There is a theme park on a remote jungle covered island. The theme is dinosaurs, and each attraction is filled with scientifically created dinosaurs, raised in labs and displayed for the amusement and awe of paying punters.
You might ask why – after several failed attempts to do just this – people saw fit to try almost exactly the same thing once again? You could actually ask the same thing about the film itself, with the first three films all being varying degrees of average at best.
And the answer – to both questions – is easy; because we can, and because money.
Tens of thousands of ticket buying consumers line up to be transported to the vast expanses of Jurassic World daily. They buy souvenirs and overpriced food and are replaced the following day with tens of thousands more.
But repeat business requires new stuff, and the park management worry that visitors become jaded seeing the same old stuff… Yeah the same old, impossible, wondrous, hasn’t existed in millions of years, stuff. This isn’t a civil war reenactment kids, these things are natural miracles!
At one point someone says “kids now see dinosaurs as if they are elephants”. Have you ever been to a zoo? Kids fucking love elephants. I fucking love elephants.
The question itself might be asked ironically, seeing as we are lining up to see essentially the same film for the fourth time in twenty odd years.
Because your average 90 foot, thirty five tonne dinosaur is apparently so last Thursday, the park scientists experiment with some hybrid creations. The latest output is Indominus Rex. It is bigger, stronger, smarter and with more teeth.
Clare (Bryce Dallas Howard) knows it will sell more tickets. The park owner hopes it scares the bejeezus out of everyone, in a good way. Another corporate rep thinks dinosaurs can be weaponized, which seems both ridiculous and impractical. Only Owen (Chris Pratt) comes from the Dr Malcolm school of sensible, he knows no good will come of this, and he was just playing Marco Polo with a bunch of raptors!
With so many ancient beasts on display it seems that only due diligence is extinct in Jurassic World. A bizarre chain of unlikely events that take place over only a few minutes free the huge Indominus Rex, leaving him in the open and everyone powerless to do anything to stop him wreaking havoc across the park.
About time. They made us wait twenty minutes to even see a dinosaur. It’s only right that they unleash the main protagonist and let them do what they do best.
Unfortunately what they do best has been done before. In the first film there were maybe a dozen people at risk. In JP Dos another couple dozen. JP Tois saw maybe fifty to a hundred at risk. On this day at Jurassic World there are well in excess of twenty thousand at the park, and only briefly do the dinosaurs get to sample from the bountiful buffet.
In fact for most of the film Owen merely drags Claire about the place searching for her two nephews, because these films MUST have wide eyed children put in peril to illustrate the danger of dinosaurs, with Owen giving a million ‘told you so’ looks and Claire’s hair changing styles a dozen times.
There is a giant hamster ball transportation system which would be quite cool, but the entire film essentially plays out just like every Jurassic film that preceded it. (The film also steals liberally from Aliens – the search party motif is imitated not once but twice – and also from Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection.)
When there is nothing new or original to turn to, people turn to the old and proven. That seems to mean dinosaurs, and now, the plots of films about dinosaurs. They could (and with a billion earned at the box office, they absolutely will) churn out a Jurassic film every couple of years in perpetuity. I just hope the next one does more than just repackage the same stuff with a slight name change.
Final Rating – 6 / 10. There’s life in these extinct monsters yet, but this particular display the same old bunch of bones.