Cliché, predictable and boring. Three words that come to mind about the newest installation of the Jurassic franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, that debuted June 22nd. Although the movie has gone on to gross over $1Billion worldwide, sometimes the appeal of an already established and popular franchise trumps story telling and overall impact (See Solo: A Star Wars Story). Popular franchise movies typically have a cult following of loyal fans willing to skip work, line up and gear up in cosplay of their favorite characters guaranteeing that a well-known movie will almost always make money (not to mention the appeal of dinosaurs both in children and adults alike).
This cult-like phenomenon sometimes leaves Hollywood lazy and repetitive. I mean don’t fix what’s not broke right? Wrong. This way of thinking has left reboots and remakes of once popular movies lackluster boring flops. This movie followed the general pattern of super-villan selling irresponsibly dangerous things for money (usually to an overzealous Russian mafia lord) only to be stopped by the good guys who also are partly responsible for events going awry in the first place but they save the day so we all just overlook that part (literally every James Bond movie). Yes some of this might be biased but my inability to stop rolling my eyes during the entirety of the film proves how cliché almost every part of this film was. Below are some tired plot devices in the movie (and all movies) that need to be retired.
1. Predictable Story Lines
From the beginning of the movie we are introduced to the “heroine” of the film, Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard who simply becomes the dumb damsel in distress less than 30 minutes into the film and a foil for the macho male savior, Owen, played by Chris Pratt (cue random kiss scene).
Then there is the inevitable doom mankind has brought onto itself and the obvious super-villain trying to exploit that for money he already has billions of (I mean I don’t thinking creating an artificial Island is cheap). Everything magically lines up perfectly for the good guys in convenient, perfectly timed distractions, terrible aim of movie goons and the ever popular over-exposition of the bad guy, allowing them to save the day and the bad guy to be killed so that everything can simply reset itself. (I mean a blood transfusion of T-rex blood into another species magically cures bullet wounds??)
In short, none of the events the audience just watched mattered in the least bit. Two hours of your life you’ll never get back. The two “heroes” fall for each other for no explicable reason besides the fact that he has a P and she a V and why not? (more on that later). Also there’s a little girl there because human cloning.
2. Deux ex-machina plot devices
Deus ex machina is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem in a story is suddenly and abruptly resolved by an unexpected and seemingly unlikely occurrence.
Blue. Need I say anymore? Fine.
Blue is the “pet” dinosaur capable of empathy and intelligent thinking. Blue shows heightened cognitive and emotional capabilities than those of other dinosaurs and is capable of recognizing people it has formed attachments to. However, Blue is used as a major deux ex-machina plot device. How? Well when every possible option is exhausted and the heroes are about to killed, out comes Blue out of nowhere who is able to easily take down the ultimate Indoraptor genetically modified to be a killing machine. Although the film mentions that the newly created Indoraptor species is also intelligent but lacking in emotional abilities, somehow an already wounded Blue is able to (easily) kill the killing machine saving the “heroes”. The movie ends shortly afterwards.
3. Forced Romances/ Chemistry
There was no chemistry between the two main characters. There honestly didn’t need to be and the plot also didn’t really call for it. It was just forcibly inserted because…well I don’t know. (Cue random kiss scene)
4. Too much CGI (in the dark)
CGI allows for some pretty impressive and impossible things to become reality on the big screen and is an amazing technique to add depth to a movie (think Inception). It can add amazing natural and dystopian landscapes that would be difficult to create in real life (unless you’re the set builders of Game of Thrones).
Too much of it cheapens and dispels the audience from the movie (think Sharknado or anything on the Sci-fi channel).
An added disservice of this movie was too much CGI occurring in darkened scenes. It’s not only impossible to make sense of the actions occurring but it’s hard to find the scenes compelling and interesting because well…you can’t see anything.
Let’s be honest sidekicks are normals (like the audience) who are only there to give the main characters more depth and make them more interesting to us normals who can’t compare to their looks or bravery or whatever else –does anyone remember Barb from Stranger Things? Didn’t think so.
Sidekicks more often than not are useless, expendable, annoying, and not funny. They are full of poorly written cheap exposition that does nothing for the plot or the audience’s patience. Even when they are useful, they are usually of the genius computer nerd trope and that in itself is tired.
Overall I would give Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom a 4/10. It wasn’t entertaining in the least bit and felt repetitive. The dialogue wasn’t interesting or compelling and the chemistry fell flat.
Watch at your own expense. (Cue random kiss scene)