It seems ironic to have the word ‘Dawn’ in the title of Zack Snyder’s latest superhero epic, given how little light there is the film, both figuratively and literally. There is a lot of moping about, and a perpetual vibe of ‘oh no, this is the end of the world,’ as if Snyder is cribbing from his Dawn of the Dead remake (there’s that word again, dawn, implying a source of light that is tragically absent from any of Snyder’s auteuristic affectations).
It’s a pretty old story, the one where someone in the performing arts takes exception to the critical content of a review. Those of us in the business of ‘show’ have seen it one too many times. More often than not, the vitriol is reserved for a gaggle of like-minded compatriots, or a paying audience already enamoured with the critiqued party. In this new age of instant communication with the world, the right of reply can be fired off while the subject is still in the midst of a white-hot fury, eyeballs boiling as steam shoots from the ears.
It happened this weekend to Lawrence Mooney, someone I’ve known for nearly 20 years. Someone I competed against in the Raw Comedy national final in 1997. To be honest, I didn’t think the review in question should have elicited such ire. It was 3 stars, better than two, or the dreaded single star (or the ignominious zero).
People seem not to understand Jurassic World. Some have complained that it is whining about product placement, while simultaneously indulging in the most ludicrous product placement of all time (squeaky clean new SUVs look just as out of place in the jungle as they do in a zombie apocalypse). Others have said that it is light on frights and the blood is unconvincing, while reflecting that the movie feels like a family-friendly ride at the theme park it depicts. What nobody seems to notice, is that it is an homage, or at times parody, of sequels themselves - not just a continuation of, and love letter to, Spielberg's 1993 original.
There are so many self-aware sequel references, I don't quite understand how everybody has missed them. First, there is the gigantic carnivorous macguffin, the Indominus Rex, explicitly discussed in terms of sequels - that it needs to be bigger, scarier, with more teeth.