****THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR JURASSIC WORLD****
“Jurassic World” is a movie in which hundreds of people get eaten by Dinosaurs.
Why do these people get eaten by Dinosaurs? Because, quite honestly, it’s populated with the most grandiose set of bad-decision-making characters in movie history. Also, they built a giant amusement park filled with dangerous Dinosaurs and then on top of that, genetically created a mega-dangerous Dinosaur in the lab with no plans at all for what would happen were it to escape.
After seeing “Jurassic World” last night, I spent the 40 minutes of the drive home dissecting every gaping plot hole with two friends who I saw it with. The fact that we could have gone on another 40 minutes is a good indication of what was wrong with this movie.
Look, every movie has plot holes. “Interstellar” was filled with them. “Avenges: Age of Ultron” had a bunch. That’s what happens in big blockbusters, it’s about the experience more than the minute details. But “Jurassic World”…come the hell on. When the writer and director of a movie cares nothing at all about continuity, or logic (much less character development, and avoiding cliches, which we’ll get into soon) it takes you out of the world completely.
Where do we even start? Around 30 minutes into the film, soon after Indominus escapes, Owen (Chris Pratt) tells Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to “evacuate the island immediately!”
“Okay, yeah” she says as all of the 20,000+ guests of the amusement park are air lifted to safety. They then bomb the island and kill the dangerous dino without anyone further being hurt.
Oh wait, no, that’s not what happened. Instead, Claire’s response to Owen’s suggestion is by saying, “But then we’ll never reopen.” Yes, Claire who is so businessy for the first 45 minutes of the movie that she is completely oblivious to the loss of human life, you’re probably going to have to close, since you know you let a genetically modified mega-Dinosaur loose and no one would ever want to go back to your amusement park ever again. She then proceeds to tell him to fuck off, and the plan of evacuation is never mentioned again, leading to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. Claire should be in prison for the rest of her life probably.
But how, did Indominous Rex escape in the first place? Well she literally come out through the gate by breaking through it. Because when you have the technology to create a genetic beast that can kill humans in .00003 seconds, your method of keeping her contained in his structure amounts to a kinda-big wall, a tracker that she can easily remove, and one individual fat security guard who is too busy being a stereotype to watch her whereabouts. How is she not incased into a giant “Under the Dome” type structure. How is it that your backup plan for when she escapes is “shoot a bunch of stuff at her and hope it works.”
Then there’s the glass pods that two main characters are in roaming around the Dino land (part of one of the amusement parks “rides”) which Jimmy Fallon helpfully explains can stop a bullet. And yet even with technology this advanced, they can’t create a decent cell phone connection for Claire to call them and tell them what’s going on. They also cannot override the control system, allowing guests to freely roam around the entirety of the park at will even after a lockdown leading Claire’s nephews to what should have been their certain death. I could go on, but we don’t have 6 more hours.
And the the product placement! Oh the disgusting, glorious, hilarious product placement. Within the first 20 minutes, Mercedes-Benz, Beats by Dre, Starbucks, Verizon, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Tostitos, Apple, Brookstone, and freaking Margaritaville are all shown prominently or straight up mentioned by characters. Lowery (Jake Johnson) asks Claire condescendingly if they should let the brand name the park. “Maybe we should call it Pepsi World or Tostitos World” (EDIT: I got the quote wrong and he’s actually talking about naming the Dinosaurs not the park, but you get the point) he says, ironically doing exactly what he was just preaching against. A few minutes later, Claire drives back into the park as we get a long look of the exterior of the latest Mercedes-Benz model all the way from the bottom to the driver’s seat in a slow-zoom, with the logo displayed prominently as if to say “Look at this sexxxy car.” Forget all those Dinosaurs, the real stars of this movie are the #brands.
But we’re diving too much into the details here. Yes you could spend hours breaking down all of the ridiculoussness of “Jurassic World”‘s plot flaws and how much the film really made you want to try out those new Smore’s Frappuccino’s™ but the most glaring flaws are at a much more fundamental level: the characters. Why, for instance, do Gray and Zach, Clarie’s two nephews, even need to exist in this movie? Is watching Claire and Owen try to save the park not enough that we need a thrown together set of B characters to follow around for half the movie? Sure guys, hundreds of people are getting murdered around us by Dinosaurs, but the really sad part here is that Gray’s parents are getting a divorce.
Gray is autistic (?) only when it’s convenient to give exposition, and Zach is just soooo into girls man, you don’t even know how into girls he is. What great fleshed out characters they are.
Then there’s the aforementioned Claire, who signifies her turn from being “all business” to only “sorta business” by slowly removing layers of her clothes until she closes the film wearing only a blue tank top, with some dirt strategically placed right above her cleavage. Despite her running through the jungle for most of the movie, she never loses her high heels. How empowering.
Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus, charming as they are, exist to basically give exposition and some ill-timed comic relief. They’re like Charlie Day in “Pacific Rim” but with significantly less Charlie Day.
Vincent D’Onorfio and BD Wong are here in the weirdest “Law and Order SVU/Criminal Intent” crossover episode yet. They provide a hilariously unnecessary b-plot involving something to do with freezing dino embryo’s or something and then using Raptors as weapons for the military. Uhh, sure, yeah whatever I’m sure we’ll find out more about that in the sequel….oh no wait we won’t because D’onofrio’s character got murdered by a Dinosaur in the third act.
He wasn’t the only main character to get killed though. Both Simon and Zara got brutally killed without so much as a second thought given to them. Zara in particular, suffers the most gruesome death of a character I think I’ve ever seen.
If you haven’t seen it, or don’t remember who she is, she’s Claire’s assistant, the one who was supposed to be watching Gray and Zach until they run off. She spends most of the movie trying to find them, but when the flying Dinosaurs escape thanks to Simon crashing his helicopter, they wreak havoc on thousands of bystanders, including Zara. She is thrown into the air and passed around multiple flying dino’s like a hacky sack. At this point, you expect something, someone to swoop in and save the day, because there is no way they’re going to give such a drawn out exaggerated death to a main char….wait WHAT THE FUCK DID THE GIANT WATER DINOSAUR JUST EAT HER ALIVE HOLY SHIT!!!
30 seconds after she gets swallowed right in front of Gray and Zach’s watching eyes, Owen and Claire make out.
The real hero of the movie though are the Raptors and of course the T-Rex who come in to save the day and stop the big bad Indominus. The climax of the film sees the Raptors, who just recently turned on the humans and sided with Indominus because she’s part Raptor (how convenient) turn back against her and save the humans, while the T-Rex, who was released by Claire, inexplicably decides she cares little about eating the shit out of these puny humans and instead teams with the Raptors to take down Indominus and save the day.
The Raptors character arc (they’re somehow more developed characters than any of the humans in the film) is set up by one five minute scene in which Owen “trains” them to follow his command, even though like, they totally still try and eat him when he jumps through the gate to save a worker who fell into the pit. Despite having recently aligned with mama-Rap and having the main characters surrounded, Owen’s previous training comes into play as he convinces the Raptors not to eat them and instead go after Indominus. How does he do this? He literally goes “So this is how it’s going to be, huh?” and shrugs. TO A BUNCH OF DINOSAURS…AND IT WORKS!
Despite this inexplicable babyface turn (these Raptors are like The Big Show of Dinosaurs) they then bring the fight to Indominus who just hilarious trounces them in about 30 seconds. I haven’t seen Raptors this ineffective since they played the Wizards in the 1st round AMIRITE *high fives* Alas, one of them survives to save the day as the super dramatic music shows her running into save T-Rex and take down Indominus.
And then despite thousands of people dying, a gigantic lawsuit surely coming against everyone involved in Jurassic World, the government likely exterminating all Dinosaur species from existence, and Gray and Zach’s parents probably still getting divorced, the movie ends happily ever after with T-Rex standing on a helicopter pad, gazing out into the decrepit world.
Look, it’s not all bad. Chris Pratt is pretty good (as always) and the movie looks great. The Dinosaurs look just as good as they should with 20 more years of CGI technology and the scenery is beautiful. This movie made all of the money so we’ll probably get three or four more sequels. Maybe they’ll be good, but probably not.
Jurassic World is a movie that simply doesn’t need to exist, but because it’s profitable, of course it does. Honestly, with a movie this over-the-top and dumb, I’d rather watch the “Sharknado” franchise. At least they’re in on the joke. Grade: D+