Maybe this is the inner old man talking, but I don’t expect much out of most mainstream movies these days. Most of them are either sellout rehashes or reboots of once-original ideas and series, or just thinly veiled excuses to show off action shots and special effects. In fact the recent movies I’ve liked best, like The Raid 2 (or something like Taken) seem good precisely because they know exactly what they are. They don’t make a pretense of presenting other shit, they just find the niche that they do well, and execute on that.
Which brings me to Jurassic World. What a mess. Apparently the movie was announced in 2002, and was created as part of a collaborative process that involved many different directors and creative inputs. It basically epitomized what Ayn Rand said about committees and groups making decisions – a disgusting chimaera of monstrously unrefined ideas, mixed with exploitative nostalgia and by-now-unimpressive special effects.
Apparently Samuel L. Jackson and Jeff Goldblum were cut out of this movie? As for what was left in, you can see clearly that they’re just appendages of a once-whole story. The kids’ family is basically never explored, except for mom, whose only acting talent as far as I can tell is crying. The love angle with the older kid is never explored…you just get the sense that he’s a horny teenager who checks everyone out. This stands out, because there’s no other reason to have these scenes left in the movie if there’s no payoff. The family’s love for their children isn’t really shown (they make one phone call to the redhead the entire movie, so mom can do her crying thing),their divorce dynamic never examined. But it’s still there for some reason. It’s confusing, pointless, and maybe even infuriating.
And what exactly is the redhead’s story arc supposed to show? That she’s over her head as an independent, career-minded woman? That she ultimately still proves helpless, incompetent, and needs a man to get her through the crisis? She’s the main character of this story? There are just so many loose and undeveloped threads like this. The movie tried to do 15 different things, and sucked at basically all of them. If the movie was supposed to be suspenseful, why are the scenes so unbelievable or the characters so (intentionally or otherwise) hilarious? If it’s supposed to be a monster movie…can’t you do more than that, in terms of dinosaur interactions and how the people choose to deal with the escaped Indominus Rex? If it’s supposed to be about family bonds strengthening in the midst of a crisis, why are the characters so shallow and difficult to give a shit about? Shit, the raptors were much more interesting as family members facing difficult decisions in this movie than the actual people.
Sadly, this movie is e) all of the above, laced with fan service and sellout nostalgia. John Hammond is spinning in his grave, especially if he ever watches the original Jurassic Park and sees the storytelling, suspense, and wonder that gave this franchise its start, compared to what it’s evolved into. Maybe this is what the movie was really trying to say when it mixed little droplets of DNA from tons of different animals to create its frankenstein. Mix some tree frog with skunk, komodo dragon and sloth, and we have a blockbuster! It all makes sense now.
What’s even worse though…this is pretty much what you expect out of mainstream blockbusters these days. Panderous pu-pu paellas with awful taste, no cohesive story and 20 different agendas.