With Jurassic World making billions of dollars and smashing records and with a whole lot of people loving it, I’ve decided to put on my contrarian hat and list off the reasons why it’s not that great. Spoilers inbound, obviously.
1. All the product placement
More of a nitpick than anything but I couldn’t help but notice almost every bit of product placement throughout this entire movie. While not as bad as some other movies, it was quite clear that those involved did their best to make sure you saw that Starbucks. Look, Chris Pratt is drinking a Coke. Makes you want a Coke as well, doesn’t it? Look at all these fancy Mercedes’ you’ll probably never be able to afford. It didn’t make me want to buy the products. It just momentarily distracted me from what was actually going on, like the plot… the important part of the movie.
2. All the characters are quite flat
I certainly didn’t hate the cast of Jurassic World… but they weren’t all that interesting either. They kind of had one or two defining traits and that was that. I struggle to even remember some of their names.
Bryce Dallas Howard’s character is apparently a workaholic and isn’t good with kids and… that’s it. The two kids are respectively a dinosaur geek and a moody teen and… that’s it. Even Chris Pratt was just ‘dinosaur expert man.’ As likable a guy as he is, I can’t help but feel Chris Pratt was cast just because he’s Chris Pratt. He wasn’t really a character – he was Chris Pratt if Chris Pratt was good with dinosaurs. Plus, he had zero flaws. I can’t remember a single point in the film where he was in the wrong or made a mistake. You could argue he was too trusting of the raptors but it wasn’t his idea to turn them into hunting dogs. And the raptors ended up turning good again anyway.
Everybody else was kind of bland and pretty much served a single purpose. Here’s kind of nerdy guy who works the computers, here’s the mad scientist who says he’s not a mad scientist despite saying mad scientist things and, my least favourite, guy who loves war and wants to make weapons out of whatever it is the good guys have been experimenting on and has apparently never seen a movie in his life. Speaking of…
3. Human antagonist was unnecessary
Why is it when films have our characters dealing with inhuman threats, there has to be one human who has evil plans to take advantage of everything? Characters like these don’t exist to serve the story; they exist to just give the audience someone to hate. There’s a line where Dallas Howard says “You wanted this to happen” after the dinosaurs have broken loose and people have died. But what if he did? He didn’t do shit to cause the outbreak. He’s spent the film walking into rooms monologuing about why the dinosaurs should be weaponised with a generic smug smile on his face. The only way he could get any more one-dimensional was if he always had a cigar in his mouth and if, during the scene where he witnesses the pterodactyls slaughtering people, he just started giggling to himself.
Aside from having as much personality as a paper plate, he just wasn’t needed. “Oh but every film needs an antagonist.”
One. No they don’t.
Two. It had an antagonist – that giant dinosaur that was responsible for all the death and destruction. That’s all we needed – we didn’t need some stupid military subplot that only existed to make us like the protagonists more.
4. Indominus Rex is only intelligent when the script needs it to be
I really liked the idea of Ingen having to manufacture their own dinosaur via genetic splicing, resulting in a beast that’s not only big and vicious but also intelligent. It’s a horrifying combination of traits, which is why it’s disappointing that the reason the main characters survive is because the script says so.
When nameless goons attempt to hunt it down, it removes the tracker embedded in its flesh and camouflages itself. When it fights an ankylosaurus, it learns that it can’t bite through the shell and targets its legs. But when it finds Pratt and Dallas Howard hiding behind a car, it suddenly decides it wants to mess with them by seemingly leaving and suddenly bursting through the ceiling. This hyper-intelligent dinosaur decided to emulate a serial killer in a slasher movie just because. It also spends a stupid amount of time standing in place and roaring at its fleeing prey instead of just chasing them. And wasn’t it described as being bigger than a T-Rex? Wasn’t really all that big, was it?
5. Bunch of plot threads are left hanging
It didn’t really dawn on me until sometime after I had left the cinema when I realized how much was actually left unresolved in this movie. At the start of the film, it’s quite clear that the kids’ parents are going through a rough patch and is outright confirmed later that they’re getting divorced, but it never really goes anywhere. It’s just there for something the kids can talk about and ‘develop’ them, I guess?
Speaking of the kids, didn’t the older one have a girlfriend? Before he left, she said: “I love you,” he didn’t and… that’s the last we ever see or hear of her. What was the point in that? We even see him checking girls out a couple of times at the park. Oh good, we’ve got a potential cheating asshole as one of our protagonists.
And then there’s that scientist who escapes with stolen embryos. That looked important, but I don’t think we even got an end credits scene to explain what happened with that. Though that’s probably being saved for the eventual sequel that will no doubt happen. My bets on it being called Jurassic War (or Jurassic Galaxy but that’s less likely).
6. Action wasn’t that riveting
Sometimes all you want out of a movie is some cool action but even that was a bit weak. There was never a moment where I felt excited watching this movie. Every kill was just another count to the body pile, every explosion was just an explosion – even that ginormous water dinosaur leaping out of the pool didn’t get a reaction out of me. It was a bit frigid, though I’m willing to blame the trailers for that since the only reason I knew what was about to blow up was because they showed it in the frigging trailer. If there’s one thing you can take away from this, it’s that trailers can’t always be trusted.