Let me be upfront and clear from the start: I love blockbuster films. I grew up in an era where summer meant big-budgeted Hollywood commercial movies, long lines waiting at multiplexes for the season’s must-see hit of the year, special 12:01 am showings with the casual moviegoer and fans alike, both parties anticipating what the filmmakers have in store for us who choose to forgo sleep before the official release, and simply enjoying the cool breeze of a movie theater on a scorching summer’s day and night.
Heck, some of favorite memories growing up have been attending summer flicks, from Independence Day, to Spider-Man, to Revenge of the Sith. Sensing the palpatable buzz in the air, applauding when opening distribution logo appears, sharing the same levels of excitement when some awesome action scene happens – those feelings stick with me.
Some of my fellow contributors on this site openly state that they can’t stand these kinds of films anymore and actively avoid watching them altogether, but it’s that contact high you get from watching them that keeps me going to see these movies, and most times, I know what I’m getting into, and I do get my money’s worth over two hours. That said, I do have standards. Any popcorn movie can crowd it’s runtime with incident, move the characters from point A to point B filled with noise and spectacle, but unless there’s a story and a clear character arc that makes me care about the outcome and the people in it, it’s all hollow; just sound and fury, signifying nothing.
And sometimes, there is a Perfect Storm (not the Wolfgang Peterson disaster film, mind you): a blend of pointless, empty noise, bad screenwriting, severe gaps in story logic, and characters that range from cardboard cutouts to excruciatingly obnoxious comic reliefs, all thrown into a shit sandwich of a picture that we’re expected to swallow whole, then come scurrying back for several more helpings. I experienced this first-hand in 1998 with Micheal Bay’s atrocious Armageddon; in 2013 with Gore Verbinski’s surprisingly bland The Lone Ranger and in 2016 with Roland Emmerich pointless and infuriating Independence Day: Resurgence, to name a few. Now, in the year of our lord 2018, I can add Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom to this unholy list.
It’s been three years since the last movie, and Isla Nubar is about to blow, threatening to take the remaining dinosaurs with them. Let me stop right there for a minute and address the following: They built a resort and theme park right next to an active volcano that could erupt at any given time. For context, Yellowstone is primarily a park, but they have enough common sense to not build a resort, knowing full well that one day, that sucker will explode and put its patrons in peril.
Claire (once again played by Bryce Dallas Howard) has gone from manager of Jurassic World to running a campaign to save the dinos from a second extinction. Chris Pratt also returns as Owen, who reluctantly joins his ex on a rescue mission, headed up by the film’s sleazy, manipulative, back-door dealing scumbag rich prick, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), who needs Blue, the raptor from the last movie, for reasons that can only be summed up by saying “science!”
Yes, i’m spoiling the twist, but you know what? The last trailer gave away its fucking surprise twist months ago! And even if the trailer omitted this from its advertising, we still would have guessed that this would happen, because this is a plot device that’s been used in dozens of movies before! It would be one thing if Derek Connolly’s and Colin Trevorrow’s screenplay was predictable, because then I could chalk it up to the pair relying on familiar plot points and beats to round out the story, but this script takes liberties in it’s characters making implausibly stupid decisions as well as an evil sceme which borders on absurd and utterly ridiculous. In other words: the script to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen wasn’t this fucking idiotic.
Here’s the dastardly scheme by Mills: the dinos he captured off the island, he plans to sell on the black market to the highest bidder, compete with Toby Jones auctioning off said dinosaurs on the Lockwood estate (James Cromwell plays the patriarch of the estate who worked with John Hammond in bringing the dinosaurs back to life, despite his name never being mentioned in any of the Jurassic Park films beforehand). That’s right: he’s selling extremely dangerous and uncontrollable animals on the fucking mainland!
Adding to this stupidity: he’s selling these creatures as weapons to terrorist organizations, because making a profit comes first — treason, smeason! Again – these are wild animals who cannot be controlled in any circumstance. What makes anyone in that black market auction believe that they’ll fight on that person’s behalf??
And yet, this plot point still isn’t the dumbest fucking thing in the movie: the whole debate on whether the dinosaurs should be saved or left to die is a moot point: mankind has genetically engineered clones of ancient reptiles that used to walk around tens of millions of years ago – wouldn’t common sense dictate that, if they wanted to, in the future, they could create more dinosaurs?!
Listen, I’m all for mindless junk food posing as a movie, but at the very least, it has to be entertaining enough for the audience to gloss over the leaps in logic the filmmakers make for the sake of entertaining us all. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is just too dumb to be taken seriously, and too preposterous to get us to care in the end. Will I see a dumber, more infuriating picture in 2018? Hard to say, but don’t be surprised if, by the end of year, this piece of prehistoric shit ends up as my pick for worst film of the year.