Tell It Tuesday: Jurassic World is out on DVD and gave me the zzz…

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

It takes serious commitment and considerable effort to make dinosaurs boring. I’d like to think the creators of Jurassic World had this as this goal, for whatever inexplicable reason, but I’m afraid the movie was simply slickly designed to hit all the expected clichés and aimed to make money instead of tell a story. If those were the filmmaker’s intentions, then they succeeded to the tune of over a billion dollars.

I saw this in the theatre when it first premiered and had low expectation, since it seems all franchise movies these days disappoint. Somehow, Jurassic World made an even poorer showing. Not much of it made sense. Why would someone from the Navy be recruited as an animal behavior specialist? Did our armed forces suddenly create livestock specializations? Why does the woman running the park have to be incompetent with children? Why does the park owner fly his helicopter around an expensive investment and hundreds of visitors when he’s not even certified? What is their insurance premium on a place like that anyway? Why is there a diabolical arms developer wandering around the animal pens practically slavering over weaponized dinosaurs? At least his ignorance of reality was believable. No one who’s spent even a couple of minutes around large, undomesticated animals would ever consider them fit as weapons simply waiting to do a human’s bidding. Wild animals are indifferent towards humans, or aggressive. Servitude is not in their nature. I’m not even going to start on the surly teenager or the precocious child. They were as one dimensional as sheets of paper.

No, my real disappointment was that in addition to not being able to manage actual characters and believable situations, the writers also made dull dinosaurs. It pains me to type that. The raptors which were so gloriously alive and ferocious in the first film are now reduced to chasing pigs, being clicker trained like puppies, and have cameras attached to their heads like skateboarding tweens with a GoPro. We don’t see my girl T-Rex until the very end of the film when she’s called in to clean up the human’s messes. There aren’t any herbivores to speak of, and the flying reptiles are only menacing due to their large numbers, a la The Birds. The mosasaurus was interesting, but it only appeared for a minute. I did wonder how in the world the park managed to obtain a constant supply of great white sharks to feed it.  And the big villain of this piece is the gene-spliced super predator Indominus Rex. Oh, please. They built this animal up to be a bigger menace than a suitcase nuke and when we finally see her, she’s a short-faced, pale creature who hides in the bushes. I gritted my teeth through all the technobabble and faux ethics quandary of combining T-Rex DNA with Velociraptor nonsense. It was as if the writers completely forgot ALL the dinos in the park are the result of blending paleo DNA with modern animal genomes to make up complete strands for viable embyos.

Jurassic World is a pure example of lazy storytelling. There were so many ways to improve this movie, starting with writers who cared about the subject. Make Owen an actual zoologist so I can believe in all the skills he has instead of me constantly questioning how he manages. Make the billionaire owner quirky enough that I’ll care about his fate. Make Claire a good aunt who loves her nephews so I can feel her worry and anguish when they are in peril.  I mentioned my disappointment with the story in a FB author group and a writer said she didn’t care if the story was bad, she went to be entertained. How is it possible to be entertained by something so insultingly banal?

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