Everything in the Jurassic Park series’ mosquito-extracted DNA has stressed that dinosaurs, wondrous creatures that they may be, should be feared. Sure, there’s that brachiosaurus that just wants to eat trees and sneeze torrents of mucus onto children, and the sick triceratops whose worst offense is leaving behind person-sized mounds of shit, but these gentle giants are outnumbered by their fiercer brethren. When you think of Jurassic Park, you think of packs of intestine-munching velociraptors and roaring T-Rexes.
So, it’s exceptionally odd that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is exhorting us not to run screaming from the prehistoric beasts but to, instead, work to keep them safe from harm.
It all revolves around a World Wildlife Fund or Greenpeace-inspired website, Twitter account, and promo video for the “Dinosaur Protection Group,” which teases elements from Fallen Kingdom’s plot (a volcano is set to wipe out the dinos) through a fictional company run by Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing character.
According to the website, the cause “is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all living dinosaurs,” which would be a nice idea if it wasn’t for the fact that the faux-advocacy group has been dreamed up completely in service of a movie about carnivorous reptiles eating the hell out of a bunch of people.
The tone of the site copy, hashtag-studded tweets, and infograms is all spot-on. Still, it’s hard to come to grips with the dissonance that exists in creating a weirdo parody of actual, worthwhile wildlife protection groups for what has, over the years since the first Jurassic Park, become a series of pretty straightforward monster movies.
It’s far from being one of the worst viral marketing campaigns ever attached to big studio movie, but of course there are still a few wide open months before Fallen Kingdom’s release in which it can get even stupider. After all, one part of the site advertises a super-inadvisable march on Capitol Hill that hints at worse to come.
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