I saw Jurassic World this week, and life as we know it is over, everyone.
Nothing will ever be the same, because we can have raptors as house pets now.
This post is going to be a gushy tribute to Claire Dearing, which means that I will be vaguely alluding to some key points in the film.
I’ve noticed that everyone (*cough* overstatement *cough*) is talking about Owen (Chris Pratt), which I am not arguing with. On a scale of one to ten, Owen was pure, grade A, uncut magnificence and I will brook no arguments on that score. Admittedly, he had a few moments early on when I wanted to punch him in his
pretty face, but no one who is magnificent is also perfect.
However, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) was also pretty darn magnificent, and also not perfect, and yet, I haven’t seen any parades in her honor.
This is a crime, people. First all, was she or was she not absolutely stunning during the first half? I rather desperately need that whole outfit, and if my hair would do what her hair did (it does and will not), I would lay siege to all the corporate fortresses and look effortlessly impeccable while I do so.
Also, please take note that impeccably gorgeous Claire ran a multi-billion dollar theme park.
She ran a multi-billion dollar theme park full of dinosaurs.
I don’t know what her precise job title was… but I like to think it was “The Queen of Crushing It.”
Yes, she was a workaholic who neglected her familial relations, but really, how many of us do that while working a regular 9 to 5? Yes, she seemed to be characterized as being uptight and a bit of a control freak, but honestly… wouldn’t you be, given that occupation? She was wrangling history’s supreme predators and, even worse, an island full of humans.
Those trouble-laced meat pouches are the absolute worst, known throughout the universe for their shenanigans, and Claire, for however long, kept those monsters at bay, kept the dinosaurs from eating those monsters, and kept Jurassic World financially on point. This woman deserves a not insubstantial amount of credit, even while acknowledging that her personal life needed work.
It’s easy for us to look at her personal relationships as some sort of shame trigger… something we can point at and say, “WELL, that (and the exploitation of previously extinct animals) obviously makes her a terrible person and WHY IS SHE WEARING SO MUCH WHITE?”
Number one, she’s wearing white because she can, peasants. Number two, the fact that Claire was a workaholic, a control freak, and a bit of lousy aunt/an apparently terrible date made her, in my opinion, a fully realized character.
She wasn’t Ellie Sadler. Ellie was like the Mary Poppins of adventure heroines. Brilliant, attractive, focused, charming, AND she wanted a family!!!! Don’t misunderstand me, I loved Ellie. I would have had a framed portrait of her on my wall as a child. I wouldn’t change a thing about Ellie… but Claire wasn’t Ellie, and she didn’t have to be. Claire wasn’t an angel… although you have to admit that she looked like one.
LOOK AT HER.
Claire was allowed to be “flawed” in ways that were addressed but not necessarily “fixed” in the film… she didn’t change her work philosophy, or learn some heavy-handed lesson about making sure that she knows how old her nephews are. She was still, at points, rather annoying, and considering that creature features are a bit notorious for whacking or otherwise punishing women who aren’t 100% supreme examples of the good and the beautiful, this resonated with me (because, not being angelic myself, I’d like to think that I’d live to see the end credits).
There is, of course, one final area which demands consideration. It is essential that we address Claire’s physical comportment during the fall of Jurassic World, and I will open with a question: When came the revolution, who sprinted through the apocalypse wearing Kate Middleton heels?
Claire didn’t just keep up, ya’ll.
She was a Charlie’s Angel style Florence Griffith Joyner… and she shot things and saved lives and showed compassion and generally was an all-around champion. She didn’t have a velocipraptor attack squad (my heart stuttered as I typed those words… I will never get over that…), but she stared down dinosaurs and (a probably sweaty) Chris Pratt (twice), pulled an Ian Malcolm in glorious pumps, and manages to walk off-screen with all limbs and dignity intact.
All in all, both the character and the actress were great… Vincent d’Onofrio is a (brilliantly) terrifying lunatic, Chris Pratt just IS and we thank God for that… and this movie has ruined me for the rest of the year.
Nothing can top it, and we might as shut the whole thing down.
I mean, really… VELOCIRAPTOR ATTACK SQUAD.
My insides… I just can’t go on…
Jurassic World images from http://jurassicpark.wikia.com/wiki/Claire_Dearing