Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jurassic World

First, let me just say, I missed  Jeff Goldblum terribly.

The touch backs to the original really just upped the contract of how much better a film made 20 years ago stands up to its bigger, badder sequel.

Second, let me get the most ridiculous problem I have with the movie out of the way first.

It has nothing to do with plot holes a mile wide, deus ex raptors and leviathan *sorry, Mosasaur , or even Super-Genetically-Modifed-Not-a-Real-Dino-Dinosaur in an epic battle against a T-Rex.


More unbelievable than any of that . . . 

Bryce Dallas Howard spends the entire movie running around, in the mud, on the concrete, with a flare drawing a T-Rex after her, in those ridiculous high heels! C'mon man. 

She's cast in the flat, wide-eyed, ice-queen role, as a woman who should be embarrassed that she can't rattle of the ages of her nephews whom she hasn't seen in years because she's oh-so-busy being a career woman and all, with zero interest in her biological clock, except at the end because, you know, the power of family and love.  Puh-leese.

And so much of the underwhelming quality of the film lies with the human beings who aren't fleshed out nearly as much as the personalities of the dinosaurs.

Oh, look, two kids in danger again. We need that. Let's make it two brothers this time, though, cause, you know, BOYS AND DINOSAURS.

Their weak back story is that they've been shipped off to their aunt for a FUN weekend while their parents sit across from each other with divorce lawyers hammering out who gets the china. Only the younger, mop-top has paid any attention and he get the sorry task of telling his hormonally-zoned-out older brother, whose one stage direction for the first hour of the movie is to stand around moping and stare at the teenaged girls around him longingly, that the parents are through. Not that it matters. None of it matters. Just get them out in the gopher-ball so the dinosaurs can chase them. It's truly the only reason they are here.

Much of the plot is driven by this theory that the (park) audience's attention spans are so short that every few years, to bolster the bottom line, bigger, badder, louder dinosaurs must be ushered onto the stage. That is the fundamentally problem of this entire film. The 1993 original was quiet in many places and that sense of isolation and fear compounded on itself when you were experiencing it for the first time in the dark theater. You cared about the protagonists because they seemed like real people, not dino-bait alone. But, then, that was a suspense film and this is just . . . action and maybe a touch of comedy? Fight scene, fight scene, minute of goo-goo eyed banter, fight scene, chase scene, fight scene, chase scene, kiss, fight, fight, chase. 

Now, bigger, badder, louder CGI has to be built around super-dino creations that never even existed, because, you know, audience attentions!! WE NEED MORE TEETH! CUE THE T-REX FOR A BATTLE ROYALE!

Let's give the CGI props for coming up with the most ridiculous amalgamation of dinosaur bits around. Loved the camouflage ability that was a surprise even to the geneticists that created her, and the eagle talons at the end of long arms was a nice touch.  

But really, OF COURSE it was part raptor. Was anyone surprised by that at all? Big bad super-dino turns the now kind-of-lovable wolf-pack of raptors away from their goofy alpha Chris Pratt (the raptor-whisperer) just long enough to see the error of their ways, only to roar back to save him because, you know, love, or um, something approximating man/beast bonding?

And why do the flying dinosaurs start attacking the guests? Just because they're pissed and decide it's time to alter their entire reason for existing (finding things small enough they can swallow whole, like fish) in order to take vengeance on all those wealthy park goers who dared stare at them in captivity? Was the Wicked Witch of the West behind all this? Are there possibly ruby slippers involved?

It ranks right up there with the stupid weaponized raptor plot that, good gravy, I can't even begin to wrap my mind around. This moves from plot holes to supermassive black holes.  I can't even begin to touch that. And the only returnee from the original is now a bad guy . .  for what reason exactly? He's already filthy rich and completely comfortable, but the lure of the military industrial complex is just too attractive? What?

My best advice, if you go, is to just go expecting nothing but a big dumb popcorn flick, complete with overkill Mercedes product placement, and you will not be disappointed. 

Here's the most perfect analogy I can come up with, and it didn't originate with me. During the hugely groan worthy final battle, which Nick was thoroughly enjoying, he leaned over the said, "it's like as awesome as the Destroyer Kitten shirt!"

This is shirt:

Yep, that about sums it up.

With popcorn, family, and giant red reserved recliner seats, it was fun. 

Just try not to think too much.


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