I owe The Lost World an apology. A heartfelt apology from upon my bended knee because that movie is a fucking masterpiece compared to Jurassic World. I didn’t think it could get much worse than taking a T-Rex to San Diego and having Jeff Goldblum star, but I was wrong.
So very, very wrong.
This was my first viewing of Jurassic World and I can definitively say that it will be my last viewing of it as well. I remember the hype when this came out in 2015. I bowed to it almost as much as everyone else. I mean, the dinosaurs that had inspired me so much as a kid were back! I had plans to see the movie in theatres, which is kind of huge for me because I hate movie theatres and the people that cram into them. At the time, I was working with an unpredictable schedule and couldn’t find a concrete day in which to see it though, so I never ended up going.
Thank god, because if I had paid my hard earned money to see this steaming pile of dinosaur shit, I would have burned the world to the ground!
After witnessing this massacre of a beloved franchise, I can’t believe there are people that still think Jurassic Park III is the worst of the pack! And yes, “witnessing” is the correct word to use, because I did not watch this passively. Jurassic World tore at my very being as a fan of the Jurassic Park franchise and at my love of dinosaurs in general.
You know how people (read as whiny men born in the 80s) will claim that new movies in franchises are ruining their childhood? Well, I’m not saying that Jurassic World ruined my childhood because that’s impossible, I’m not a child anymore. But I am saying that this shit probably ruined some childhoods for actual children that saw it. This is not a Jurassic Park movie! This inspires no awe, teaches nothing about dinosaurs, and has no excitement that isn’t choreographed as predictably as possible.
If this had been my first exposure to the Jurassic Park franchise, I never, ever would have wanted to sit down and watch the others. So for any kids out there that feels that way, I am deeply sorry that this tainted what the other movies are, because Jurassic World is to Jurassic Park what hairballs are to cats.
Which is to say that this hundred and fifty million dollar disaster is worthless, meaningless, and a fucking mess to have to deal with!
Jurassic World is possibly the biggest waste of time, big budget, soft-reboot that I’ve ever seen. The characters are shallow, the story is so full of holes it’s a wonder there was enough structural support to get it funded in the first place, and the CGI is garbage all of two years later! There’s honestly not a single thing about this movie that I like at all.
And while the blame for that falls to many different factors, I’m going to declare, first and foremost, that it’s the director’s fault. Colin Trevorrow was the director and he absolutely shouldn’t have been. He’d directed only one very small movie before he was handed the keys to the Jurassic Park franchise and he wasn’t fucking ready!
Steven Spielberg directed the first two movies and Joe Johnston the third. Spielberg had Jaws, E.T., and three Indiana Jones movies under his belt. Johnston had The Rocketeer and Jumanji. Say what you want about any particular elements throughout those first three movies, but at least some fucking craft got put into the directing because they’d had more experience than one moderately acceptable indie flick! Why is this a trend in Hollywood? Why can’t they see that mediocre white men that credit themselves as directors on a single indie film are not who you want to helm huge franchises?! Skill at anything comes with time and practice, not handing someone a huge budget and a property with nostalgia value.
Movies shouldn’t be about making as much money as possible. They should have purpose and meaning and heart. Jurassic World has none of those things, besides the huge ass payday, hence why Trevorrow is currently directing the sequel. And since sequels usually offer nothing but diminishing returns I can only assume the direct sequel to Jurassic World’s pile of shit splattered on the ground will be another pile of shit, but this time scraped off the ground and thrown directly into my face.
But terrible directors and Hollywood’s questionable ethics of hiring white men and white men alone are not the only things I hate about this movie. I also have problems with every other element!
Basically, the whole goddamn premise of this movie, from the ground up, is not a Jurassic Park movie. The first three movies were about dinosaurs and Jurassic World is about a monster. It’s a monster movie. Yes, you could say that by bringing animals back with cloning they’re not really those animals anymore, but what this movie does goes so beyond that. They pick and choose a bunch of DNA from dinosaurs and then fill in the gaps with other animals’ DNA to create a genetic monster. This genetic monster is bigger, meaner, and toothier than a T-Rex, is as smart as a raptor, and has the ability to camouflage because of cuttlefish DNA. And that ability right there is a complete accident. They didn’t even want that to happen.
Did these assholes learn nothing about putting random DNA into dinosaur DNA from the African frog fiasco of the first movie? How many times does Malcolm have to stutter his way through the declaration that life finds a way?!
Also, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, Claire, spends the whole movie saying how they needed to create something new because they needed to keep money rolling in. They need to genetically breed new dinosaurs because the world has apparently lost interest in the old one. That’s not what they show in the movie. I don’t see a struggling theme park full of bored looking people, I see a thriving business packed to the brim with patrons that all look pretty fucking happy to me because, here’s the point of these movies, people are never not going to like dinosaurs!
The Indominus-Rex in general is also a piece of shit. This “dinosaur” might as well have been awakened by atomic blasts to terrorize Tokyo for how realistic it is. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen with its ridiculously wide opening jaws, its simian hands, and what’s with all the ridges? Horns? Spikes? Whatever the fuck they are that covers its body? I would prefer if it had feathers and I hate the thought of dinosaurs with feathers!
But honestly, I think the thing I hate most about the Indominus-Rex is that there’s nothing shocking about it. Come the Pratt-on-a-motorcycle bit of the movie when the raptors are let loose to hunt, we learn that *gasp* the Indominus has raptor DNA in it! Everyone already saw that coming. It wasn’t a surprise. What would have been a surprise is if it had human DNA in it and that’s why it was so smart. But nope. Raptor DNA.
Another problem with the Indominus-Rex and its place as a monster in this non-monster movie is the fact that death means nothing with it tearing around Isla Nublar. Like every other action movie on the market, a death in Jurassic World is just filler to pad out the movie’s action. The first movie made you feel for the people that died, whether it was sweet comeuppance for Nedry, a badass last line for Muldoon, or a surprise out-of-the-blue shock for Arnold, you felt something for those characters as you watched them die.
Tell me what you felt when the assistant that was looking after the two kids gets picked up by a pterodactyl and then eaten by the mosasaurus? Did you feel anything at all? Can you even tell me her name? During that whole scene I just sat uncaring as people were picked off by dinosaurs. Why am I supposed to care? Just like all other ubiquitously bland action/adventure movies, the people are fodder. You’re not supposed to care about them, you’re just supposed to get a little thrill out of seeing the horrible ways they die. And even that grim thrill of human death is tepid at best in Jurassic World.
And among all the meaningless human deaths were dinosaur deaths, and they couldn’t get that right either. This tone deaf movie couldn’t even get me to care about a herd of longnecks being killed for sport. The opening of the first Land Before Time movie makes me cry for the longneck deaths but here it’s like, what else you got?
The kicker–the absolute kicker in terms of where this movie fucked up story wise is that everything that happens could be 100% avoided just by using some common sense. Literally every single thing that happens would be avoided in reality. The scene where Chris Pratt’s character goes in the monster’s cage to look at the wall scratches for example, maybe call the support team to see where the genetic monster is before anyone steps an inch into its paddock. Pratt was a supreme asshole for going in there without doing his due diligence and the blood of the people that died is on his hands. Not that he cares because in terms of human emotions, he’s less of a Lady Macbeth and more of a… storefront mannequin.
Then there’s the paddock in general. Build it better. Thicker, higher walls, electric fences, less greens for it to hide in, and a trench around the inside walls so an escape attempt would have led it to plummet into a hole. If zoos make sure there’s a trench between you and animals as docile as zebras, you better fucking believe they’d have one for a monster.
And if a dinosaur does happen to escape, have a better emergency protocol than gathering all the people on the island in the open and exposed main street of the theme park. There should be underground bunkers with supplies. There should be a private army on standby on the island, not twelve people with guns. And there should sure as fuck be enough ferry boats left at the island at all times in case a massive evacuation is needed!
The lawyer in Jurassic Park is right, all this raises major safety concerns and an insurance company wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole!
Jurassic World is a movie that hates its own characters and has no idea what to do with them because of that. These are people that aren’t part of their environment, they’re just going through the motions.
Chris Pratt’s dude is boring and inconsistent. I don’t buy that he’s ever scared or upset or… fucking anything! You’d think Pratt would be excited to begin his blockbuster career as a handsome action star after having to be the fat, dumb guy on Parks and Rec, but he phones it in. The character in general is also just not likable. He’s a smug, obnoxious fuckboy that tries to undermine the only woman in this movie constantly because it’s just something to do as a fuckboy.
Then there’s Bryce Dallas Howard as the emotionless redheaded robot in charge of everything. I’m fine with her being in charge and having to be a bitch to do that, but maybe the movie could have treated her, you know, well. She’s just there to be the antagonistic force in the group of good guys and, of course, to get her dirty and wet in her white outfit and heels. Then, even though she is in charge, she’s still undermined at every turn! Like the scene where Pratt is with her in the control room and she makes one order but he makes another. When they go with her order because she’s in charge, the whole scene is painted to make us as the audience be like “what a bitch they should have listened to the white man” and that’s so infuriating! SHE’S THE BOSS, DIPSHITS! DO AS SHE SAYS!
And that love subplot between Pratt and Howard?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “love” subplot more ham-fisted into a narrative that doesn’t call for it than here in Jurassic World. There’s one mention of them going on a date and not getting along and then they decide to kiss in the middle of the maelstrom of the pterodactyls? You can go fuck yourself with a big rusty chainsaw Jurassic World because I am having none of your bullshit!
Surprisingly, neither Pratt or Howard are the worst characters in this garbage. That exalted award goes to the teenage boy whose name I didn’t bother to learn or even look up on IMDb as I type this. That teenage asswipe probably couldn’t play dead if you pointed a gun point blank at his head and then filmed the resulting snuff film! What’s even the point of this wasted squirt of sperm? The whole thing where we’re purposefully introduced to his girlfriend at the beginning only to have him flirt with every girl he lays eyes on in the park? DID YOU EVEN TRY, JURASSIC WORLD??!
The only character I can say that I remotely cared about was the control room guy with the terrible moustache and even that’s stretching it because that scene where he hits on his co-worker and she’s like, I have a boyfriend and we get three minutes of sitcom quality awkward bumbling? That’s fucking painful.
Watching any of these characters do anything is fucking painful.
Let’s all take a moment and remember the T-Rex night scene in Jurassic Park. It’s timeless, and it continues to look amazing to this day. Let’s also all take a moment to remember the cliffside bus part of The Lost World, and the spinosaurus and T-Rex fight from Jurassic Park III. They might not be as amazing next to that first T-Rex scene, but shit, they hold up. Cut to Jurassic World a mere two years after it was released. Nothing strikes me as revolutionary even though its effects have been hailed as so.
I guess it doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t look great either. If anything, it’s just bland. What was revolutionary here? We’ve had all these dinosaurs before, we’ve had helicopter crashes in a billion other action movies, and what else even was there other than, I guess, that stupid gyrosphere shit.
I don’t think this is going to surprise anybody, but that stupid fucking gyrosphere is the bane of my existence! It’s a theme park ride and yet it’s user controlled? How do you ever have people coming back so the line keeps moving and more people can get on? I don’t know about you, but I played a lot of Roller Coaster Tycoon when I was a kid and there was something I never built in any theme park: it was the row boat ride. I never built it because the park guests were fully in control of where they went and when they came back to let new people onto the ride. I could never build it because those little fuckers couldn’t be trusted! They would row for months of in-game time and the people waiting in line just had to keep waiting.
And that was just for a row boat ride! Imagine if it was something so futuristic and cool as the gyrosphere and there were dinosaurs all around you! No one would ever come back, and unless the ride operators could get manual control over them, the first dozen people in line each day would be the only people on it all day!
The worst part of all this is the fact that the only use of puppets or animatronics came from brief scenes. Brief scenes of close ups on heads or when the dinosaurs have to be completely still so who gives a shit? The point of the animatronics was to actually build a freakin’ dinosaur so big body shots looked incredible. The triceratops animatronic from Jurassic Park was life sized and breathed like a living creature. The spinosaurus animatronic was life sized and was 1,000 horsepower! The tip of that thing’s nose moved at twice the force of gravity!
Am I saying that CGI is worse than practical effects? No, they both have their place when they’re used correctly. In a franchise that’s always depended, in part, on robotic dinosaurs to give the feeling of danger and weight to its creatures, having all those robot dinosaurs go the way of the actual dinosaurs is pretty disheartening. The only animatronic they had was the head of the dying long neck dinosaur. That’s a hella step down from full bodies of giant carnivores.
We’re back on Isla Nublar for Jurassic World and I can’t even find any joy in that. Here was where it all started. Here is where Grant watched a raptor egg hatch. Here is where Malcolm had time to lounge sexily after a T-Rex attack. Here is where Ellie kicked a bunch of ass in her pink blouse and stole my little bi heart!
But like everything else in Jurassic World, it’s meaningless. The revisiting of the first park’s tourist centre? A novel idea that could have been great. How is it presented? As trashy and poorly thought out as everything else. It’s just a gimmick to pull at your heartstrings and make you think this movie is good because it’s got traces of one of the best movies of all time in it!
That’s not even mentioning how stupid the car repair scene is at the old centre. Oh, you fixed up a car with Grandpa one summer? WELL GRANDPA HAD ALL THE NECESSARY TOOLS AND NEW PARTS! Where’d they get the car battery that had juice in it? John Hammond also brought plants back to life on that first island, was there some sort of car battery growing flora in the Cretaceous period that I’m not aware of? There wasn’t? THEN WRITE THAT FUCKING SCENE OUT OF THE MOVIE!
It’s a stupid fucking location set-up, and yet, it’s but a single drop in an ocean of stupid fucking location set-ups.
Overall, the setting of this movie just doesn’t inspire. There’s no awe, no thrills. You see more of this theme park’s main drag, which is equivalent to Disney World’s Main Street USA, then you do of exhibits or scientific equipment or anything that makes Jurassic Park so special. I mean, if I’m not overly thrilled to see Disney World’s gimmicky main street filled with overpriced food and trinkets, why would I want to see Jurassic World’s?
The one thing you need to know about Jurassic World’s soundtrack is that it pissed me off just as much as the rest of the movie. There is only one piece of memorable music, and that’s because they took it from Jurassic Park!
When “Welcome to Jurassic Park” (one of the two main themes of the first movie) flared up as the monorail entered the theme park, I was almost angry enough to trigger a random werewolf transformation in myself and run out into the night to tear people apart and howl at the moon! I don’t know why they thought that the awe-inspiring “here’s a dinosaur” reveal music from the first movie belonged at this point in time, but it fucking didn’t!
The first movie earns that music and the awe it inspires by introducing you to an island full of dinosaurs. Jurassic World crams it down your throat at the first moderately appropriate moment to be like “hey, remember Jurassic Park? Wasn’t that great, let’s all remember that so maybe your nostalgia kicks in and you’re blinded to the fact this movie is god awful”!
When the big musical reveal of “Welcome to Jurassic World” comes in this movie, the movie has earned literally nothing. So even with the music prodding our nostalgia, it still feels like nothing. Jurassic Park showed us a brachiosaurus and a good set of actors reacting to such a thing. In Jurassic World we’re only getting a sweeping shot of a theme park.
“Oh, look at our industry, aren’t we good capitalists, we do have dinosaurs but wouldn’t you rather see that we have a Korean barbeque restaurant and a pyramid shaped visitors centre?”
Where’s the jaw dropping awe of that? Not even one of my favourite pieces of music ever composed for a movie inspired anything in me other than pure, unadulterated rage.
Jurassic World is shit. It’s high budget, it’s attached to a beloved franchise, but it’s still shit. I honestly can’t believe such a large segment of the audience likes this movie! A 7 on IMDb? Like… what? Did you watch the same fucking movie I did?! I am enraged that the original Jurassic Park only rates an 8.1. People honestly think that movie is only a difference in quality by 1.1 on the grading scale? Jesus Christ I don’t want to live on this planet anymore!
I saw the concept art for this movie and those still images make a better movie than the end product did!
Look at that! Those are images that make logistical sense but they got changed for the final cut of the movie because logistical sense means literally nothing next to a scene purpose built for 3D where a stupid gyrosphere gets batted around between dinosaurs!
And after all this, I didn’t even mention some of the things that pissed me off, like how the pterodactyls wouldn’t attack people if they were well-fed or the amount of product placement in a movie about the dangers of capitalism! Or the fact that Jimmy Fallon was here and Mister DNA wasn’t! Who would rather Jimmy Fallon over Mister DNA? I would rather a nasty urinary tract infection over Jimmy Fallon!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I JUST WANT TO FUCKING RUN THROUGH THE STREETS RAGING AND SHAKING PEOPLE WHILE I SCREAM ABOUT THIS ABOMINATION!!!!
If you’ve followed all these Retrospectives for this #JurassicJune, then I’m sure you know how I’ve ranked them in terms of “personal favourite” to “go die in a hole you fucking dreck”. But just to be crystal clear, I’ll say it below.
Jurassic Park is absolutely, now and forever, the best of the franchise and one of the best movies of all time. The special effects, the characters, the music and atmosphere, and the awe will never be able to be duplicated. Never, ever, ever.
Jurassic Park III comes in next on my list for more personal reasons. This is the movie of the franchise that I got to see in a theatre when I was a kid and features my favourite dinosaur as the one that’s fucking everyone’s shit up! It’s also more like the first movie with the return of Alan Grant and a wider array of dinosaurs in general. Jurassic Park III gets a lot of shit within the franchise, but I’m saying it here and now, it doesn’t deserve it!
Then, unsurprisingly, The Lost World falls below both of these. I can’t stand this movie, the choices in it honestly boggle my mind! It’s not so much that it’s a bad movie, it’s just a bizarre movie. Why bring back a guy that does theoretical math as the lead in a movie about dinosaurs? Why completely change tone halfway through from Gatherers vs Hunters to Team Survival? Why take a T-Rex to San Diego? I’ll just never understand it and being unable to look past those baffling decisions makes this a hard movie for me to watch, let alone enjoy.
And then, actually really surprisingly, Jurassic World falls to the bottom spot in my personal ranking. I never thought there’d be a Jurassic Park movie I liked less than The Lost World, but here we are! This god awful cash in on 90s nostalgia is perhaps even lower than bottom spot on this list because it’s not a Jurassic Park movie in the slightest! It’s a monster movie, and a bland, uninspired, boring monster movie at that. A monster movie directed by an amateur and acted by cardboard cut-outs of actors whose name you may know.
But hey, we’ve still got the original trilogy! And some great joke gifs for Jurassic World.