It doesn’t mean we’re bad, really; maybe it’s hard-wired into our brains. We’ve traded lions in coliseums for NASCAR, pillories for TMZ, paying to watch people in asylums for reality (sorry, “non-scripted”) TV. But the core principle is the same: we’re drawn to spectacle, especially when there’s the chance of someone being injured—physically, socially, mentally.

So: the reason we like to watch Jurassic Park movies is because we want to see people get eaten by dinosaurs. That’s it. We watch them to see it happen, or to see how long they can keep it from happening, but ultimately, we wanna see people become Cretaceous kibble. Paleocene pâté. Mesozoic munchies. Which brings us to Jurassic World.

Jurassic World is the fourth movie in a series that wasn’t “original” in the first place: Jurassic Park, arguably the late Michael Crichton’s most successful book, was actually just a reworking of his movie Westworld. The new film takes place 20+ years after the time of the original movie, the park is finally open, hosting 20,000 visitors a day. The park manager is concerned about “satisfaction indices” but the Richard Branson-like owner just wants the guests to “have fun.” It seems just having live dinosaurs isn’t enough anymore; you have to “up the wow factor.” So InGen (more on them in a moment) creates a new dinosaur, a completely human-made animal that’s bigger, faster, stronger, nastier. And of course it runs amok and— Well, you know…

Jurassic World, like the park itself, is state-of-the-art entertainment but… It’s nothing you haven’t seen in the other three movies. In fact, World references the original movie every chance it gets. The movie could be seen as a comment/satire about American escapist culture and summer blockbuster movies themselves, but it’s not quite that clever. In fact, it seems the four screenwriters credited with the script each worked on separate parts of the story: one person contributed non sequitur humor, one person contributed punchline retorts, one person did all the expository speeches, and the last one typed it all up. They want you to believe this could be happening in the real world, yet they continually ignore real-world concerns.

Like, considering the history of cloned dinosaurs, the wrongful death lawsuits, the damage to San Diego from the second movie… Would InGen even still be in business? Wouldn’t every government in the world ban cloning dinosaurs, even if it’s on your own private island?

It would be spoilers to point out any more of these… “issues” with the movie, but the best review of it could be summed up in Ian Malcolm’s speech from the first film:

…I'll tell you the problem… You read what others had done and you took the next step… You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could… and now you're selling it...

But we don’t need to buy it.

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