Jurassic World blew up in it’s opening weekend, and also took the record for biggest opening weekend of all time, much to no one’s surprise. If you’ve ever seen Jurassic Park (and if you haven’t, what are you doing with your life?), you probably have fond memories of the film terrifying you when you were younger. Jurassic Park was one of the most successful films of the 90s, even going as far as blowing up the box office back then.
It’s a no-brainer that a film sequel to one of the most successful films of the last twenty years would be successful again. But was it really as good as the credit it’s been given? Most of it is due to nostalgia, and the success of Chris Pratt. The film was great, don’t get me wrong, but most reviews gloss over most of the things that were wrong with the film. If you want a review of how amazing the film was (and admittedly it was), you can try just about any other review website (although many give it mixed reviews).
1. COMMON TROPES: Too many common tropes from the original reappear in this film – Flares to distract the T-Rex, the apex predator of the park escapes, two kids are lost in the wilderness of the park, and way too many direct references and parallels to the first seem to play mainly off of the nostalgia factor, and less on common sense story telling. You’d think Dr. Wu’s prior experience with working with the first park would teach him that making far more terrifying dinosaurs is just a bad idea. Mixing a T-Rex with other apex predators is very dangerous territory, and after everything that happened at the original park, you’d think this idea would not have made it to completion.
Also, you’d think Misrani, the owner of the park, would have been smarter than flying a helicopter to hunt the Indominus Rex on his own. Wouldn’t one of those highly trained military guys he had with him been smart enough to step in and tell him it was a bad idea? And don’t you think one of those guys would have been smart enough to fly the chopper on their own, rather than risk an amateur pilot getting them all killed?
You really have to suspend your disbelief for this film.
2.MISSING INFORMATION: No mention of any of the events that took place after Jurassic Park. Are those events still canon? With The Lost World being based on the Michael Crichton novel (and official sequel to Jurassic Park), those events should have been mentioned, and maybe even worked into the plot. Whatever happened to the second island? Was their a clean-up crew sent to contain the island? Are all those dinosaurs still on the loose? And so close to this open park? These seem like important details.
3. THAT’S JUST BAD BUSINESS: The whole “we’re not telling you what this dinosaur was made of” aspect of the plot. Yeah, it made the new Rex more Indominus or whatever, but, if you know any latin, you know that Indominus means “untamable.” An untamable dinosaur that no one knows what it is? That seems rather important to the safety of your employees and park attendees. A smarter businessman never would have allowed something this possibly dangerous to be bred without more information. And Henry Wu has gone from innocent scientist to complete sociopath. What happened? Did money go to his head?
4. RAPTOR TRAINING: The militarization of the raptors. Brilliant, don’t get me wrong, but the whole idea of breeding raptors for military purposes is terrifying. Done right in a sequel, it could make sense, but the idea of “let’s let more dinosaurs out to deal with our escaped dinosaurs,” is just stupidity. And now with mystery embryos being stolen by Wu (much like Dennis Nedry in the first film), that could lead to some pretty terrifying outcomes. I’m hoping it doesn’t go as far as the original concept of “Human-dinosaur hybrids.” It would be great to see the military drop some raptors on some terrorists and watch them get eaten, but wouldn’t that bring the film into “Rated-R” territory? It just might.
5. THE LETDOWN: The Indominus Rex wasn’t as terrifying as they built it up to be. With the trailers not showing the hybrid from hell, it was built up to be far more terrifying than it actually was. It was essentially a long armed T-Rex, with some spikes and new abilities. It was terrifying because it had camouflage (it barely used), and it’s ability to mask its heat signature. But as far as it looked? It had a very “Godzilla” feel to it.
But with all that’s wrong, what could the franchise do to keep going strong? I have a few ideas.
1. HYBRIDS: If the next film features human-dino hybrids, I’m done. I will just drop this franchise like a bad habit. Now, with the idea of technological disintermediation, the same could happen with the genetic research Henry Wu has been working on. With the way technology has gone more “open source,” it’s easy to see that perhaps other companies could head into the same direction as Henry’s work. Perhaps we could see creatures from other time periods as well, or more dinosaur parks opening up all over the world. Wu might not have the monopoly on his genetic work, and the technology behind it could be spreading to other companies… More parks, more dinosaurs, more danger throughout the world… Jurassic World… Hmm…
2. WEAPONS: This could lead to a new style arms race, with dinosaurs being used by the military in place of soldiers, and the fallout that would ensue. Perhaps the Jurassic World name change could mean so much more… Perhaps the dinosaurs start leaving the island, even finding a way to survive the supposed contingencies (“Life finds a way”).
3. SERIES FAVORITES: I’d also like to see the return of series favorites, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, the original kids… The possibilities are endless. Grant and co. could be involved in an opposition to the military’s proposed plans, and teaming up with Chris Pratt’s Owen could lead to a great cast, and a much more fan-friendly film.
4. MORE DINOSAURS: Everyone wants more dinosaurs. This film featured six or seven actual species, with most of them getting glorified cameos. Where were the dinosaurs from the original films? Why did the park gloss over so many animals, it seems weird to me. This film really should have been the film with all the dinosaurs that fans grew accustomed to. They played off the nostalgia factor in every way they could, but they didn’t show many of the dinosaurs we all know and love from the previous films.
5. NO MORE KIDS: Can we also leave out kids? I’ve had enough of the kids being involved, and with the possibility of the dinosaur aspect being taken out of a park setting, how many times can you throw kids into that scenario? Especially if the film takes a more militarized aspect, how can you justify kids being around? The idea is just getting too played out.
6. REALISTIC DINOSAURS: With Wu’s genetic tinkering being the focus of the next film, most likely, I’m hoping to see more hybrids, as long as they stick with dino/reptile DNA. We could also see more dinosaurs as they are actually thought to look. With modern paleontology starting to think of dinosaurs as having feathers, perhaps we can get more realistic dinosaurs from that perspective. The film mentioned that the dinosaurs were made as people think they are, not as science knows they were, but perhaps Wu could start using bird DNA to create some realistic feathered dinosaurs, but I kind of hope they only do that if they can pull it off properly.
At the end of the day, we’ll have to wait and see what the next director is willing to do. Colin Trevorrow did a great job, but he’s not coming back to direct. He’s going to sit back and let another director leave their mark on the franchise, so let’s see what happens next…