Monday, February 15, 2016

The Character Files- Owen Grady (Jurassic World)

First character file: Owen Grady.

Cute, unassuming, and as brave as they come.

Funny, charming, totally awesome and yet humble, Owen Grady was one of the greatest aspects of Jurassic World. Chris Pratt owned this role like nobody's business, making Owen into a instantly likable guy who you were rooting for from minute one.

He was real. His facial expressions of sheer terror, intense determination, and utter disgust made his face like a moving landscape. This is a guy who reacted pretty rationally and normally to the nightmarish situation that we only visit in, well, movies.

Best Moments

He's the alpha for a group of raptors. *mic drop* I was really feeling a bit of Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon coming through in this moment. It was really special.

There is a gentleness in his actions, even though he is dealing with dangerous animals. It reveals this character's tender heart.

The chaotic scene when one of the pterodactyls has Owen pinned down, and in a massive explosion of adrenaline, Claire takes it out with a machine gun. The look of utter astonishment and intense admiration on Owen's face it just priceless. It says, "I am SO attracted to you right now!"

Leading the raptors into battle. Even in the movie Owen realizes just how incredibly awesome that moment is. If you watch carefully you can see a hint of his smile right before he revs up his engine and begins the chase.

Best Quotes

Claire- "What kind of man shows up to a date in board shorts?"
Owen- "It's Central America. It's hot."

Claire- "The park needs a new attraction every few years in order to reinvigorate the public's interest. Kind of the like the space program. Corporate felt that genetic modification would up the wow factor."
Owen- "They're dinosaurs. Wow enough.
Claire- "Not according to our focus groups. The Indominus Rex makes us relevant again."
Owen- *chuckles* "The Indominus Rex?"
Claire- "We needed something scary and easy to pronounce. You should hear a four-year-old try to say "Archeaornithomimus".
Owen- "You should hear you try to say it."

(now I REALLY want to hear a four-year-old try to say Archeaornithomimus.)

Claire- "So, you can pick up their scent can't you? Track their footprints?"
Owen- "I was with the Navy, not the Navajo."

(he's so not full of it, he's hilarious)

Owen- "You'll last two minutes in there, less in those ridiculous shoes." (Hallelujah! Someone pointed out the idiocy of that poor woman's footwear.)
Claire *removes belt, rolls up sleeves, ties blouse*
Owen- ? "What is that supposed to mean?"
Claire- "It means I'm ready to go."
Owen- "....okay."

(Yeah, I don't get it either buddy.)

Owen Grady is bigger than merely an awesome protagonist, he also represents the voice of reason and the balance in this movie. Jurassic World was more than just a movie about a dinosaur escaping and going on a rampage. Many deep political and spiritual questions were actually raised in this movie. The different characters voiced many views to one very basic question: how do we value life?

Claire, despite meaning well, had very little connection or regard for the people or the animals at the park. Everything was a number, an asset, or a liability in her mind. They were items that she could control, regulate, and predict. Owen serves a guide to lead her to both an understanding and respect for people and animals. She is a changed person by the end of the movie.

Hoskins has a great admiration for the power and strength of the animals, but he has no regard for their life or for the life of the people at the park. He literally smiles at some of the footage of people screaming in terror as they are literally being picked apart by flying dinosaurs. Even Misrani, who desires for people to enjoy his park, is disconnected from the fact that the scientists in his lab are creating new lives. Creatures who live, breathe, and think, and not just park attractions. It is only after a murderous monster has been created that Misrani realizes the callous attitude and lack of responsibility he has displayed.

Owen Grady is the character of reason who has a proper value and respect for life; both for the animals and the humans. He is the alpha of the raptors, he has a relationship with them, but he is also aware of the fact that they are animals with separate instincts that he cannot control. He sees these creatures as living animals who should not be used, like Hoskins desires. Nor can they be controlled, like Claire believes.

His priority of life is people first, then animals. Owen is the first one to call for the park to be closed. He warns against sending a team out after the Dinosaur with non-lethal weapons. He heads out into danger to help Claire retrieve her nephews without a second thought. Throughout the movie, Owen protects Claire and the boys as if they were own.

All of the death and destruction that happens in this movie is the direct result of failure to value life. Owen provides many solutions and all of the perspective in this movie as he has a correct view of life and how to treat it. At the end of the movie, he and his people are still standing because of who he is.

He's no Romeo making lovey dovey speeches beneath a balcony. He's not going to keep quiet about ridiculous fashion choices. He'll run for his life from angry dinosaurs and then punch the people responsible.

This guy will show up to your first date in board shorts with a bottle of tequila. He'll laugh when you say something stupid and call you on the carpet when you are dead wrong. When you ask him "So what do we do now?" He'll grin like a kid and reply, "Probably stay together. For survival."

But so long as that guy in board shorts is Owen Grady, there is no way you can lose.

What aspects did you love about Owen Grady? What thoughts did you have after seeing Jurassic World? What would you have changed? What was your favorite part? You can tell me in the comments, or you can connect on Facebook and Twitter