There are many times in each of our lives when we must answer a question. A question that challenges our own morality. I asked myself one of these questions on June 23, 2018, after I walked out of the theater of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the most useless film ever made.
I’d like to answer the question, ”Why was this Prius of a movie made?” According to automotive journalists, a car’s perfection can be determined based on a 1 to 10 scale. The top end of the scale, at a 10, is a Porsche 911. At the bottom of the scale, a Toyota Prius. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the Prius of film. Let’s discuss what went wrong with this movie, and why its existence frustrates me extensively.
We learn the volcano on the fictional island, “Isla Nublar,” is going to erupt, which sounds like a really cool idea until you think about it for more than 20 seconds. You’re telling me that back in the 80s when Dr. John Hammond was choosing his island for the original Jurassic Park, he went with the one that had an active volcano – for a theme park?
Building safety codes require that certain variables are checked before even a townhome can be built in small-town Montana, let alone on a large, active volcano. It’s too inconsistent with Jurassic Park cannon that the dinosaur theme park, full of blood-thirsty lawyers, would so erroneously overlook these basic legal obligations.
In reality, if the volcano did go from zero to sixty faster than a Porsche 918 (The car that can accelerate from zero to sixty the quickest), then according to science, as soon as the volcano erupted, the earthquake produced would have simply been too massive for anyone to be able to escape.
This is similar to how quickly they expect us to care about these specific dinosaurs. The emotional attachment to the dinosaurs is assumed but not earned by the filmmakers. In the first Jurassic World, it takes time to develop the dino-threat. It not only tells us that the movie’s Indominus Rex is a threat, it shows us. It also makes us hate the Indominus, to the point where we want to punch it in the face. So when they use the T-Rex from the original Jurassic Park to help kill the Indominus, it feels like it was earned. I remember being so happy seeing the T-Rex show up that I literally cried tears of joy in the theater.
In contrast, Fallen Kingdom does nothing to set up any of the dinosaur kills. The director attempts to make the new threat, the Indoraptor, seem just as cool and menacing as its predecessor but doesn’t even bring it up until about thirty minutes into the movie. So when Blue kills it later, it just feels like the screenwriters replaced the Indominus Rex scene but without giving the audience any reason to cheer.
Fallen Kingdom is a great example of how not to write a screenplay. Instead of following the cannon set up in the first film and building, it is only a two-hour set up for a sequel. It completely forgets the previous movies existed. In Jurassic World, the only plot point left open for a sequel was that Dr. Wu got away. It is implied that he will work with InGen, and InGen has him take all his research off the island. So why isn’t he working for InGen in the sequel? They can use Dr. Wu’s research to make dinosaurs wherever they want, so why do they need to go back to the island?
During one scene in the movie, a reporter talking about Isla Nublar mentions the dinosaurs there are the last living on earth. This statement is incorrect, as Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 take place on a separate island, Isla Sorna. So why is the discussion of “Should we save the dinosaurs?” on anyone’s radar if there’s an entirely separate island of them, and InGen has the technology to create dinosaurs whenever they want?
The film tries to preach an anti-corporate agenda and force it down its viewers’ throats. Because of that, it can’t just be a fun action film. The film suffers from piles of plot holes left at the expense of this agenda. At one point they inexplicably add to the evil of the corporation by telling us that it has secretly cloned humans, which adds nothing to the story except more confusion.
It has been 25 years since the dream of a family vacation to Jurassic Park first tempted us, and this was supposed to be a celebration of the franchise, which is why Fallen Kingdom frustrates me to my core. The decision to destroy the island was a risky move that did not pay off in any way, shape, or form, and the way they handled it in the film was nothing more than a slap in the face to long-time fans.
This is now a franchise I wish ended 65 million years ago. It would seem that the passionless filmmakers of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom are the greedy corporation they want us to hate. Just like the thousands who traveled to the fictional island of dinosaurs, we were disappointed and felt like our money was wasted.