Buckle up. This one sucks.
I hate this movie. I hate it with a burning, unwavering passion. It’s the most frustrating movie I’ve seen since Unfriended. I cannot fathom how anyone could sit in the theater and enjoy this movie without physically removing their brain from their skull and placing it outside of the theater. It is horrible. It was the first time I’d been legitimately angry long after the movie was over. But why?
Because it’s a trash fire in nearly every way imaginable.
The movie can’t even wait five minutes to begin being awful. The plot centers around people trying to save the dinosaurs from the island the first movie took place from an imminent volcanic eruption. We’re already off on two wrong feet. First, why would anyone want to save the dinosaurs after what happened on the island? Especially Bryce Dallas Howard? I mean, it’s not a Harambe situation where the creatures only have the potential to be dangerous, dinosaurs (carnivorous ones, at least) are literally designed to be dangerous. They’re extinct for a reason (which only Jeff Goldblum brings up, by the way. We’ll get to him later). Sure, vegans and stuff, but there’s no way that the people trying to keep the dinosaurs alive would nearly match the size of the people on the other side. Especially not enough to bring the issue to court (which they do, by the way). What should have been brought to court is the organization behind the park. That would have made sense, and might have been interesting. I probably shouldn’t have expected “interesting” to be in the filmmaker’s vocabulary, though.
The second misstep they immediately make is this: How did no one making the park know that the island was gonna be an active volcano in a couple years??????????????????????? I am utterly BE-MCFREAKIN’-FUDDLED how NOBODY NOTICED THIS. You’re seriously gonna try and convince me that a big, expensive corporation didn’t consider the possibility that the massive mountain sticking up out of the ground might have been a volcano? It’s not that hard to find out whether a mountain is filled with lava or not. There are thousands of unclaimed lumps of dirt sitting in the ocean and you’re telling me that they didn’t bother to find out if it was a volcanic hazard, and then change locations before they built the park? Unbelievable.
Whatever, maybe the setup’s the biggest problem with the movie. Maybe it’s one of those movies with a stupid setup, but the rest is pretty enjoyable.
I don’t know why I’m even attempting to get your hopes up, you read the opening paragraph. No. Nothing’s enjoyable.
It might be hard to believe that I found nothing redeemable about this movie, but it’s true. I didn’t enjoy anything about it. There are a couple things that are competently done, but the vast majority of this movie is a painful mess. Something that should be a given for a movie like this is good action. Here, they fail in every component required to have good dinosaur action. The dinosaurs don’t look like they’re there, the camera’s confusingly close to the action (which, in addition to the shakycam, makes the action hard to watch), and a lot of the setups aren’t followed through with in a satisfying way. OK, there’s one that’s halfway decently done, and that’s the underwater one. The camera stays inside the glass ball-mobile as the water rises, giving a claustrophobic feel that gives some much-needed tension. Not a lot, but I gotta give some credit. The rest is just boring. You don’t care enough about the characters to feel anything for them, and the dinosaurs don’t feel dangerous because you barely see anyone die, and if you do, it’s in the tamest way imaginable. It’s like this movie’s allergic to blood. Ready Player One has more tension than this.
I mentioned not caring about the characters, and that’s because they’re not well done in the slightest. They’re just Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. That’s not a bad thing per se, they seem like lovely people, but the writers are working under the assumption that they’re writing characters with meaning. The two best results of this effort are thinly written (this is a generous endorsement), and the rest are utter garbage. Most notably, the nerd character. He is the single most annoying character in the whole movie. Even more annoying than the kid, and that’s because he somehow manages to scream even more than she does. He is also supposed to be the comic relief, and to no one’s surprise, he’s not funny. To top all of this off, the only way they develop any characters is through expositional dialogue where they explain things that everyone on screen already knows. Which is very, very annoying.
I don’t know if I’ve explained why this bothers me so much, so here’s a quick example: If you and your friend were talking, would you, suddenly and unprompted, launch into a five-minute story about how you two met? Who would you be explaining this for? Your friend already knows this, so all it would do is stop the flow of the conversation entirely and leave him looking at you like you have mental problems. Which, incidentally, is the same thing that happens whenever a movie does this. It stops the flow entirely, and I look at it like it has mental problems. Writing dialogue like that is laziness incarnate, and it takes me out of the movie every time it happens.
Speaking of laziness, I took a tally of lazy, easily fixable mistakes that made it to the final cut of this movie. Here are a few highlights: 1) There’s a comically bad overdub of a line where it’s painfully obvious that the line doesn’t match up with the actor’s lips. 2) Some characters go through a door, and it closes twice (it also makes a sound twice, making it even funnier). 3) A character is hooked up to a heart monitor, and another character stumbles across their corpse (which is still hooked up to the working heart monitor). The heart monitor should be going off the whole time, right? It does not. It only starts when it’s convenient for the script, despite the fact that said character has been dead throughout the entire duration of the scene. Good job, boys.
Another problem I have with this movie is how no one makes a wise decision. Not once. The whole movie is a never-ending gauntlet of terrible decision-making by stupid people who pay for those terrible decisions, but make it out okay in the end despite all logic. Quick poll, raise your hand if you like to watch believable characters who make decisions that make sense and don’t feel like they were compelled by the screenwriters to advance the plot.
If you actually put your hand up, you’re a melon. But I agree.
Alright, rapid-fire problem time because I couldn’t find a way to fit all of these in the review without making it a year long. The music sucked and sometimes was so mismatched it was almost comic, Toby Jones has a small role and it’s terrible, they try to make the audience feel for the dinosaurs but it doesn’t work, there’s a clone subplot and it’s quite stupid, it’s not shot well, there’s a sergeant character who collects dinosaur teeth (????) and that ends up killing him in the dumbest scene in the movie, Chris Pratt is somehow so manly that he is shot with a dinosaur tranquilizer and he manages to force his body to metabolize to save himself from impending doom, there’s a scene with two guys in suits who manage to be so utterly horrible, their acting reminds me of a Neil Breen movie, and Jeff Goldblum appears for a total of four minutes and is only there to say the title of the movie at the end.
Towards the end of the notes I took for this movie, they got a little incomprehensible. This is due to the ending, which is the worst ending imaginable. I’m afraid I can’t go into specifics due to spoilers, but rest assured that it was so bad it made me physically contort, dig my fingernails into my forehead, and growl “oh my God” at a volume that may have been audible to the other moviegoers. Oh, and the T-Rex does the whole “kill something and scream at the sky” thing three times (I think). It got old. Just like this series. Stop making Jurassic Park movies. You are one for five. I’d say quit while you’re ahead, but you haven’t been ahead for twenty-five years.
Up next: A spook.Connect to me