Jurassic World is out and I saw it. I’m not happy. But I can’t say why without spoiling it. So, hey, SPOILERS AND STUFF AFTER THE BREAK BUT JUST KNOW THIS MOVIE MADE ME ANGRY ENOUGH TO TURN MY CAPS LOCK KEY ON!!
1. Pretending to be too cool for corporate sponsorship
Hey Hollywood: you cannot makes jokes about corporate sponsorship while you are brazenly filled with corporate sponsorship. I know that movies want to seem hip by seeming like everyone else. “Oh hey dudes and dudettes,” they casually drop as they sit next to us. “We totally don’t like all that corporate sponsorship stuff just like you. That’s why we’re gonna make fun of them big time. You know who we’re gonna make fun of? Verizon! Because they’d be SOOOO lame if they sponsored a dinosaur. OMG what would a Verizonosaurus be anyway? Totes annoying! Let me make fun of a few other brands too just to show you how cool I am by making fun of people with money!”
Not only did Jurassic World get paid to mention corporate names (of course they did) by putting them in a joke about it, but then they continued the corporate sponsorship throughout. If you were to rank the dinosaurs with the most screen time you’d have 1) the new, evil whateverosaurus, 2) the raptors, and 3) Mercedes. The various Mercedes vehicles had better staging than half the cast. The dinosaurs respect them so much they won’t injure a Mercedes, just those other trucks and vehicles lying around.
And I get it, movies are expensive. Especially special effects heavy movies like this. But then don’t pretend to be cool and bite the hand that feeds you. There is only one movie who can get away with that and everyone else just needs to take the money and go with it. That movie? Like you have to ask:
2. Abandoning the sense of wonder
Dinosaurs. LIVE DINOSAURS YOU CAN SEE. That’s amazing. That’s something we can only dream about. Remember that scene in the first Jurassic Park? When we first saw the dinosaurs? The sweeping music. The majestic creatures. The sense of awe that filled the characters and the audience.
It’s been gone for a while but this movie doesn’t even try to bring it back. In fact, the lack of awe by the theme park attendees is a plot point for this movie. How boringly and utterly pessimistic. DINOSAURS!
The one character excited to see dinosaurs is made to feel silly for wanting to see them. And he (and we) can’t for the most part until they’re attacking. The only time we’re allowed to see dinosaurs in their full glory are when they’re attacking someone. The scientists that make the dinosaurs aren’t inspiring–they’re bad guys who only exist to set up a sequel. Even the end of Jurassic Park left us with a sense of wonder. Yeah, bad stuff happened but how amazing was it that dinosaurs were alive again? The ending of Jurassic World has the T-Rex yelling at the evacuated theme park. A theme park whose lights are still on, so you know people will be back.
3. Tries to have a strong female lead but Fury Road has raised the bar
Bryce Howard plays the modern career woman who absolutely sucks at her job. She’s in charge of a theme park filled with dinosaurs and, I cannot stress this enough, NEVER EVACUATED THE ISLAND. They moved people to the park itself and then had them take shelter when the pteranodons attacked (because everyone was locked out of buildings except for the restaurant…for some reason) but they never issued an evacuation order.
And yes, they have a way to evacuate people. I don’t know how fast it is but they talk about it when things first start to go sideways. And every bad thing afterwards still never triggers the evacuation order.
So if you’re wondering how the romance between Chris Pratt and Bryce Howard works out, it ends when she’s convicted of multiple counts of murder and/or manslaughter.
But the attempts to make her a strong character are also laughable. When she tries to make amends for abandoning her nephews when things were good only to have a dinosaur try to kill them, Chris Pratt accurately points out that she isn’t equipped. Her reponse? She unbuttons her blouse so that she can button up her sleeves. One might take that as a scathing commentary on how Hollywood treats female characters–that this is the difference between action-ready and not in a movie, but Pratt also points out she’s in high heels as they walk through a jungle. A really muddy jungle that holds tracks.
She never removes the shoes. Heck, she’s still in them while she outraces a T-Rex. I could have almost forgiven this if she had made a point about it. Something like “I just did that in high heels. Could you?” But that moment never happens.
You want to see a seriously empowered female? You go see Fury Road. Then go see it again because you deserve it.
4. Somebody explain this theme park to me, please
Jurassic World is built on top of the wreckage of Jurassic Park. It’s part of the movie, both in dialogue and set pieces. And yet this new theme park makes EVEN LESS SENSE THAN THE FIRST ONE! At least the first theme park had an attraction where the cars drove themselves to keep the patrons on path. Not Jurassic World–you can steer that bubble anywhere. That makes, let me do the math…carry the one….ABSOLUTELY NO DAMN SENSE!! Hey guys, dinosaurs, go drive over them. We’ll drop in a line about how these bubbles repulse them or something. Maybe we’ll play Jimmy Fallon loud enough to annoy the dinosaurs away from you.
We also have a key moment in the film where the Chiefbadosaurus (seriously, it was given a name to be easier to say and I can’t even remember it…Macguffinosaurus? Whatever) has removed her tracking device. This shows she is very smart because animals never remember it when you give them painful injections. This is why all pets love going to the veterinarian every time you need to take them. But besides that, we were told the tracking device could also administer a shock if they go too far from their boundaries. That makes sense, given that these are, you know, dinosaurs.
And yet when the flying pteranodons break free of their aviary and start attacking the park visitors, nobody activates their shock implants. The command center is operational. They have signals and are literally watching the flying death machines approach the population. They do nothing.
Did they forget? Did they not put these implants into the only dinosaurs that, if they got out, COULD MAKE IT OFF THE ISLAND? Yet another reason why this park’s chief of operations is the worst at her job.
5. It’s the same damn story
Dinosaurs. Living dinosaurs. You could do so much with them. So why do we only have one story that involves dinosaurs? I know there are only a limited number of stories in the world and everything is a retelling of them, if you believe that theory. But even that creativity-restricting theory has more than one story.
We should demand better. And that’s why I’m angry. I want a new, decent movie about dinosaurs. Is that so wrong?
Score: 2 out of 10 Whateverosaurs