Hello my friends, welcome to the ELECTRO ONLINE version of TWIF, it’s just like the print version except I have a bit more room to ramble on like an idiot on what you should, and really shouldn’t be watching. Let’s kick this off on a Summer tentpole tip with…
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The sequel to 2015s attempt at revitalising dinosaurs for a bunch of new kids. I didn’t mind that one, it’s certainly head and shoulders above JP3. What are this ones major failings..? Let’s see. Little bit of spoilers etc but it’s not like this film is some mindbending mystery where your enjoyment is dependent upon it’s outcome.
• I know it, you know it: dinosaurs are inherently awesome. I mean come on.
• There’s some great cinematography in here – the sheer scale of the brontosaur (diplodocus? Didn’t they retcon one into not existing a few years back? Let’s call it a brachiosaur instead), the camera all rotating down and through a window from a roof, 3 wolf mooning a dinosaur, I was appreciating all that. They’ve put some money into the sets for once, and there’s a fair old bit of animatronics. 2018 has been a terrible year for CGI, it’s on point here though, give or take a couple of wobbly shots.
• Volcanic eruption! Brachiosaur all getting steamed to death in the most PG way possible!
• James Cromwell and Toby Jones! Granted, not given much to do but welcome additions to any of these blockbusters.
• Hahaha the long standing tradition of pteradactyls just swooping in and taking nameless goons on a magical ride through the air, and then a magical meeting with the floor that is far, far below.
• Speaking of JP traditions, you’d better believe there’s another island, and another set of rented mercenaries led by a gruff experienced hunter. I want to subscribe to the messageboard or app they get them all from, seems like you could have some fun discussions in the ‘general chat’ part.
• Let us talk about people’s motivations. Yer man James Cromwell was old Dickie Attenborough’s homeboy from back in the day and helped him clone out the original JP dinos. Since fucking when? He’s also a kindhearted billionaire philanthropist, which in a film where they combine different bits of dinosaurs to make angrier new ones, is pure fantasy. I mean it’d be nice if any of these super rich real life guys were like that, instead of working people to death in warehouses or calling rescue divers child molesters, but that’s the Hell dimension we live in. Anyhoo, since he can’t be a bad guy, his number two is. And herein lies the problem – our heroes Starlord and Ron Howards daughter (+ no mark English child] end up trying to stop the newly rescued dinos from being sold to a bunch of evil bidders for the purposes of, get this, being used as Military weapons. Which left Old Paul baffled.
Firstly, who are these guys doing the bidding? It doesn’t show any military bods there at this completely illegal auction of stolen animals. Some are obviously Russian mob, are they going to clear out the Ukraine with triceratopses? Are the other guys from lairs in volcanoes? If there was some indication that these mega rich guys are there for the sole purpose of owning a dinosaur, props to you mang, that’s the dream right there. But if you’ve got the walking around money for buying, transporting and keeping one, what in the last 3 years has stopped you from rocking up to Isla Nubar in a Chinook and just airlifting one out? It’s basically FREE DINOSAUR: COLLECTION ONLY Island before it explodes in a fiery mess.
And what possible advantage is it to have dinosaurs on a battlefield aside from it’d look fucking cool? They don’t use elephants anymore which is the nearest equivalent I can think of. What can they do that drones can’t? They’re still gonna get stopped by medium to heavy weaponry – “Oh shit a raptor is coming up the stairs!” So fucking what, it’s still gonna get it’s arse handed to it if you wang a grenade at it. Bang goes your $9 mil + training expenses. We see Starlord spend years training the raptors (I looked this up and well, you can sort of train lizards. I’m left in doubt as to how well sounding an alarm to half-a-ton of lightning fast killbeast and expecting it to respond in the way you intend would go). The film has it so the new dino* goes mental for laser pointers and a noise akin to those dashboard effects banks everyone went wild for in 1990. Note the years of training: this film takes place over what, a week or so? Where the fuck did this new indoraptor come from? It hatched fully formed? They got the indomitus DNA from bones that have been lying on the bottom of the ocean for 3 years, and that’s supposed to still be viable? What about things like anklyosaurs? They have pea brains. Do you drive them like tanks? Is the brachiosaur going to tactically strip tall trees of their leaves? Why don’t scriptwriters think things through?
• Of course Blue the raptor from the last film is back, and harvesting his blood is all important. Until it…isn’t? I didn’t understand that at all, they’ve already made an indoraptor so they must have been getting raptor ingredients from somewhere.
• Cinematography applause aside, this film has a weird beige/green sheen over everything. It’s a kids dinosaur film, saturate the colours.
• There’s a big old gap between ‘homage’ and ‘yeah I remember those tense bits out of the first film you’ve just recreated here in a slightly different environment’. They only just stop at someone saying ‘clever girl’, just.
• Mosasaurus is back and he’s getting involved. My only question being what in the world of Suzie Wong has it been eating for the last 3 years? The gate tells us it’s in a closed environment.
• Far as everyone is concerned, Starlord & Ron’s daughter died on Isla Nubar when it blew the fuck up. Why are they still alive once they get captured? All taking up a big cell left to their own devices, just feed them to the dinos, it’d save evil Toby Jones a big headache in the long run.
• Cloning side plot that’s never mentioned again, and the kid in is a complete non-entity whose only role seems to be ‘give away our hiding place through screaming’.
• This gas/button dilemma at the end. Why does Cromwells mansion have an enormous and easily rupturable supply of toxic nerve gas? Ron’s daughter could’ve opened the main doors, cleared the air out and then still had captive dinosaurs.
• There is no blood at all in this film despite multiple slashes, bites, severings and all round dinosaur claw/human body interaction. It’s like ‘shouldn’t you be pissing claret everywhere after that encounter?’ Not in this PG movie
• You might as well have flashing text saying T-REX IS STILL THE KING AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT at various points. Yeah whatever.
• OMINOUS VOICEOVER “It’s a Jurassic World now…” Son, there’s about 15-18 dinosaurs out on the run that kid let out, plus maybe 4-5 more that are chilling in a field while some supervillain decides how best to show them off. This is going to take an afternoon maximum to either capture or eradicate them all as the majority are herbivorous and more than likely 100 yards away eating a bush or somebody’s allotment, shush talking like it’s fucking Dawn of the Dinosaurs and humanity is doomed.
Should I watch this?
Know what? It’s not terrible, if you don’t watch it like I do with a commentators eye. What these films really need is Spielberg back in that directing chair – I mean this ticks at long at a decent enough pace, it’s just missing a bit of magic. Personally I’d make it all about the mosasaurus but I say that about everything. Yeah militarise one of them things Jurassic World, and see if you’re not walking into Dr Evil territory.
So yeah, give it a go, kids will probably love it.
*Got to have the all important new one, this time round it’s a INDOMITUS REX/RAPTOR crossbreed.