Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by dinosaurs. I was lucky enough to grow up in DC where the remains of these monstrous beasts were available to me and I took advantage of that fact. Almost every weekend I could be found roaming the halls of the Natural History Museum marveling at the sites and imagining what they would be like in person. This fascination only seemed to grow when I watched Jurassic Park for the first time. Most children around my age found the movie to cause more fear but I adored those films and watched them every chance I got. Each film was unique in it’s approach and I enjoyed every character, especially the role played by Vanessa Lee Chester as Jeff Goldblum’s daughter. She was smart and yet willing to adventure at such a young age and I related to her immensely.
Then the first Jurassic World film came out and it held absolutely none of the elements of the films that came before it. It seemed the Hollywood mantra of ‘bigger, better’ took hold of my childhood favorite and did absolutely nothing to improve upon it. A few months ago I actually read a thread of tweets that was so perfectly able to articulate how I felt about the Jurassic World film. It basically stated that throughout the Jurassic Park franchise you could tell that Steven Spielberg loved these creatures as much as his audience did. There was a level of fascination and wonder to the dinosaurs whereas that just isn’t the case in the reboot. The dinosaurs have been reduced to the stars of a creature feature and it’s unfortunate.
So with all of this on my mind, my reluctance to see this film was pretty obvious and now I see with good reason. The plot holes were glaringly large in this film. The first that comes to mind is Maisie Lockwood. She is supposedly the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood, the multimillionaire partly responsible for the resurgence of dinosaurs in the first place but in the last few minutes of the film the villain casually throws in that she is a clone and then it is never mentioned again. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty major plot reveal to just casually sweep under the rug. I also couldn’t believe that the entire movie was supposed to be a buildup for this newly invented creature that was smarter and faster than the raptor for the final battle to be over in two minutes flat. It felt like the ending battle between Superman and Zod all over again. Hours of buildup for a neck to be snapped in the final second.
I also was not a fan of what felt like the gratuitous suffering of the dinosaurs for entertainment value. The whole film was about the fact that the dinosaurs were facing another extinction level event and they had to be saved. But there were multiple scenes of them just dying a slow agonizing death. I definitely understand displaying suffering to make people sympathetic but this was just ridiculous.
In my opinion the best parts of this film were the most underutilized. Justice Smith playing the role of Franklin was absolutely hilarious. He was simultaneously funny and charming and I wished there was more of him in the film. The same goes for Daniella Pineda as Zia. She was smart, caring and just a little bit sassy in the face of danger which made her all the more likeable. Blue the raptor was also enjoyable to see and I loved the idea of a creature so intelligent existing but she became a plot device more than anything else. Conveniently appearing when the main characters needed help and then disappearing back out of the picture.
All I can say is that I thoroughly hope that this was the last installment to the Jurassic World franchise although the last scene of the movie is seemingly pointing towards another film. As long as people are willing to watch these dumbed down versions of great films of the past, the Hollywood machine is going to continue to churn them out.