The aggressively mid Jurassic World trilogy comes to an end this month with Jurassic World: Dominion, which reunites the favorite heroes of the original Jurassic Park along with the next-generation ensemble. That’s for the best, since while the last couple movies featured lots of bigger, nastier dinosaurs, they provided almost no human characters worth caring about.
Throughout, we’ve supposedly been rooting for Owen Grady, played by Chris Pratt, whose daring attitude is supplemented by vague expertise in animal behavior. Yet that background only manifests in one endlessly repeated trick: holding out his arms to keep dinosaurs back.
At the outset of Jurassic World, we learn that Grady has been training a squad of velociraptors that now see him as the alpha of their pack. Yeah, right. The whole franchise has been telling us how smart and deadly these creatures are, but wants us to accept that they can be held in check by the schlub from Parks and Recreation making the gesture for “whoa there, easy now.” The antagonist who tries this later on promptly has his arm bitten off, which feels more realistic and compounds the absurdity of another guy being able to command the raptors’ respect.
Whatever. At least there’s a thin pretext for Grady controlling a few specific raptors, and — in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — one of them remembering him when he shows up to solemnly raise his arm again. It seems clear that in the third movie, however, he’s gonna try the trick on pretty much every beast he encounters, and maybe even other people. It’s almost like an acknowledgement, contrary to Pratt’s claims on Instagram, that there was never any scientific principle behind the effect of the stance, and Grady has just been a dinosaur wizard this whole time, or is telekinetically restraining them with the Force. It’s not a skill, it’s a meme.
How often did Pratt do the arms when it wasn’t even in the script? We may never know. At this point, though, it’s happened often enough that the Jurassic World saga should include a viewer warning about attempting to subdue dangerous wildlife in this fashion. Or maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised when it backfires in the finale. “I really want the climax of this film to be for a giant ass T-Rex to bite off Chris Pratt’s arms when he does that stupid ass pose for the 40th time in this new movie alone,” writes a similarly fed-up redditor. “Just 10 minutes of Chris Pratt screaming, armless on his knees while he watches his mangled arms get crunched to dust.” Here’s hoping!
Either way, goodbye to all that. Now Pratt will have nobody to freeze in their tracks with an outstretched arm but some low-grade Marvel villains, and we can go back to imagining dinosaurs as cool animals who wouldn’t for a moment be impressed by him. If the Jurassic stories have taught us anything, it’s that you can’t defeat nature.