When sitting down to watch a film from the Jurassic Park franchise, viewers might expect certain things.
Dinosaurs on the rampage? Certainly. A brace of increasingly gullible humans still keen to go and hang out with those dinosaurs after the last four times they escaped and slaughtered dozens? Without question. Jeff Goldblum umming and err-ing his way through a speech about chaos theory? Only if you’re very good.
But incisive political commentary and parody? Well, that’s a bit of a new one in the recently-released Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which expands on the series’ general environmental message to include a couple of subtle references to US President Donald Trump.
The first nod to Trump comes early in the film, when the world is debating whether or not to save the island full of deadly dinosaurs from a second extinction via volcano.
Surprisingly enough, the government opts to leave the murderous giant lizards where they are rather than bringing them over to the mainland to hang out (weird, right?), with various news reports laying out their reasoning after a series of hearings and other debates on the topic.
If you look closely at one such report, the scrolling graphic at the bottom makes an oblique reference to Trump’s habit of declaring things as “Fake News”, with the text reading “US President questions ‘the existence of dinosaurs in the first place.’”
It’s a subtle moment that’s easy to miss, but one of the other Trump references in the film is much more noticeable.
The moment comes in a line by mercenary Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) describing troublesome paleoveterinarian Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda).
“What a nasty woman,” Wheatley says to his colleagues, in a nod to Donald Trump’s similar description of election opponent Hilary Clinton.
Following this, the phrase ended up being adopted by people ideologically opposed to Trump and a bona fide feminist movement in its own right, so it seems at least possible that director JA Bayona and screenwriters Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly knew the reference when they included that line in the finished movie.
Whether Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom holds more political or Trump references is hard to say – Toby Jones’ high-end auctioneer Gunnar Eversoll certainly does have an interesting hairpiece.
As it turns out, there may be much more to learn from Jurassic World than the best practices for housing and managing dinosaurs. (hint: don’t do it at all and stay away from them entirely).
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is in UK cinemas now, and will be released in the US on 22nd June
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news