it didn’t need so much male/female romance or romantic interest that didn’t serve the plot in any way. Please tell me if the aro bias is acting up and any of these romances actually are relevant or important.
- Also, minor point, why did it seem like only Claire’s clothing got damaged? I suppose you could justify it by saying Owen’s clothing is durable and made to be worn outdoors and hers is just light office wear, but that seems more like an excuse than an actual reason. Also, I know the way she fixed her shirt was a nod to the original Jurassic Park movie, but the scene where she rearranged it just came off as awkward and fanservice-y. Not really what we needed.
- Anyway, it’s annoying that I’ve got so hung up on these negatives because on the whole I did enjoy the movie. I loved Owen’s loyal raptor pack, I thought Gray was sweet, I liked the relationship between the brothers, and Claire protecting her nephews like the badass Auntie Bear she is. I loved that epic dinosaur tag-team fight. And, as Owen put it: ‘They’re dinosaurs. ‘Wow’ enough.’