Imagine, if you will (in your best Rod Sterling voice), a precocious four-year-old boy with a wooden crate brimming with toy dinosaurs – the sort with zero points of articulation because it was the 90’s and kids were still capable of using their imaginations, dammit. This boy spent his languid preschool afternoons guiding his motley herd on epic journeys through valley-like ditches, rainforest-esque gardens, wasteland-ish gravel lots, and oceanic sloughs – occasionally by way of the Millennium Falcon. The stakes were always high for this heroic herd and dangers lurked around every shadowy corner – from monstrous plush t-rexes with mint Beanie Baby tags to vicious velociraptors that had been bloodied with a red Sharpie to swarms of oversized bugs from a dollar store bucket to the mighty and terrible cat-god-of-wrath Whyskerssa (whose tender mercies hinged on proportionate blood offerings). These adventures were the sort of masterful works of fiction that village elders recount to wide-eyed youngsters over late-night campfires – noting, of course, that any resemblance their tales may bear to characters or events from The Land Before Time is purely coincidental.
Having established in my inaugural piece that I’ll largely be using my shiny new digital soapbox to dissect films with little immediate relevance, I’d like to dedicate the next few pages to a movie that filled me with fear and loathing upon release and continues to gnaw at me today.
That movie is 2015’s Jurassic World, a soft reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise that spent its opening weekend grossing a cool half-billion and the remainder of its theatrical run somehow convincing an entire planet it was something worth seeing.
After the logical yet disjointed walkathon-turned-Godzilla-homage that was 1997’s The Lost World and the poorly-rendered incremental snooze-fest that was 2001’s Jurassic Park III, the series returned to Isla Nublar and its theme park roots with Jurassic World for a brand new adventure that, not unlike The Force Awakens, basically repackaged its first one, minus all the emotional resonance.