Comparing how Jurassic Park and Jurassic World treat smart people in the plot:
“The thing that made jurassic Park great was a reverence for intelligence. Everyone in that movie, literally everyone, is smart and capable. The kids, the snivelling Lawyer, Even the fat slob bad guy Dennis Nedry. The movie goes to great pains to show that he’s the best there is at his job.
“For an early 90’s action movie, this was a revelation. The 80’s was full of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ action heroes that were idolised for their can-do attitude and straight talkin’, ‘ folksy stupidity. Smart people filled exactly two roles: the bad guy (whose smartness was a weakness exploited by the hero) or the bumbling sidekick and bully victim. Smart people were a plot device, existing only to be protected by the strong-yet-stupid hero, or defeated by their overthinking and their evil commie ways. Nerds are to be mocked. Jocks are the heroes. As for smart women, forget about it. Nerd ladies don’t get to be married, let alone heroic.
“Then along comes Jurassic Park. Here was a film where the baddest motherfucker on the screen was a chaos-mathlete ladykiller with a black leather leather jacket and 400 dollar shoes. The idea of a rockstar mathematician blew my mind when I saw it as a kid. You can be cool AND smart? sign me up! It’s not limited to Ian Malcolm. A Teenage hacker girl and a shotgun weilding paleo-botanist to this day are some of my favourite female characters of all time. They’re both Feminist as fuck. Some of the exchanges between them and the men around them are just epic. That’s what makes this film so great. Sure the dinosaurs are awesomebut the film isn’t about them. We’ve seen dinosaurs before. The film is about a bunch of smart people being smart, and being celebrated for that smartness not shit all over for it. Can you imagine anything more inspiring to an insecure smart kid who had been fed a steady diet of movies where the only characters you can relate to are punchbags for the hero? I know I’m not the only one who feels like that.
“Then we get Jurassic World. Fuck. That. Movie.
“All of the progress that the first film had made was suddenly thrown out of the window. The 80’s tropes are right back in there; The hero is a fucking cowboy military man. One female character is literally choosing between work and life, as though being good at your job is unseemly for a lady. And she runs in high heels.
“There are exactly two smart people in this film. Number one is Henry Wu, mad scientist. He’s the bad guy. In case you couldn’t tell, he literally wears a bad guy black rollneck shirt from the moment you first see him on screen. Boo, mad scientist! Science is bad!
“Number two is the nerdy little brother. His entire character arc is essentially ‘man up, stop crying and thinking about things so much, and jump off this cliff.’ thats it. He is there literally to tell children to stop being such a fucking geek.
“This is why I hate this movie. I saw it in the cinema and I happened to be sat right by some young kids seeing the film with their parents. They were giggling and whooping at the spectacle, and it was spectacular, but did they leave the cinema feeling validated for who they are? Did they feel like the film gavr them permission to be a fucking mathematician bad ass or a riot grrl hacker? I doubt it.”