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 Characters of the JP films

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smaugtheterrible
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PostSubject: Characters of the JP films   Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:52 pm

(Repost of a thread I started at JPL; some of these are replies to other posts, so it might sound a bit weird in places).

Couldn't really find a thread like this when I searched, but anyhow, I figured we could talk about the human characters in the JP film franchise. It doesn't necessarily have to be all positive, but as the characters in the movies are often criticized for being too one-dimensional or bland (again, not saying this is always unfounded), it could be interesting to talk about the characters and what we think makes them intriguing, relatable, etc. If there's a portrayal that you really dislike, instead of simply bashing the character, what do you think could have/should be done to improve or salvage it? And if you do really like a character (including minor ones and ones who are often criticized), what is it about them that works for you or even personally means something to you? This would specifically be for the films, but a few mentions of the books for comparison purposes wouldn't hurt.

Some of my own opinions:

Grant is probably my favorite character in the films - as a bit of an introvert myself, some of his character traits are things I can really relate to that I don't see in many other leading characters in films. And at least from my perspective, it's presented in a relatively realistic way without making the character unnecessarily angsty (at least in the first movie...).

I also really like Malcolm's portrayal in the movies; book Malcolm is great too, but I'm glad they didn't sideline him with ANOTHER serious leg injury in TLW film like they did in the book (even if there are a ton of other things I enjoyed more in the novel). I also thought that having him try to distract Rexy in JP instead of running away was a nice touch - the end result was still pretty much the same but he got to have his heroic moment. It also fits with his earlier conversation about his own kids.

Muldoon is really another great character, and I was sad when he got killed . He's serious, but he's also shown in the movie to be a nice guy who's genuinely concerned about everybody else. Tembo in TLW is a pretty similar character, and in many ways is a better person than some of the other "protagonists"

Making Hammond into a likable character in the film was one of the best choices, in my opinion. His death in the novel is fitting, but making him a decent person in the movie and letting him survive, while he sadly reflects on his failed dreams, is very powerful and tragic.

There are some characters that could have been a little boring as written, but the nuances the actors add make them much more interesting and believable. Even the casting for the kids in JP, along with the changes made to their characters, was done very well. I thought Lex in the book was a pretty annoying character even for a little kid. While she does have occasional slightly annoying moments in the film, she goes from almost uncontrollable hysterics, along with having some trust and abandonment issues, earlier in the movie to intentionally luring a raptor into chasing her to keep it away from her brother, and she's able to stay composed in a very tense situation while getting the system up and running again. Unfortunately Tim doesn't really get to do that much, as his role is partially switched with Lex from the book, but at least he's likeable (and apparently made of steel). The movie does a really good job at making both of them sympathetic.
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