Warning: this article contains spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Proceed at your own peril…
In 2015, Hollywood rebooted the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World and made an absolute killing at the box office, raking in $204.6 million in its first weekend alone.
However, as enjoyable as the film was, many viewers felt that there was one major let-down: the clichéd female roles. So, when Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom roared into cinemas this month, many were intrigued to see if the film would be able to redress its predecessor’s gender stereotyping crimes.
Well, it has since become all too apparent that producer and co-writer Colin Trevorrow has done his utmost best to rectify past wrongs: indeed, the first shot of Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) focuses on her high heels (a throwback to the #runninginheels controversy of the first film) but, this time, they’re perfectly suited to her surroundings. She’s working in an office, campaigning to save the dinosaurs of Isla Nublar from a deadly volcano – and, when politicians rule that the dinos should be left to perish, Claire ignores them and organises a small group of experts to go in and save them anyway. She rescues herself from a bunker as it slowly fills to the brim with lava and toothy dinosaurs. She saves her ex-boyfriend Owen (Chris Pratt) from several perilous situations.
And she does it all while wearing a pair of sensible hiking boots, too.
Claire, though, is not the only named female character this time around: we also have Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), the plucky child who clambers into dumb-waiters, crawls around research labs and tries her hardest to put a stop to her guardian’s evil dino-poaching plans. And, of course, there’s sardonic paleo-veterinarian Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), who talks back, fights for what she believes in, and point-blank refuses to take anyone’s s**t.
Indeed, it is Zia’s inclusion in the film which offers producers the opportunity to, ever so subtly, lambast the real-life President Donald Trump.
During an encounter with evil mercenary Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), Zia refuses to give him what he wants from her – despite him threatening her with physical violence.
“What a nasty woman,” Wheatley says to his colleagues.
These four little words are a clear nod to Donald Trump’s similar description of election opponent Hilary Clinton. Indeed, the phrase ‘nasty woman’ has since been adopted by people ideologically opposed to Trump – and its inclusion in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom encourages viewers to compare the politician to Levine’s brutish, boorish villain.
He is the kind of man who rants and rails when he doesn’t get what he wants. Who undermines women through name-calling and making unsolicited comments about their physical appearance. Who refuses to take no for an answer.
And one who, when his power is stripped away, bursts into the easy, self-indulgent tears of a bully.
Of course, the ‘nasty woman’ comment isn’t Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s only reference to Trump: early in the film, when the world is debating whether or not to save the island full of deadly dinosaurs from a second extinction via volcano, reports from various TV stations pop up on screen.
If you look closely at one such report, the scrolling graphic at the bottom makes an all-too-obvious reference to Trump’s habit of declaring things as “Fake News”, with the text reading “US President questions ‘the existence of dinosaurs in the first place.’”
And need we even mention the fact that Toby Jones’ high-end auctioneer Gunnar Eversoll (another greedy and buffoonish villain, albeit one with the ability to speak charmingly in front of the masses) wears a familiar blonde hairpiece throughout the film? Exactly.
So, if you weren’t planning to go and see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom for its volcanic eruptions, haunted house vibes and dino-fuelled action, it’s definitely worth checking it out for its unabashed shaming of Donald Trump.
If you’re game, it’s in cinemas now. We’ll see you at the popcorn stand, yeah?
Image: Universal Pictures