It's official! “Jurassic World” had the biggest opening weekend of all time, proving your movie doesn”t have to make a lick of sense to be successful!
Of course, no one expects air-tight logic from a movie about genetically-recreated dinosaurs running roughshod over gullible humans who sought to control nature. But there”s propelling the action through fun set pieces populated by terrifying monsters and then there's bending suspension of disbelief until it snaps like a twig. When the latter happens, that”s where Baffling Questions steps in.
WARNING: SPOILERS! (OBVIOUSLY)
#1: Is this movie about blockbuster nihilism?
I”ll admit, “Jurassic World” really had me going for a minute. From the young kid as the last remnant of joy in an increasingly cynical landscape to the strains of the “Jurassic Park” theme as the doors opened to the sweeping vista of a STARBUCKS and a MARGARITAVILLE, it looked like Colin Trevorrow was making a scathing social commentary on the state of action movies these days. But then it all fell apart…or did it?
Is this some sort of bleak descent into the unescapable nature of the modern summer tentpole? That no matter how good the intentions, every popcorn flick will devolve into a logic and physics-free zone? Did “Jurassic World” MEAN to be subtitled “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love CGI Overuse?” Was it TRYING to depress me?
#2: Why was there no evacuation procedure?
Think back to “Jurassic Park.” What was one of the mitigating factors during the chaos? The hurricane. So why does “Jurassic World” not have an evacuation plan? Forget an escaped asset; there needs to be a way to move 20,000+ people to safety in the event of a tropical storm. Or a fire. Or any other number of things.
Barring that, who decided the correct procedure for an asset out of containment was to herd the humans into a feeding trough and let them bake in the mid-day sun? It doesn”t have to be pteranodons for their to be danger to the public; why not move everyone inside to the hotel? Or – let”s get crazy – build a system of underground tunnels similar to tornado shelters in the event of a carnivore rampaging through Kiddie Land. I know I”d feel safer if the brochure included a section on “Emergency Safety Protocols.”
#3: Explain yourself, Gyrospheres.
There is a lot of bad design at “Jurassic World.” From the T.Rex observation area not having one-way glass to cut down on attempts on eating guests to the Mosasaurus clearly needing a wider gap between her and the park, there are MANY safety issues that should be red flags. But nothing is more infuriating than the Gyrosphere ride.
How does this thing not have a kill switch with an automatic override? If you”re going to let tourists free-roam through the herbivores, there needs to be a way to call the pods back in case of emergency and/or John Q. Public decides to joyride for two hours. Furthermore, how are these things able to go off-road? Surely they would be limited to a certain distance before shutting down in order to, again, make sure no one abused the system.
#4: Why does this movie hate women?
Man oh man does “Jurassic World” have a sexism problem. Four out of five women in this movie are cast in a bad light (Lauren Lapkus' control room character escapes terrible stereotyping). We”ve got the hovering teen girlfriend, the shrewish mom, the absentee aunt, and the shallow assistant. Vulture has a great piece on how sexist the portrayal of Claire is, but more than that, the movie doesn”t even seem to know her personality.
I get why Claire was wearing white in the beginning of the movie. She had a meeting with potential clients and nothing says calm and collected like wearing white in the middle of the tropics. But once that meeting was over? Type-A Claire could”ve been back in weather-appropriate pants and flats, as her job entails both office work and traipsing into animal enclosures. They could”ve at least given her a gym bag for a quick-change into some sneakers once the plot really hit the fan.
But the real kicker is poor Zara. Don”t know who that is? She was Claire”s assistant. You know, the one babysitting the boys until they gave her the slip? For the crime of losing her charges and maybe being a bit shallow, the movie think that warrants an up-close-and-personal experience with death by pteranodons. The tenor of Zara”s death is different than any other in the film: her blood-curdling screaming as predators fight over her body and attempt to drown her would be more at home in the “Saw” franchise. Over at BirthMoviesDeath they go into detail on why Zara”s demise rankles: cinema is a visual language and Zara”s death did not fit her crimes.
#5: Is there a reason no one let Claire keep that gun?
On the topic of not speaking the language of cinema, where did Claire learn to use guns and why was that not an integral part of her background story? When a pteranodon starts making a snack out of Owen, Claire casually grabs his rifle and unloads it into the offending dinosaur. At point blank range. Without hitting Owen. This is no small feat. And yet, no one thinks to arm her afterwards. To add insult to injury, Claire”s nephews watch this display of badassery unfold yet are unmoved. Despite Aunt Claire”s obvious skills, the boys are only impressed by Owen and beg to stay with him because it”s safer. That”s right folks, only the man can save them, except he can't.
#6: Who thought it would be a good idea to comfort a dying Apatosaurus?
Okay, this was obviously supposed to be a callback to the sick Triceratops in “Jurassic Park” because “Jurassic World” is just coasting on nostalgia. But…NOW IS NOT THE TIME, Y”ALL. Claire is rightfully freaking out because her nephews are missing and may have become Dino-Chow™. No matter how sad she is about the death of ‘veggiesaurus,” no panicking parent or guardian is going to stop and have a ‘Come to Jesus” moment about how dinosaurs have feelings too.
#7: Is Jimmy Buffett okay?
After he fled from the pteranodons with his margaritas, did he survive? Did he spill his drinks? Don't leave me hanging, guys!
#8: How did the movie not realize Blue was the main character?
“Jurassic World” is actually a film about Blue and the Indominus Rex forming a partnership to overthrow their mammalian overlords. Blue was clearly the Alpha of the raptors. She was just going along with the be-vested primate”s attempts to “train” her while waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Indominus was the tortured anti-hero who lived in experimental isolation her entire life and vowed revenge on her captors. How did this movie not realize the best twist could”ve been to have them team up and destroy the arrogant human oppressors once and for all?
#9: Why does Indominus never use her powers again?
Seriously, she can camouflage herself and is invisible to heat detection. Why was this not a more prevalent plot point? Side note: Why would you genetically create a dinosaur that could hide from tourists who spent thousands of dollars to witness it?
#10: How did the Mosasaurus Dino-Ex-Machina in at the end?
The climatic battle of “Jurassic World” is so over-the-top is makes ‘Nuking the fridge” look quaint and believable. But nothing is more confusing than when the Mosasaurus lunges onto land at the last second to save the day. How is this possible? If there”s no fence or dry moat or ANY SAFETY MEASURES in place – as this sequence is obviously suggesting – what was stopping the Mosasaurus from snacking on the tourists as they bustled from Starbucks to the hotel? Why was she not eating trainer who was out on that tiny platform for the show? How is this happening!?
#11: Sooooo, are those parents still getting divorced?
Talk about a dangling plot thread. What even was the point of the parents getting divorced, other than to force drama by inserting the boys into Claire”s life at an inopportune moment? Could Claire”s meeting have not come up last minute after her nephew”s were in the air on a planned vacation? One that had nothing to do with distracting them from imminent familial suffering? The impending divorce would”ve made more sense if mom and dad had tagged along to “Jurassic World” and worked through their differences while running for their lives, realizing what”s really important, etc etc.
#12: Who thinks humans would get bored with dinosaurs?
Are they dead inside? They”re dead inside, aren”t they?