(a review of Jurassic World (2015))
Following Jurassic Park 3, which I tried my ass off to like, I did not have high hopes for the series, assuming that the third and least best was the sendoff, the final chapter. Underestimated studios’ franchise milking, I had. Jurassic World edges pretty closely to a soft reboot, which to quote a wise blogger are the worst idea ever. However, I find it easier to compare this to Star Wars, where the time jump makes it less of a soft reboot and more of a straight sequel. In this case only one somewhat minor character returns, but next time we get Jeff Goldblum! Woo!
So the movie was good, but I have some complaints. The first one is simple: whenever there is a computer screen, large or small, displaying deployed military unit’s individual heart rates or various other health stats, they’re gonna die, or at least most of them will. And it’s so fucking obvious.
Not that I cared, though. Because they were probably just as unlikeable as everyone else in this movie except for Chris Pratt. And I do mean everyone. The arbitrarily British assistant, the tech in the Jurassic Park tee, the nauseous helicopter piloting instructor, the men around Chris Pratt (who only existed to showcase Pratt’s character’s awesomeness). Then you move on to the bigger roles. Vincent D’Onofrio was the villain, but not even a very good one, which is unlike him. Claire sucked. She was awkward and messily over-organized, all things I can forgive for being the bounds of the scope of a meh actress, but we’re supposed to care about her emotional subplot after she decides to care more about the park than the twenty-one thousand people in the park, including her two nephews? Fuck off. Masrani, the owner of the park, was okay, cool even, until he agreed with not evacuating because of the small matter of a loose, barely locatable, killer dinosaur of unknown intelligence and power. And don’t get me started on those fucking kids. The small scruffy one was way too whiny, another emotional subplot in which I refuse to invest; you can’t force me to care about divorce with dinosaurs in my face. And the older, cheating-hearted, bipolar one? The one that would be all emotionally unavailable and stock teenager-y, then “you’re a genius, bro!,” then back to fuck you kid, then could fix a jeep that had been sitting there for twenty years? Yeah fuck him. When are we going to get a Jurassic Park movie where a kid gets eaten? That’d be some shit. Poor British nanny assistant woman got like a two minute death scene, at the end of which she definitely wasn’t dead right away, she was gonna drown/be digested to death. Yeah, I know, I said, “unlikeable,” but still, D’Onofrio died in like a second to a generic raptor eating. Sure, you can argue that he wasn’t the real villain, that the Indominus was, but two things: (1) ‘man is the real animal’ is inarguably the theme of this saga from the beginning, and (2) no matter what he deserved a worse death than British assistant lady. At least the Indominus rex went out in a cool way following an awesome battle. And maybe Claire will get eaten in Fallen Kingdom.
Mostly liking this movie is about acceptance. Acceptance of things in movies that you can’t change, I guess. You have to accept that tech guy would be able to get a Jurassic Park tee shirt from eBay even though the park never opened. You have to accept the bull you’re fed about Hammond imparting his dream to Masrani. You have to come to terms with the idea that this park only took around ten years to reopen, that they captured and corralled, rebuilt and relocated, did all the normal things an island locale amusement park would have to do to open but with dinosaurs added to the mix; really, you have to believe that it could open at all, considering Jurassic Park never did. Then you have to accept that people could possibly get bored of dinosaurs after only a decade, thus spawning the need for previously nonexistent ones.
What I couldn’t accept, however, and this is where the movie took a slight nosedive for me, is the explanation of the Indominus by Dr. Wu to Masrani. The previous trilogy’s science took a few liberal steps but was certainly acceptable, except this was 2015 and we are all fully aware that arbitrary “cuttlefish genes” wouldn’t give an animal all positive cuttlefish traits while not forcing it to be aquatic! Genes aren’t superpowers!
However, credit where it is due and I must say the same scene that damned this movie also saved it. Something else Dr. Wu said was amazing to me. 1993’s view of dinosaurs was as they appeared in Jurassic Park. It would’ve been dumb to change them to our current knowledge of feathers and so on just to be more accurate. So, Dr. Wu explained this by stating that they have always filled in the missing gaps, and that the dinos look the way they do because of human perception, that realistic dinosaurs would look way different. What I liked is that they didn’t have to do that, but they did. To like movies, sometimes you have to look and accept instead of immediately dismiss, because if you look hard enough you’ll often find surprises.