Some Grumpy Questions About 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,' A Movie That Is Not Good
In her review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Kristy called this latest entry in the dino franchise “criminally stupid” and “abysmal,” and let me tell you, she is not wrong. I took a friend to see Fallen Kingdom with me and she had herself a great old time, laughing joyously at every goddamn stupid thing that happened onscreen. She was tearing it up the whole time, and no one said anything to us because everyone knew that movie was trash. It was amazing. It was cathartic as hell. I was enraptured by the terribleness of it.
So let’s revel in that together! Here is a list of questions I legit wrote in my notes during Fallen Kingdom, padded here with some follow-ups and complaints. You may remember me doing something similar for Ready Player One, and hold on to your butts, we’re getting on the ride again.
[SPOILERS AHEAD for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, obviously]
+ Who built the gigantic wall around Isla Nublar? Was that always there, to keep the Mosasaurus inside? And if so, how is there only one controller to operate this thing? One tablet gets stepped on, one dude gets eaten, and the whole operation goes to shit, leaving the Mosasaurus to make its merry way into the world’s oceans? Now Jason Statham has to stop both the Meg AND this thing? THE CROSSOVER MOVIE EVENT OF 2020. Cool, that makes sense, great.
+ Why does Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) care about the animals now? The only dino-related emotion I remember her showing in Jurassic World is when she and Owen came across the field of animals that her hybrid Indominus rex had killed; otherwise, she didn’t seem to consider the dinos with any kind of affection. But in the three years since she’s had enough of a change of heart to create the Dinosaur Protection Group? Why would anyone respect Claire given that her oversight of Jurassic World led to such a gigantic clusterfuck?
+ Anyone who says things like “I’m a doctor, not a telemarketer” as a way to lord themselves over a colleague ends up on my shit list. Sorry, Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), you are not endearing to me. (Although, yeah, the film probably shouldn’t have left your sexuality on the cutting-room floor.)
+ People call dinosaurs “a miracle” at least twice, and I think a couple of more times. Are we really doing the science vs. God debate here? Didn’t Dr. Ellie Sattler already put this one to bed with “Dinosaurs eat man, woman inherits the earth”?
+ So, the estate of Hammond’s former partner Benjamin Lockwell (James Cromwell), run by shady foundation director Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) — it’s so clear that Mills is shady. Sooooo clear. Claire spent her entire career in operations figuring out how to lead, and essentially control, people. But she couldn’t pick up on his obviously not good intentions?
+ “You’re a better man than you think you are,” Claire says to Owen (Chris Pratt, once again squinting in a henley) after she tracks him down building a log cabin on a cliff overlooking a gigantic lake. How much was Jurassic World paying Owen before they had to hand over $800 million in insurance lawsuits? Also, DUH, OWEN IS BUILDING THE CABIN HIMSELF. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT REAL MEN DO. AMERICA.
+ No one going to Isla Nublar looks like they are going to the same place. Finally, Claire is wearing sensible shoes (knee-high leather boots for a JUNGLE aren’t ideal, but they’re certainly better than heels), but Zia is wearing what looks like pajama pants and a T-shirt to an ACTIVE VOLCANO ZONE. Girl, I know you’re a doctor and not a guide, but at least stop by REI first.
+ HOW CAN NO ONE SEE THE T. REX COMING? I AM SICK OF THE T. REX SAVING HUMANS. IT DOES SO TWICE THIS MOVIE. THE GAG IS OLD. GET A NEW GAG.
+ “I rode my motorcycle through a jungle with a pack of raptors” is not a cool line, and Chris Pratt remains Worst Chris for agreeing to say it.
+ Of course it turns out that Mills doesn’t want to save the dinosaurs, but wants to auction them off to the highest bidder for a variety of reasons — “agricultural, industrial, sport hunting, pharmaceutical.” But also, they end up selling some of the dinos at their secret auction for as low as $10 million. Only $10 million! There are fossils of dinosaurs being sold to private buyers right now for about 25% of that (which pisses me off, actually, because it means museums aren’t getting them). But a live dinosaur should cost, I would think, at least $50 million, given how much the film amps up what Mills has spent to create private laboratories and fund Dr. Henry Wu’s (BD Wong) work, and what we as audience members know of the gigantic amounts of money generated by pharma and weapons development companies. WHY THIS PIECE OF FICTION LOW-BALLING HOW MUCH A DINOSAUR WOULD COST?
+ The bid caller who runs the auction is played by Toby Jones, who I think is wearing a set of fake teeth. They look very large and shiny and straight and distracting, and I don’t understand why Ben Mendelsohn did it in Ready Player One, and I don’t understand why Jones does it here, and we need one more actor or actress for this to be a new weird cinematic trend.
+ Someone says of Zia, “What a nasty woman,” and to put it mildly, that is too damn on the nose. Does that mean Trump exists in this world? Way to go, Trevorrow.
+ John Hammond’s amber cane smashes FOR EFFECT when Lockwood dies. Because it’s THE END OF AN ERA and THE END OF A DREAM. Did you get it? Did you? DID YOU?
+ I don’t know how the new genetic hybrid Indoraptor knew to feign sleep to trick a human being, but when it did that and then ate the animal poacher who was trying to pull one of its teeth out for a trophy, I laughed. Like, a weird amount.
+ Are the animals still female? We know that failed when Dr. Wu tried it in Jurassic Park because of that damn tricky frog DNA, but then supposedly they fixed that in Jurassic World, I think? But now with the dinos ON THE LOOSE again in the world — and I think there were some species that had more than one animal alive — does that mean the next sequel to this franchise could actually feature dino families?
+ Both Zia and IT specialist Franklin Webb (Justice Smith, the funniest, best part of this movie) LOSE THEIR GLASSES at climactic moments, and yet they … continue to see perfectly well!
They don’t look for the glasses, they don’t mention losing them, nothing happens to their eyesight as a result.
Um, have we all forgotten that Dennis Nedry basically GOT EATEN for doing the same thing? How come they are totally unaffected? Are these fashion frames???
+ Claire is good at shooting things again. That is kind of all she contributes.
+ The little girl Maisie (Isabella Sermon), who Lockwood describes as his granddaughter, ends up being a clone of his daughter … and also maybe part dinosaur? The movie lingers a LOT on a final shot of her eye after she says she and the dinos are “the same,” and as we all know, these movies don’t give a fuck anymore.
+ Also, Claire is nice to said little girl first, but Maisie only hugs Owen, and she does this more than once. Owen is not Dr. Alan Grant. Dr. Alan Grant got children to adore him after saving them many times over a period of many days. OWEN IS NOT ALAN! How the little girl defers to him immediately is some patriarchal bullshit, and it makes me miss Sam Neill very much. At least he’s living his best life, as Tori shared with us.
What about you? Have you seen Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom yet, and is there anything that specifically drove you crazy? Holler at us in the comments.
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