WARNING! THERE ARE MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THIS REVIEW! YOU MUST PASS THE FLOCK OF JEFF GOLDBLUMS TO CONTINUE!
Ok, onto the review!
Jurassic World is really fucking dumb. And bad. There were some little nuggets of goodness here and there, but let me first list out my main frustrations with this movie before we talk about that.
1. THIS BREAKOUT COULD HAVE BEEN SO EASILY PREVENTED IT HURTS
I’m not talking about not making the Indominus (pffft haha I love how Owen Grady laughed with me) Rex. I’m not even talking about the I.Rex managing to hide from the thermal scanners like she somehow knew that’s how the doctors keep track of her so she could break out of her pen. No, no, what’s kills me is that they have a FUCKING TRACKING CHIP ON HER AND DIDN’T CHECK THAT FIRST BEFORE SENDING PEOPLE IN THE DAMN CAGE TO LOOK FOR THE MISSING DINOSAUR.
HOW DO YOU HAVE JOBS
HOW DO YOU BREATHE
That really shook me out of the movie for a little while because DAMN that should be in basic fucking protocol if the dino appears to be missing. That’s not Claire holding the idiot ball, that’s being idiot nuked jfc.
2. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SOMEONE GIVE CLAIRE A GUN. BETTER YET, HAVE HER TAKE A GUN!
Jurassic World handles Claire’s character really, really badly. It starts off good with the movie presenting her to us as being a very organized, no nonsense woman who keeps her shit together to run a massive Costa Rican dinosaur park that appeases the masses, the park stockholders, and her boss. Bizarrely, the movie tries to shame her for being an awesome career woman because she can’t remember the ages of her nephews that she hasn’t seen in a few year on account of running a dinosaur park in Costa Rica. Like if these was her own kids I’d get it but they’re not. Her sister’s mad that Claire left her nephews with her personal assistant Zara instead of spending time with them because Claire’s a little busy making sure the pen that holds the very dangerous hybrid carnivore that could break out and eat everyone is tall enough to prevent such a tragedy.
What gets my goat (ha) the most is that Claire is presented as a strong, capable woman even when in the thick of a dino jungle in heels. However, because Claire has no weapon to defend herself with, she is constantly relying on Owen to save her ass. At first I thought it was because Claire didn’t know how to use a gun, which I could totally understand! Who has time to go to the range when you’re running a billion dollar dinosaur theme park?
And then in the last third of the movie a pterodon is about to eat Owen’s face and Claire takes a gun and shoots it dead.
It’s a great scene and Owen is so grateful that he kisses her, which is great, but we never see Claire with a gun again so that Owen can continue being her protector and the Big Action Hero.
It clearly didn’t emasculate Owen’s character to be saved by Claire once, would it have really been that bad to close the power gap and have her actually able to defend herself throughout the whole movie? Owen still has his unique relationship with the raptors and an understanding of dinosaur behavior that Claire doesn’t have! All this scene does is show me that someone on the writing staff realized that Claire doesn’t do much, thought it would piss off women, and wrote this scene in order to pacify us when it really just highlights the glaring sexist tropes and clichés in this film. Which brings us to…
3. ZARA’S CHARACTER IS A WOMAN-SHAPED PUNCHING BAG
You know it’s bad when the Big Evil Douchebag gets a better death than the woman who’s on screen, what, five minutes? And gets the bitch character because she *le gasp* DOESN’T LIKE KIDS AND DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THEM. QUELLE HORREUR. She’s not even mean to the kids, she just complains about them to a friend on the phone. Someone’s got it out for child-free career women and trained the dinosaurs to go after their scent.
When the pterodons are set loose because Masrani’s an idiot, Zara is picked up by one just as she finds the nephews and starts yelling at them probably because a) she was probably scared shitless because these are her boss’s nephews that she lost sight of and b)it’s really fucking scary to lose kids in a theme park, especially one with DINOSAURS. Pterodon don’t care as it picks her up and then another pterodon fights for her and she ends up being dropped in the mosasaurus tank. The pterodon then falls in with her, grabs her, and throws her up and down in the water while she is still screaming. The pterodon then picks her up out of the water and tries to fly away but the mosasaurus leaps up and the pterodon drops her in the mosasaurus’s jaws before it eats them all.
Our Big Bad Guy gets an off-screen death with a spray of blood on the wall for about fifteen seconds. Zara’s scene went on for almost a minute. What was the damn point in drawing out her death? Why couldn’t a pterodon just picked her up and fly into the distance so we’d know she was dead? Or have the pterdon carry her but is caught midflight by the mosasaurus?
I don’t know the movie makers’ answer for this, but my guess is because misogyny, even if it wasn’t intentional. It tells me that a woman who doesn’t like kids (even if they aren’t her own) is a bitch and deserves to die a torturous death.
4. TOO MUCH OF THE BAD KIND OF DUMB
Ok, this is basically going to be a catchall for a lot of the things I had a problem with in the movie, because a lot of these problems are caused by the bad kind of dumb. What do I mean by that? Well, the good kind of dumb is when something happens that is so ridiculous but just so awesome at the same time that you see why it had to be in the film. The bad kind of dumb is when dumb things happen because the plot needs it. Funnily enough, Owen Grady voices a lot of the bad kind kind of dumb.
GOOD: LET’S MAKE A HYBRID DINOSAUR BIGGER AND SMARTER THAN A T. REX!
BAD: I. Rex is somehow smart enough to know that the people in the building uses thermal scans to keep an eye on it and knows exactly when everyone’s back is turned on it to scratch the walls and make a distraction. She’s so smart it’s stupid.
GOOD: LET’S HAVE THE RAPTORS WE’VE TRAINED TO HUNT HUNT THE I. REX! WE’LL ALSO HAVE CHRIS PRATT RIDE WITH THEM ON A MOTORCYCLE WOOT!
BAD: “OMG! THE I.REX JUST TOLD THE RAPTORS THAT IT’S A RAPTOR TOO! IT HAS RAPTOR DNA! I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I’M CHRIS PRATT WITH A MUSTACHE!” (What’s even worse is that a moment later Owen announces that the I. Rex established herself as alpha, which would have been an acceptable explanation since the raptors are able to have Owen as their alpha!)
GOOD: LET’S LOOSE THE T. REX ON THE I.REX FOR AN EPIC DINOSAUR FIGHT!
BAD: “Be a man and do something with your life, you representation of the man-children in the audience who are skeptical of this movie because it’s not going to be the same as the original! Clearly you working your dream job as a techie in Jurassic World means you are doing nothing with your life and are not a manly man because you are not a man of action!” – Claire
GOOD: FUCKING STUPID AWESOME DINOSAUR FIGHT BETWEEN THE I. REX AND THE T. REX AND RAPTOR!
BAD: Mosasaurus jumps out of the tank like Shamu to take it in the tank because it…was…I don’t know, hungry? Why couldn’t we have a scene of the I. Rex falling in the tank and getting tossed around by the mosasaurus? Oh wait, no, we’re going to dignify the I. Rex with an off screen death. I. REX GETS A BETTER DEATH THAN ZARA JFC
BAD: The whole WE’RE GOING TO USE DINOSAURS AS WEAPONS evil plan gah.
BAD: THE I. REX REMEMBERED WHERE THE DOC PUT THE TRACKING CHIP IN!
BAD: Masrani being the only one on the island able to fly the helicopter
BAD: T. Rex stepping up on a helicopter pad to roar at the sunset at the end of the movie
This movie felt like a drunk-edited rough draft, and it could have been so much better! Have a shot of the tracking chip clearly bothering the I. Rex and she claws at herself before the chip is out. Give Claire a gun and have her use it. Owen was training his raptors how to hunt anyway, have him or Claire be the one to bring up the idea to have the raptors hunt the I. Rex. Don’t draw out Zara’s death for shock value. Mention that I. Rex is part house cat, because it is obvious how much of a cat that I. Rex acts like. Have I. Rex establish herself as alpha in the raptor pack because she’s a fucking I. Rex, that’s why. Show a bit more chemistry between Owen and Claire by having Owen start off with “We should stick together–” and Claire finish with, “to survive” instead of just having Owen say it super clunkily like he was expecting Claire to finish his sentence but she didn’t. Also have them walk together and not Owen starts walking first and Claire follows all doe-eyed. Claire is a leader too! Claire is strong too! She is Owen’s equal, not one of his raptor betas.
I did like certain parts of the movie, though. I’ll admit to getting misty eyes when we first pan over Jurassic World and that familiar music swelled up, or when the Claire’s nephews Zach and Gray find the old dilapidated Jurassic Park. As fond as I am of the original movie, it really brought me back to my childhood when my dad and I were the only one brave enough in my family to ride the Jurassic Park ride over and over again. I actually liked the brothers a lot in this film too, and they managed to (surprisingly) not annoy me and will be relatable to a lot of the kids who will watch this movie. The return of Dr. Wu was FANTASTIC and I hope in the inevitable sequel he’ll be the rising star with the research he managed to save.
I felt that the actors did a pretty good job with what they were given with, especially Bryce Dallace Howard as Claire (who is still my favorite character next to Dr. Wu despite how badly the movie treated her) and Chris Pratt with a mustache as Owen Grady. I really loved Chris’s performance with the dinosaurs and how his character seemed to almost relax more and be open with these dinosaurs, even the raptors that could possibly kill him, than he does with people.
Of course, last but certainly not least, the reason I bought a ticket for this movie at all: THE DINOSAURS!!!
You want to know the real reason why the movie did so fucking awesome in the box office this weekend? DINOSAURS. I don’t care what Claire says, PEOPLE FUCKING LOVE DINOSAURS, AND WE NEED MORE MOVIES ABOUT DINOSAURS. The dinosaurs in this movie look fantastic, I want to go in that Gentle Giants petting zoo and snuggle with the baby dinosaurs, I want to go raptor training with Chris Pratt, and there are dino on dino fights that will satisfy every inner child. As shitty as this movie is, it got the dinosaurs right (and even explained that certain dinosaurs look the way they do because science and appealing to the mass audience!). DINOSAURS. DI. NO. SAURS.
If you’re going to see this movie (and judging by box office numbers, you probably already did), see it at a matinee. As much as I love the dinosaurs, they are merely the gold paint on this gilded turd of a movie.
Have fun at the movie house, and a parting gift for you: