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Is ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ the Next Woke Blockbuster?

Variety's interview with three female stars suggests so, but is it accurate?

Franchises fail for any number of reasons, from creative burnout to stories well past their expiration date.

They can collapse under different circumstances today, something studios rarely see until it’s too late.

Woke.

Consider “Terminator: Dark Fate,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Men in Black: International” and “Ghostbusters.”

All four films failed to varying degrees. Each represented a step in Hollywood’s woke evolution. “Dark Fate” hung its marketing campaign on its female leads, for example, not the aging superstar who embodies the franchise.

“Charlie’s Angels” jettisoned the sexuality and silliness of the source material for stern empowerment beats. Even Slate.com noticed the difference.

Might “Jurassic World Dominion” learn this lesson the hard way?

Jurassic World Dominion | Trailer 2 [HD]

The June 10 release marks the sixth film in the mega-franchise, and box office experts predict it will soar past the $400 million mark stateside, at the very least. The franchise’s new players, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, are joined by the trio who anchored the 1993 original – Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum.

That’s enough star power and nostalgia to fuel any Hollywood success story. Except Variety wants everyone to know there’s much more to “Dominion” than old friend and new dinosaurs.

The far-Left site’s “cover story” on the sequel details all the ways “Dominion” is feminist to the core. You have three strong, empowered starlets (Dern, Howard and newbie DeWanda Wise (TV’s “She’s Gotta Have It”), for starters.

The feature focuses on that trio, pushing Neill, Goldblum and Pratt to the periphery. That’s just the start of the feminist lectures, both in the article itself and, in theory, “Dominion.”

RELATED: Woke Reporters Are Desperate to Keep Cancel Culture Alive 

The headline does a neat peek into the future, declaring the film’s three female leads “Summer’s Breakout Action Stars” weeks before the movie opens.

The woke lectures have only begun.

We learn far too much about a single line Dern uttered in the 1993 “Jurassic Park” (“Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth”). That feminist riposte that gets more than a dozen paragraphs in the article.

Director Colin Trevorrow, the man behind the franchise’s recent sequels, previously showed his woke side via a teaser photo from the film’s set. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Colin Trevorrow (@colin.trevorrow)

(Did Chris Pratt get paid the same as the guy who becomes dinosaur food in Act II?)

Now, he’s teasing Variety that Wise, a black actress playing a bisexual character in the sequel, may be the franchise’s new face.

“It was very important to introduce a new hero who could potentially define the future of this franchise,” director Colin Trevorrow says of Wise’s character. “We’ve had the opportunity to hopefully make someone that young girls are going to be dressing up as at Halloween for years to come.”

Couldn’t they dress up like Dern or Howard? And is Trevorrow going to hand off a massive franchise to Wise without any sense of her character connecting with audiences (yet)?

Next, we’re told the new generation of “Jurassic” women could be a Mary Sue invasion — flawless females ready to bore audiences with their perfection.

Ellie laid the groundwork for the “Jurassic” women who’ve followed — who are as compassionate as they are capable; desirable yet never the “sexy scientist” trope; and, above all, quick-witted, clever and not afraid to get up to their elbows in dinosaur dung.

Jurassic World Dominion - Official Sattler and Grant Clip

Next, Variety gives us a lecture on why it’s important her character is bisexual but not part of the “strong black woman trope.”

Does this sound like an exhilarating summer movie or a Gender Studies assignment?

We even get the expected finger wag at anyone who recoils at all this wokeness.

But there have been haters. A small but vocal group of trolls criticized the casting [of Wise] as “woke.”

“As soon as you put a woman, a Black woman, a woman of color, or a person of color on screen, it has, to whomever, a connotation,” Wise says. “Whether they know the story yet or not, I’m inherently politicized. I know that.”

Remember when trolls lashed out at Billy Dee Williams in the “Star Wars” saga? Or Samuel L. Jackson? It didn’t happen. Audiences recoil at woke machinations, not the color of an actor’s skin.

RELATED: Richard Dreyfuss: Woke Will Kill America

Just don’t call any of this “woke,” Variety and Dern warn us. The actress, who famously dressed down the most charismatic hero in “The Last Jedi” for no good reason other than, “Patriarchy Bad!,” won’t have it.

Emily Carmichael, a co-screenwriter on the film, then shares more of the film’s woke intentions.

And all the women got their chance to shine. “There’s a moment where Ellie has to grab [Chris Pratt’s] Owen and pull him up, so it’s her saving him,” Carmichael says. “I was standing next to Bryce by the monitor, and she nudged me and said, ‘Let’s normalize seeing this on screen.’ And I was like, ‘Bryce, you’re looking at the future, and I see it with you.’”

Two questions remain.

One, will a woke “Dominion” hurt the film’s box office tally? Almost nothing will stop the sequel from crushing the competition. But we’ve seen woke sequels come up short of expectations, even those that don’t officially torch their franchises.

The perfect example is “Star Wars.” The 2015 film “The Force Awakens,” which brought the saga back to the big screen, earned an astounding $936 million domestically. The woke sequel, “The Last Jedi,” generated $620 million.

Two, just how woke is the film itself? Actors routinely talk up the wokeness of their work, but it doesn’t always reflect the material itself.

The perfect example? “No Time to Die.” 

NO TIME TO DIE Trailer – In Cinemas October 2021.

The 2021 Bond adventure found the cast and crew blasting the “Bond girl” conceit, extolling the “new” 007 and describing the super spy as reborn for a new age.

The actual film avoided most woke pitfalls, however. (It also underperformed stateside).

The crew responsible for “Jurassic World Dominion” may not care if the woke flourishes impact the box office receipts. They’ve got a culture war to fight, and that matters as much as the bottom line.

If not more.

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39 Comments

  1. I know humans can be stupid but there really is no way we would lose a war with dinosaurs. A single A-10 could probably end the battle in a couple of days.

    1. Yep! You are right an A10 can kill any metal tank with reactive armor that walks over to he face of earth. But remmember this is The Spilbergrian Hollywood… so Dinosaurs are as smart as Einstein, and 30 mm depleted uranium ammunition has nothing on them !!!!

  2. Eh, the line in the first move I thought was kind of funny. Tongue in cheek.

    And the funny thing is, as a girl who likes non-girl movies (Star Wars is my fave of all time and I saw it in the theater when I was barely 6 years old), I liked the female characters of old, like Princess Leia. She was pretty, but had a mouth, but wasn’t in your face about it. She took charge because she was a leader not because she was a WOMYN. It was all organic. That is what is missing – organic characters. Instead it’s all in your face and that’s what makes it annoying.

    1. You make an excellent point. We used to get strong female leads that were totally organic. Leia was certainly one. So Was Ripley in Alien. Ripley kicked much ass in an “action” sense and male fans adored her precisely because it was organic. She wasn’t foisted off on the audience as a “strong feminist character.” she was simply Ripley, a strong PERSON that figured out how to survive in extreme circumstances. They even added other strong females in Aliens to go along with her. The ladies in the colonial marines detachment. Broke my heart when Vasquez died. She was straight up awesome without being “in your face” about it. But hell, at least she went out with a bang and took a bunch of the aliens with her.

  3. Sigh. This is why most of the modern movies I watch are smaller-budget indies. All the major studios have gone so hopelessly woke that stories have been replaced with box-checking.

  4. Absolute trash article, just another excuse to trot out morons favorite buzzword dujour, “Woke”. What to do when you have no enemy but need to fire people up anyway? Invent one! This article pretends to have something to say, while saying nothing. Oh no, they’re promoting female stars – must be “Woke”! Meanwhile, movies promoting male leads are glossed over and ignored because that’s been the norm for decades.
    This artificial outrage culture pushed by low iq idiots is just embarrassing. Stop creating straw men just to keep faux outrage burning.

    1. Nobody said that casting female leads was “woke”. What makes it woke is when it’s done to shove a political message down our throats. My problem with it is this: why is DeWise bisexual or gay or whatever? Why does that have to be a thing in the movie anyway? Why does that define her character? We’re not even looking at the fact that she’s a black woman anymore. Being gay is her defining attribute? I don’t care one bit about that. Why do I need to know that about her? If she’s gay then fine but why must it be trotted out there? It does nothing for the movie itself. It’s simply for the movie makers to say, “Look everybody, we created a marginalized character to address the whole “inclusion” thing!”which is totally political and that’s where the woke comes into play.

    2. Exactly the type of imbecile who roils against anyone who points out this kind of factual evidence against your sh**y agenda to turn the world gay and feminist and weak. Like your ideology. F*** off and cry to someone who cares.

    3. LOL must not have read the article at all. We’re not talking about chracters or inspiration to tell a story. The creators themselves are obsessed with gender and other BS first. Movie comes second. That’s definition of WOKE

    4. What to do when you have no enemy but need to fire people up anyway?

      I guess irony is not in your vocabulary all you progressives this is 2022 not 1960 so stop acting like revolutionaries your generation sucks its just a bunch of whiny self righteous hive mind thinking drones

    5. This article is stupid. Why not just dress up as Dern? I’ll tell you why. Growing up there were never any heroines that looked like me. They were all white and mostly bombshell blondes. They were male fantasies.

      It was refreshing to have new characters that were treated like people and not shoehorned in for diversity points.

      I don’t see how Dewise’s dialogue in the movie was woke either. She literally has a throw away comment that she liked redheads. It looks like this person is trying to get Hollywood back to its roots of excluding anyone who isn’t white and cis, and discourage people from going to see the movie themselves and enjoying the movie. I’ll just let the sheep applaud.

      Sounds like these people commenting were dug up from the 50’s with their bellyaching that women and POC have screen time. Pathetic.

  5. Can’t wait for this “woke” trend to die out. It consistently takes from the story to the point shows and movies are unwatchable. Hopefully it won’t completely ruin the Finale.

    1. Hopefully being kind and inclusive won’t just be a dad 🙂 there are many kinds of people in the world and they all deserve to be represented.

  6. Well, Dern is certainly doing her part to poison the franchise with her ridiculous remarks about her characters hinted at relationship with Neill’s character in the first movie.

  7. Only woke thing on this world is the liberals the cry my body my right but they want us all to take the shot y aren’t u killing them in that republicans

  8. I blame both sides. The left will ignorantly settle for anything positive no matter how disingenuous or even possibly offensive it could be. And the right keeps having extremely ego fragile triggered reactions to it which triggers the ego fragility of the left’s and reinforces their belief in woke culture.

  9. (Sigh)…. This is all so analytical and political. Can’t I just buy my ticket and popcorn and enjoy the movie? I have to be analytical all the time in real life. The idea of going to a movie is to escape this for a little while and just enjoy myself. And I intend to do just that.

  10. What is wrong with deliberately promoting strong female leads? Would you rather a world where the only role models that young girls see in movies and on television are bimbos whose only contribution to society is looking pretty, cooking, having sex, raising children, and cleaning? You mentioned James Bond and you only need to look at the earlier films (which are great) to see how women were portrayed. They were good looking, mostly stupid, and only useful as ornaments for James when out in public and for sex in private, and always needed a man to save them.

    This outlook on women was prevalent in movies and TV when I grew up. If a girl wanted to be a tradesperson, police officer, in the army, work on a farm, etc, they were discouraged. Girls were also discouraged from studying maths and science, for why would they need these things when their man will be supporting them.

    I would rather grow up in a world where young girls are presented with a variety of strong role models who teach them that they are equal to men and can do anything a man can do (other than obvious things which require brute strength).

    Anyway, “woke” seems to be the buzzword of the last 10 year. It gone from being a term to describe the lunatic fringe who espouse ridiculous ideas, like firing a counsellor from a mother’s group for stating that only women can breast feed, which of course is true. It has now been politicised as a pejorative term to describe anyone who doesn’t support right-wing causes.

    Care for the environment, you’re branded as woke. Fight for animal welfare, you’re woke. Believe that humans are impacting the climate, you’re woke. Believe in gay marriage, you’re woke. Promote equal rights for women, you’re woke. Say that emerging from poverty is difficult and not just about working harder, you’re woke. Suggest we should be kinder to immigrants, you’re woke. Suggest that it is more difficult to be successful if you are from certain minorities, you’re woke. Suggest that crime is often linked to poverty, you’re woke. The list goes on.

    The word ‘woke’ is now a political weapon used to create arguments, often of the strawman variety, to scare the population and denigrate opponents. Oh, watch out for the woke supporting transgender people or we’ll soon have free sex change operations for 2nd graders. Watch out for the woke who support gay marriage or we’ll soon have 3rd graders turning gay. Watch out for the woke who support prison reform or we’ll soon have murderers and rapists wandering freely around the neighbourhood.

  11. another clown who uses the word “woke” for everything, not understanding what everything means.

    Openly say that you are only in favor of women in the kitchen, instead of finding enemies in Hollywood,

    Indeed are giving reason that more promoting strong female leads are needed if you take it so badly.

  12. I don’t know how I stumbled upon this blog, but it’s trash. Why does everything have to have some deeper “woke” agenda? Why can’t these subtle actions, such as removing the director’s name from a chair, just be considered nice gestures?

    I get that you need material to get web traffic so you don’t have to go back to your job at Wendy’s, but this is not the way. Take off the tinfoil hat and back away from the right-wing propoganda.

    Note: left-wing propoganda is equally as annoying, and I wish for all those blogs and articles to disappear too. Y’all on both sides are the scum of the earth trying to divide us. No thanks

  13. It’s hard to argue that wokeism hasn’t been good for many people. This article is a great example. With no thesis other than pro-inequality and no tangible evidence for the affect of the thesis on the financial figures cited, the author has still found an outlet that is willing to publish the tears of a melting snowflake.

    This is quite remarkable. The willingness of entertainment pundits to act as the tools of traditionally entertainment opposed political ideologies truly speaks to the lack of depth of those pundits and their flocks.

    Pandering to the Ponzi scheme of populist politics is a most pitiable practice. Shortsighted and short lived, it always ends with the loudest voices being lost in a corner and becoming examples that the next generation of angry white people fail to heed.

  14. I saw the movie; it’s only modestly woke. The filmmakers are trying to make it seem woker than it is for the liberal mag.

    I didn’t realize the black female character was supposed to be bisexual until I read this. She’s essentially a black female ripoff of Han Solo; she even flies an old plane which seems inspired by the Millennium Falcon (in fact there’s quite a bit here weirdly inspired by Star Wars, including a scene in Malta which they try to make reminiscent of Tattooine.

    She seems kind of shoehorned in here from another movie; her role doesn’t make a lot of sense. She’s apparently some sort of rogue mercenary pilot? It’s obvious that having a Strong Black Woman TM was their priority without much thought to whether or not the character belongs in this movie.

    There’s definitely no subtlety to the identity politics.

    We meet an Old White Guy and young black guy early on that are apparently the first and second in command of an Evil Genetics Research facility. There could have been some dramatic tension here as to whether or not they’re good or bad or trustworthy or not, but I predicted to s person I was seeing it with that the young black guy will be a Noble Soul and the Old White Guy evil incarnate, which of course is exactly what happens.

    We see the now quite common Woke Trope of white guys, once heroes I’m a franchise, now tired and burnt out and cynical and needing to be rescued by women.

    That said, it’s not a bad movie for what it is. If they make it the black female Han Solo the lead going forward it’s going to be really bad however

  15. Gender roles definitely are switched, to a degree, in this film. There are a couple of things I want to talk about. 1. The films’ main emphasis is that science is the answer but the film contradicts itself. Obviously, science led to chaos for these people yet the film says science is good. What’s that supposed to mean? 2. At the end of the film, that dead scientist claims that we can all coexist but the film, once again, contradicts itself here. When we first see the mighty T-Rex get punked by the bigger dinosaur is one example of how these 2 apex predators did learn to coexist but that is only because these 2 dinosaurs were free to go where they wanted. Once they were forced to live in a cage with other apex predators is when they began to kill each other! That’s not coexistence. Then, the dinosaurs get released back into the wild and this is where we are told what the definition of coexistence is, according to Hollywood.

    Am I wrong here? Did anyone else notice these contradictions?

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