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But How Gay is ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’?

In “But How Gay Is It?”, we seek to answer the biggest questions you have about a new movie in theaters now — including, most crucially, the titular question. Does the movie have any queer characters? Are there stories involving same-sex lovers? Which gay icons star in the film? We’re bringing you all that and more.

 

What is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? Because reboots aren’t just one-off films anymore, 2015’s Jurassic World needed a sequel. Enter the Fallen Kingdom, which sees Jurassic World operations manager-turned-dinosaur conservatist Claire Dearing recruited to save the remaining dinosaurs left in the abandoned theme park from the first film. Joining her, because we simply must have a matinee idol Chris as our lead, is dino trainer Owen Grady.

 

Of course, things can’t possibly be that easy: The two have been recruited on a sham venture, and are unwitting accomplices to the theft and attempted sale of these dinosaurs. It becomes their mission to save them all from a fate worse than death: being used as weapons by world powers against one another.

 

Who’s in it? Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt return as Claire and Owen, respectively. B.D. Wong also returns as Dr. Henry Wu, the geneticist behind the creation of new-and-terrifying dinosaurs. He remains the only actor to appear in the original Jurassic Park and both parts of the new trilogy, though he does get some original trilogy company this time in the form of Jeff Goldblum, reprising his famous role as Dr. Ian Malcolm for a cameo. Joining the crew: Daniella Pineda as paleo-veterinarian Dr. Zia Rodriguez, Justice Smith as tech wiz Franklin Webb, and Rafe Spall as ambitious schemer Eli Mills.

 

Why should I see it? Do you like Jurassic Park? Okay, that’s step one. Did you like Jurassic World? Step two. Now, the hardest part: Can you withstand rolling your eyes a whole lot? Because hoo boy, I gave my eyeballs a workout during this one. It’s a really dumb movie. And I don’t say that because of its genre or series, though I’ll happily admit Jurassic Park and its ilk are not my usual cup of tea.

 

No, what I mean is that the characters, both reptilian and human, repeatedly make incredibly stupid decisions. I’m talking about choices that make Star Lord’s infamous dumb move from Avengers: Infinity War look brilliant. (Another Chris Pratt character! It’s a trend.) The film is capped by a decision made by a child character — who even beginning to describe the characterization of is a massive, dumb spoiler — that will result in the deaths of thousands. And her justification is nonsense. You can read about it here, if you have no interest in seeing Fallen Kingdom. I don’t blame you!

 

But how gay is it? It’s not, which is particularly annoying, since there was originally a moment acknowledging that Dr. Zia Rodriguez is a lesbian that was cut from the film. Apparently, the cut was for time, but somehow they made time for 200 shots of dinosaurs crashing into shit. So.

 

Did someone get Bryce Dallas Howard a more sensible pair of shoes? Yes, though the movie is well aware of how obsessed everyone got with Claire’s Jurassic World stilettos. The very first shot of Claire in this movie is a shot of her shoes, and indeed, they are heels. But she does eventually change into shoes better fit for all the running she must do this time around.

 

Interestingly, it seems like Howard herself insisted on the heels for the character, and has remained unrepentant about that choice since. Which I admire, in a way! The heels were insane, but Howard was making a character choice through wardrobe. The assumption in the media was that they were chosen for her. She clearly wants to fight for some agency in this story, silly as it may be. The mix of footwear in Fallen Kingdom is probably the fairest compromise one could hope for.

 

If I liked Jurassic World, will I like this sequel? I’m not a Jurassic Park traditionalist. You may, although the already mixed reviews for the first in the reboot trilogy look positively glowing in comparison to the tepid notices that Fallen Kingdom received. If you’re in this series for some cool-looking dinosaurs and solid action, you’ll get it! If you’re in this for the greater mythology, or any real logical sense, I’d wait to rent it on demand.

 

Is Chris Pratt shirtless in this movie? Not even once. Sorry, Pratt Pack.

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is in theaters now.


 

Kevin O'KeeffeKevin O'Keeffe

Kevin O'Keeffe is a writer and 'RuPaul's Drag Race' herstorian. He covers film and TV for INTO, and writes the movie review column "But How Gay Is It?" every Friday.

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