Yes, I saw this on the small screen. And, no, it wasn’t the lack of 3-D and IMAX and all the other bells and whistles you’d find in a movie theater that made it so underwhelming. That would be the writing, the complete lack of continuity and just weird choices that made the thing feel like one giant, CGI mess. That said, if you like an entire script filled with scenes of exposition after exposition, you will absolutely love this thing. I have honestly never seen anything like it. It goes from one scene explaining something that’s going on in that scene to the next scene that goes on to explain what just happened in the scene before it to a scene explaining how those two scenes connected to the first Jurassic Park. I should watch it again and make some sort of infographic or map that tracks the phenomena, which just relentlessly rehashes itself to the point it almost collapses on its own exposition to form a suckish blackhole.
And then there’s the whole continuity thing. And this I don’t know if I should blame on the scriptwriter or the editor, or just squarely on the shoulders of the director, Colin Trevorrow, who might have been in over his head going from his admittedly excellent sci-fi-like, mumblecore flick, Safety Not Guaranteed, to a huge technological monstrous blockbuster. Whatever the case, the bridges from scene to scene are so disjointed and full of continuity weirdness that it baffles the mind that nobody called out the ridiculousness of it all. Motorcycles appear from nowhere because, “gee, it would be super-cool if Chris Pratt rode a motorcycle alongside some raptors.” And aviary-wrecking dinosaurs somehow get from point a to point b as if somehow teleported. Thousands of people stretched out over hectares of terrain are poofed into a central location and rolling hamster balls that travel at most 10 MPH cover miles in minutes. It seems dino pens and tanks move around the landscape in any given scene in order to fit the plot and somehow (and perhaps this is supposed to be funny), Bryce Dallas Howard manages to sprint through rough, as well as super-squishy, terrain the entire movie in a pair of designer heels without so much as a stumble. Not to mention the ever-changing grime, dirt and sweat patterns on Howard’s chest that changed from shot to shot. It just seems that the first, second, third and fourth unit either didn’t talk to each other, the AD (or whomever is supposed to track this stuff these days) didn’t do his job, or they just spent way too much time perfecting the look of the computer dinosaurs and didn’t bother to really map out the world.
It also seemed like Chris Pratt was actually fighting his likability. I mean, he’s a super-likable guy. And we know, after watching Guardians of the Galaxy, that he can play a kind of douchey dude who is also completely lovable. It’s as if he wanted to go there with his character in this movie, but the director kept telling him to butch it up and remember that he’s a man who’s in charge, and showing any kind of self-awareness, vulnerability and self-deprecation would put people off. But, again, this is why everyone loves the guy, so why steer him away from that? Was it fear on the director’s part that people would think he was just a weaker version of Peter Quill? Or maybe it was the actor’s choice and he just wanted to play the macho thing straight. Whatever the case, taking the Chris Pratt out of Chris Pratt is a stupid move across the board.
The original Jurassic Park had it all. It was a visual marvel and it was smart. The movie posed serious questions, but didn’t take itself too seriously. It was a wild ride that appealed to everyone. This one over-thought the cleverness thing and ended up with a twist that was obvious from the first minute and groan-worthy when it is finally realized by the main character, who should have been the first person to realize what he only discovers after it’s too late. It would be like an arson investigator finding his house burned down and not even considering that perhaps it burned down due to arson. And then weeks after chasing the truth and finding out that it was arson and being like “What!? Arson! That’s crazy!” And expecting the audience to be shocked as well. But at that point we’ve all seen the dinosaurs and are thinking that there really needs to be more to this thing than a bunch of computer animated monsters re-enacting one of the weaker Godzilla vs. Whomever matchups.
That and the lame message that we’re beaten over the head with the entire time that society is always pushed to make things bigger and better to impress a voracious public. Pushed so far as to be unsafe. Huh? Oh, that and Vincent D’Onofrio — who is seriously the most annoying man on Earth — who works for some sort of Blackwater clone and wants to weaponize raptors? I can’t even make that shit up. It is utter and complete nonsense that someone somewhere thought was a good idea, but was faker than a pile of CGI dino crap.