Jeff Goldblum’s Renaissance Is a Goddamn Silver-Haired Light In a Dark World
Goldblum finds a way...into my heart.
Just like that bloodthirsty mother of a velociraptor instantly tears apart their human meat snack at the start of Jurassic Park, I'm gonna cut right to the chase: We are living in The Jeff Goldblum Renaissance. Not that Jeff ever went away—even in chaos theory, it's impossible for 6'3" of idiosyncratic, uh, charm and some 40 years of acting experience to disappear—but as far as blockbuster staying power goes, we're witnessing the glory of the brightest Goldblum Age on this side of the millennium.
Look around you. All that glitters is Goldblum, baby. Jeff has been inducted into the Marvel universe as the main glam villain Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok due out this fall. His awkward magnum opus Ian "Hahahrawrrahaha" Malcolm returns to Civil Lawsuit Park in Jurassic World 2 come 2018—not to mention his Independence Day franchise homecoming last year (OK, maybe I should not have mentioned that). He's even reached Bill Murray-levels of Wes Anderson casting nepotism with Isle of Dogs, also set for next year.
Outside of film, Chef Goldblum inexplicably acquired a food truck in Sydney, Australia and gave out free "jazzy snags" to the people this past April like a modern-day Daddy Christ feeding the multitude. Right now, he's actualizing his GQ-approved silver fox professor aesthetic as guest host of National Geographic's doc series Explorer. Rounding out this spring of Goldblum is word that he and Danny DeVito are teaming up in an Amazon comedy series about a fractured legendary music duo. It's about time considering the man absolutely crushes, no, obliterates jazz piano. You better believe Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra is playing the same bill as Tom Petty, Broken Social Scene, and Alabama Shakes this summer.
With utmost respect for my friends at Motherboard, their recent armchair Ebert hit piece on Jeff Goldblum is yuuuuge fake news, dismissing The Jeff Goldblum Renaissance as over-reliance on a fan favourite to save poorly-executed disaster movies. Reader, if your first instinct is to agree with this slander, go back to masturbating to your Criterion Collection because the Goldblum Age isn't about your Oscar pool. No, Jeff Goldblum serves a far greater purpose that's essential to his longevity and our salvation in an Orwellian time: Jeff Goldblum is a reverse-character actor playing Jeff Fucking Goldblum in every role, a vessel for the audience as we awkwardly laugh, scream, and question the danger around us. In this Lost world, Goldblum is our constant, committed to being his goddam self.
Goldblum is a one-man Greek chorus. He's the first to call bull on the absurd plan to "control" dinosaur DNA in Jurassic Park, the loudest to scream-chortle his way through space travel among jaded crew in Independence Day: Resurgence, the deputy going above-and-beyond to investigate a suspicious death in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Jeff Goldblum is our modern-day canary in the coal mine, index finger parting lips to suavely remind us there's no way in hell the world is normal. Even when the movie is horrendous fare like the limp script of Into the Night (how do you screw up the elevator pitch of a comedy-thriller with Goldblum and David Bowie?), Goldblum at least reflects our befuddlement with being thrust into the position of unlikely hero. If he can go from brains to brains with a moment of brawn in three acts, then maybe, just maybe, so can we.
Come Thor: Ragnarok in November, we will behold the ultimate act of preserving Jeff Goldblum as our grounding constant in film: a villain updated from his Marvel comic origins to be more like Jeff Goldblum. Yes, director Taika Waititi not only encouraged Goldblum to improvise his lines as Grandmaster, but also ditched the character's canon blue skin, red eyes, and high collar so it wouldn't "detract" from Goldblum in his purest form. Goldblum's description of his Grandmaster as "a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells" is projection, sweet Goldblumian projection. His is a reassuring source of consistency in a universe facing its doomsday not unlike post-Trump America.
Because nothing says voice of reason like Jeff Goldblum, numerous tech companies have even tapped the guy over the years for their ads during times of transition. As Motherboard correctly pointed out before abandoning their Jeff Principles, Goldblum has been leveraged as an eccentric yet familiar, calming anchor by Apple in the 90s, Paypal in 2012, and GE in 2014, the latter of which gave the wheel to Tim and Eric to direct a shirtless Goldblum in a Jacuzzi to... sell lightbulbs? Honestly, Goldblum could grin and growl-talk you into gnawing your arm off, he's that good. Menulog, a food delivery app I didn't care about five seconds ago, kept the tradition alive this year by recruiting Goldblum as their spokesman, inexplicably appearing in people's livings rooms to shill out for what's likely his jazz piano fund.
The Jeff Goldblum Renaissance is exactly what we need: The right combination of nostalgia, consistency, and 64 years of eccentric-as-hell glee for dark times. Some 300,000 subscribers to The Same Photo of Jeff Goldblum Every Day can't be wrong. Goldblum is the man you can trust to speak up in a world where everything is going to shit, walk you through a changing technological landscape, star in your wedding photos, give you free hotdogs, join your hypothetical band Chaos Theory, improve your hotel room, reenact your favourite memes, fight off zombies… ah, what I'm trying to, er, say is that life, uh, finds a way. Nothing's gonna touch you in these Goldblum years—at least for 90 minutes.
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