Movie Monday, Movies

Jurassic World: Slightly Less Miserable, Much More Stupid

After the disasters that were The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3, it seemed that the lesson had finally sunk in. Jurassic Park was, at least in film form, lightning in a bottle. Yet another miracle of all the right people being in the right places at the right time. So, to everyone’s relief, the series came to an end.

Until they forgot that lesson and decided to try it all over again.

In all fairness, though: Jurassic World isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Out of the four Jurassic Park movies I’ve watched (I still haven’t seen Jurassic World: Whatever the Fuck it Was Called), this is the second best. Unfortunately, it still falls well short of the classic first film. And it only beats the two sequels because… I mean… it’s not hard to do that.

Story: When Dinosaurs Become Boring- wait, what?

Fun fact: this script is so stupid that you can actually lose brain cells from watching this movie. Fun fact #2: no one gets tired of zoos. Why would they get tired of a dinosaur zoo?!

Years after Jurassic Park, a new park called Jurassic World opens. But apparently, people are tired of dinosaurs, so they genetically engineer a new super dinosaur. Shock horror, it escapes and the park is thrown into chaos.

Notice how I didn’t mention any of the characters in that summary. That’s because all of them are kinda… what’s the word? Worthless? Inconsequential? Boring? Hateable? One-dimensional? That’s technically two words, but you get the point.

Owen is a badass who understands animals. Claire is a neat freak. Zach is a playboy. Gray is excitable and smart. Hoskins is obsessed with weapons and warfare. That’s literally everything there is to these characters.

Five bucks says you have no idea who those characters are.

The Indominus Rex is also a huge bit of wasted potential. It could’ve been really cool, had the movie done a better job establishing the rules of its abilities. But because they leave it intentionally vague, the writers can pull traits out of their ass whenever the script calls for it.

Imagine this. As soon as it gets out, the writers add a scene establishing all of its potential abilities by listing the animals that made it. With this knowledge, our characters can plan around these abilities. Then, you can squeeze a fun bit of tension into the movie; will the plan work? What will the characters do when it doesn’t? If it doesn’t, can they find a way to make it work?

Put a little thought into this concept and it can become a great basis for a movie! But they didn’t do that. The writers were probably too focused on how they could squeeze out the most vicious dinosaur kills possible.

Seriously, this movie is way too indulgent in dinosaur-related murder. Like, why the hell did Claire’s british assistant need to be dragged off by a pterodactyl and then murdered by the carnivorous whale? The movie spends over a full minute focusing on this kill! Why the fuck was that necessary?!?!

Also, the product placement in this movie is fucking maddening. The line about Verizon delivering the next big dinosaur actually makes me want to slit my fucking wrists. But that’s not the only one! It’s just the worst one.

In fairness, though: there are some half decent scenes in this movie. My favorite is the quiet little scene with the brachiosaurus, when it’s established the monster hunts for sports. It’s a tender moment that works entirely because of the visuals. No dialogue, no fancy speech. Just a quiet moment of our characters comforting a dying animal. It’s not much, but it’s something.

This isn’t the worst story I’ve ever seen. I’d hesitate to call it good, but it isn’t as bad as either Jurassic Park 3 or Lost World. At its core, it’s a dumb action movie with dinosaurs in it. In that regard, it’s a perfectly fine movie.

I only wish it were a good Jurassic Park movie.

Presentation: Welcome to Dullasic Park

I’m only half sorry for that pun.

The first chunk of this movie is so visually uninteresting that it hurts me inside. The cinematography is flat, the editing stale, and the environments are so lifeless that they couldn’t possibly be seen as real. Both on a visual and narrative front, this chunk of the story is unbearable.

Luckily, once the action starts, it does become more dynamic and fun. The cinematography isn’t anything mind-blowing, but it does an effective job at creating tension and making things more exciting to watch. It even manages to pull of some fun tricks with lighting in the last act to create a sense of horror!

And imagine my shock when an actual animatronic set piece showed up! That’s right! Not every dinosaur is CGI! Sure, it’s only one. In the whole movie. But that one looks amazing!

I’m grasping at straws, I know. Just let me have this one!

Musically speaking, this one is also a bundle of lost potential. Most of it is either generic fluff or reused tracks from the original movie. Which is a huge shame, because it could have had so much more impact!

For example: on the establishing shot of Jurassic World, they reuse the Jurassic Park theme. Then, later in the movie, when the kids discover the old Jurassic Park jeeps, they have a quiet, almost music-box like version of that theme. Unfortunately, all the impact that track could’ve given the seen is sucked away because the theme was used before. Could you imagine how chilling and memorable that piece would’ve been if Jurassic World had its own theme, separate and distinct from the original?

Distinct? Original? What the hell am I talking about? This is Hollywood, for fuck’s sake.

Performances: Chris Pratt Develops Back Problems Carrying Whole Movie

Jimmy Fallon is in this movie. Not as a character, he’s just playing him. Why is he in this movie? What purpose does he serve? Other to force me into pausing the movie to exclaim my fury and yearn for death.

Thankfully, Chris Pratt is here to help save my sanity. Sure, his character is about as memorable and interesting as swiss cheese. But he’s one of the few actors in this movie that can make these brain-dead lines of dialogue sound natural and cool. Plus, he manages to inject a ton of charm into the movie just by being around. His natural charisma is practically a weapon of war!

I can only kind of give the same credit to everyone else. I don’t think anyone is doing a bad job, per say; certainly not as bad as what we saw in Jurassic Park 3. I’d say the lackluster performances are more because of the mediocre script than mediocre actors. But Chris Pratt’s performance is the only one that really sticks out as being good.

Aside from Jimmy Fallon. I cannot emphasise enough how much I hate him.

Conclusion

Jurassic World isn’t the worst movie in the franchise. Far from it. Sure, it’s derivative, brain-dead, and cheesy. And I didn’t even mention the unbearable fanservice littering the first half!

But you also see a T-Rex team up with a velociraptor to attack a genetic hybrid monster thing. And you know what? As a Godzilla fan, it would be hypocritical of me to say that that shit ain’t awesome.

If you need something dumb and fun to watch, then I would recommend Jurassic World. It’s a great movie to put on in the background while you focus on things that require your actual brain power. That, or you can put it on and riff on it with your friends after getting drunk and/or high.

But if you want something as brilliant as the original movie? Well… you can just go and watch that one.

Better that than Lost Kingdom.

2 thoughts on “Jurassic World: Slightly Less Miserable, Much More Stupid”

  1. I generally either watch a movie or I give up on it, this is one of the few movies that I half-watched while doing other stuff. Which seems about right.

    That scene was to bring in the Mosasaurus audience – they’re the fastest growing segment of the market.

    At the end of this movie I wished they just went full on crazy with it – have the kid be John Conner, and have various Terminators show up to try and kill him during the dino-escape. And also they made the new dino with Xenomorph DNA and it lays face-hugger eggs all over the place. And also Optimus Prime is there.

    Liked by 1 person

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