13 Dumb Decisions In Jurassic Park Movies We Can't Forgive

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

That talking raptor will be seared in our brains for eternity.

A sixth Jurassic Park film is on the way! Whether you liked the last film or not, it's always fun to see dinosaurs on a big screen tearing each other (and humans) apart for our amusement.

From the spectacular Steven Spielberg outings to the dividing Colin Trevorrow (directed and produced) installments, we've been dazzled, delighted and horrified by the adventures on screen.

After five movies (so far), the series has taken a number of bizarre turns, and while a few have been greatly received, there have been a number of crashes in the series. These could have flattened the franchise, and the big ones almost killed them forever, and in their honour its best we address them.

The filmmakers behind the Jurassic Park movies have made some wild decisions over the years, and most of them have been downright dumb. Whether it was to appease fans, or serve a greater purpose in the franchise is yet to be seen, but in the meantime they are just gosh-darned awful.

Let's take a look at twelve decisions from the Jurassic Park movies that were so dumb that we have to question where the heads of the people who made them were at.

13. The Mitchell Brothers' Backstory - Jurassic World

If a Jurassic Park film is compelled to put kid characters in the story to add tension, the least the film can do is make the characters likable.

In the three previous installments before Jurassic World, the kid characters' relationship to the heroic grownups was established and that was it. We didn't need to know what Tim and Lex' home-life was like, Kelly's broken relationship with Ian was made clear earlier, and Eric Kirby's life was explained by his parents.

What audiences didn't need to see in Jurassic World (in the first scene no less), was a weird expository backstory behind Gray and Zach Mitchell, Claire's nephews. The divorce of their parents ultimately doesn't mean anything, and Zach's weird staring competitions with clusters of teenage girls is not only uncomfortable but is never addressed in the films.

Gray (the younger brother) is arguably the most consistent, and if we're all being honest, would have worked better alone. If the script punched his character up to be a little more impulsive, Zach could have been cut out entirely.

But fundmanetally, we didn't need to know the family lives of these kids. They're Claire's nephews who are taking a VIP tour of the park. Enough said.

12. Dr. Ian Malcolm's Cameo Appearance - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic Park alumni and internet thirst-trap Jeff Goldblum stirred hype for the fifth dinosaur outing when not only was he cast to return to the franchise, but even appeared in trailers.

Unfortunately, what the trailers showed was almost the same amount of screen-time Ian Malcolm actually appeared in the film.

Dropping in for two short segments; not only does Ian Malcolm not appear in any other scenes (or even referenced) in the film, but his presence could be cut from the film and make absolutely no change to the plot.

You decide what's more insulting; the shameless tease of bringing back one of the original characters, or the fact that it was squandered on meaningless exposition?

Had the promotional materials kept Ian Malcolm out, his cameo appearance would have been a delightful wink to audiences old enough to remember Malcolm's turquoise jewelry and glistening chest.

The decision to include Malcolm in the film was obviously a nice "why not?" from Jeff, but his presence was wasted nonetheless.

Malcolm is set to make a proper return (along with Alan and Ellie) in the sixth film, and here's hoping it's more than a quick wave in all his salt & pepper glory.

11. Talking To The Velociraptors - Jurassic Park III

At the beginning of JP3, the audience is provided a scene in which a replicated Velociraptor larynx is blown like a flute, mimicking those haunting cackles we've heard in previous films. This obviously brings back worrisome memories for Alan, but the moment passes and it's never brought up again.

Later in the film; events transpire that seemingly fall into place. The intelligence of the Raptors setting a trap for the humans, one of them calling for help when pinned against a cage door, and the inevitable realization that the Raptors are hunting the humans because Billy pilfered two of their eggs.

What does all this mean you might ask? Well, the final interaction the battered and bruised humans have with a dinosaur on Isla Sorna, is with the hunting Velociraptors who want their eggs back.

The humans offer the eggs back, and as a distraction, Alan takes out the raptor larynx and plays some classical beats to confuse and scatter the raptors.

It's one of the dumbest moments in the film, and would have been less painful if there hadn't seen anything similar earlier on in the film. But don't worry, I'll get to THAT bit later.

10. T-Rex Loose In The City - The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Ask yourself; do you remember much of this part from The Lost World?

After successfully defeating the Raptors, the survivors helicopter off the island and it feels like the movie could stop there. But because of plot reasons, the film carries on for what feels like forever with a hammy third act that shows a T-Rex rampaging through San Diego in search of its baby.

Don't get me wrong, dinosaurs loose in a city does feel like a natural course of escalation the Jurassic Park films would have eventually gone down (and it might be the case in Dominion), but after spending a large amount of the film on Isla Sorna, the film should have cut out when everyone evacuated the island.

Up to this point the film had already blessed us with some nail-biting sequences involving one or more T-Rex'; the film didn't need to glue a third one onto the end.

The film tags this sequence onto the end, thinking it's something audiences needed to see.

Had this been a major plot for a third movie, it would have been greatly received. But tagging this plot point on after over an hour on the island just feels exhausting and a last-minute addition.

9. Zara's Brutal Death - Jurassic World

Jurassic Park films have never shied away from gruesome deaths; Dennis Nedry, Dieter Stark and Ray Arnold, were characters whose deaths were horribly implied in the worst possible way.

When Jurassic World stepped up to bat, the film decided to show rather than suggest, and while it was a bold and interesting choice, whom the film picked to be the winner of such a heinous death was none other than Claire's obedient assistant, Zara.

There are two things wrong with how Zara died; the first being the Mouse Trap cavalcade in which the character is rubbed out.

Amidst the skirmish at the park, Zara is picked up by Pteranodons, nearly drowned and then swallowed up by a Mosasaurus. Already it's overkill.

The second point is this is the kind of death that should have been saved for an antagonist. Not even Vincent D'Onofrio's character (can anyone remember his name?) gets taken out so viciously.

Zara isn't a villain in the movie. She doesn't do anything cruel, she's tasked with looking after Claire's bratty nephews and when things go bad her priority is to find them.

Who decided that one of the biggest deaths in the film, should go to someone so undeserving?

8. Nostalgia For The First Park - Jurassic World

Jurassic World was a long-awaited soft-reboot/sequel, and the idea of "what if the park DID open?" is a great idea to get the ball rolling on a new trilogy.

Being set in the same universe as the previous three films is an interesting step given the events prior, and so acknowledging the first films was unavoidable.

It's why, the character of Lowery, played by Jake Johnson, is such a frustrating presence in the film. Being a comedic actor, his quips do add much needed light humor, but he's also serving as a reminder of how "legit" the first Jurassic Park was.


Audience members seeing Jurassic World had most likely seen the first film, and know how much fun and inspired it was. To have a self-aware character wearing an original Jurassic Park shirt (and be chastised for it) isn't just dumb, it's an embarrassing acknowledgement that the movie we're watching right now isn't as good as the original.

The character of Lowery might as well stand up and tell the audience watching "hey, this film isn't going to be as good as the original".

You're right Lowery, I didn't need you to tell us that.

7. Gymnastics Save The Day - The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The Lost World might still get lumped into the category as "bad Jurassic Park" from time to time, but there are genuinely exciting and tense moments in the film, and one of the best sequences in the film has to be the Velociraptors making their entrance.

The whole sequence plays out like sharks at the beach as they snack on the InGen mercenaries in "THE LONG GRASS!", and when Ian Malcolm and his gang enter, the stakes are raised for people we actually care about.

After sprinting through the long grass, the survivors enter an InGen base, only to be ambushed by the Raptors. Ian's daughter Kelly, who has been nothing but a burden through the whole film, finally proves her worth and the foreshadowing of her gymnastics is paid off.

Kelly performs a few impressive twirling moves before calling out to a Raptor about to devour her daddy and kicks it through a window. Now I know disposing of Raptors is a tricky thing to do without a T-Rex in the room, but to have an eleven year old girl have the strength to beat one of these things is just moronic.

Come on, Spielberg! You're better than this.

6. The Indoraptor - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

There were so many things wrong with the last Jurassic Park film, but the one that really takes the biscuit is the introduction of yet ANOTHER hybrid antagonistic dinosaur for Owen and Co. to contend with.

Put aside the fact that the Indoraptor is just like the Indominus Rex, the concept behind this big baddie is so dumb that it could take volumes of textbooks to explain the stupidity of this creature.

The dinosaurs of Jurassic Park were scary and dangerous enough, and while the Indominus Rex was a hybrid, there was a reason and explanation behind its creation. The Indoraptor was created to serve as a weapon for sale (hence that stupid laser-guided system), but for whom exactly?

Coupled with the fact that this thing has a personality (it fakes paralysis after being hit with a tranq dart and smiles!), and the Indoraptor becomes the dumbest thing in a film with cloned kids and dinosaur auctions. The Indoraptor isn't just a bad plot-point, it's a repeated one too.

Thankfully. Colin Trevorrow has stated there are no more dinosaur hybrids. But who's to say he hasn't got a new dumb idea up his sleeve? You've seen The Book Of Henry, haven't you?

5. Killing The T-Rex - Jurassic Park III

There's nothing wrong with introducing new "villain" dinosaurs to the Jurassic Park franchise. After a while Raptors and T-Rex' would get repetitive, so in Jurassic Park III it was exciting to see a new and terrifying creature take the mantle as the scary, looming threat.

Cue the Spinosaurus; a giant meat-eater with a rad mohawk backbone. This thing was bigger, meaner, and seemed to have a genuine grudge against Alan and the Kirby family. But how does the film establish this thing as being "like nothing we've ever seen before"?

Not it's body count or its big teeth, but by killing a Tyrannosaurus Rex and establishing itself as the new big bad. The T-Rex is the king/queen of Jurassic Park, and JP3 flips the franchise the middle finger by having a fight between the two titans that ends with the T-Rex getting its neck snapped.

Had the movie not included the T-Rex at all, this wouldn't even be a problem. But having this new villain come in and kill the once anti-heroic T-Rex, and not meet a similar fate at the end feels like the franchise never appreciated how much fun the T-Rex was to begin with.

4. Making Humans The Big Bad - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Since the first film, there have always humans in a somewhat antagonistic role. But while Dennis Nedry and InGen rubbed their hands together and schemed, they were never purposefully evil.

The introduction of Eli Mills and making Dr. Wu a mad scientist, has made the new threats of the franchise to be money-grabbing comic book villains, akin to the Umbrella Corporation than just naive scientists playing with mosquito blood.

The dinosaurs are scary villains on their own, and the "science-gone-wrong" theme of the Indominus Rex and even the Indoraptor are acceptable enough, but the filmmakers had to put illogical motivations into the mix and turn some of the characters into something straight from a Saturday morning cartoon.

Breeding the dinosaurs to be used in combat zones is a dumb decision already, but we can get behind it because the purpose of Owen Grady's character is to be a Raptor-whisperer. To have a whole sect of characters who are straight-up evil feels lazy and uninspired at this point.

Surely no fan of the franchise can watch the new film in earnest, if it involves Christ Pratt having a fistfight with another human character while Blue cheers him on from the sidelines.

3. The Granddaughter Is Actually A Cloned Daughter - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

One thing to remember about the Jurassic Park franchise is that the dinosaurs were resurrected with the power of science, and more observant fans did point out long ago that if the technology can bring back extinct animals, could it bring back humans?

This question is answered in Fallen Kingdom, and while it might have made for an interesting twist, it ultimately comes down to being one of the dumbest decisions in the entire franchise.

Jurassic Park is about dinosaurs in the modern day, not about crazy scientists bringing their daughters back to like and pretending they're their granddaughters.

The mythology of John Hammond (and now Lockwood) wasn't something any Jurassic Park fan cared about, but Fallen Kingdom goes out its way to deep-dive into the family heritage and the technology of the series to make the token kid of the movie a clone.

Maisie was a character that had one job; be the screaming, terrified child that the heroes had to save. Making her part of the plot in such a convoluted, and crazy way is not only a dumb diversion from the plot, but also hijacks the excitement of dinosaurs in the modern day.

Fingers crossed that was all a dream.

2. Freeing The Dinosaurs To "Find Harmony" - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

If you were paying attention to literally ANY of the Jurassic Park movies, you will have noticed the running theme - that the idealism of bringing Dinosaurs back is wildly at odds with the natural order of things. To hijack the first film's most famous line "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Dinosaurs eat man. DINOSAURS inherits the earth."

This is all very well established, so quite why the writers of Fallen Kingdom decided to ignore it and have the finale of that movie feature all of the surviving dinosaurs being released as a humanitarian decision is just ludicrous. It was done as a means for the creatures to find some uneasy harmony with humans, but the reality is that Jurassic World is not a Flintstones prequel and there is no outcome where the dinosaurs don't simply eat as many people as they can until they're killed.

That might well be the actual plot of the final movie in the trilogy, but for a film that's all about dinosaur rights to end with such a stupid finale that defies all logic was unforgivably idiotic. The final, awful cherry on the most baffling, misguided of sundaes.

1. The Talking Velociraptor - Jurassic Park III

If time travel existed, someone should go back to the year 2000 and peer into the pitch meeting when this idea was being bounced around and see which "genius" thought it would sensible and not ridiculous to have talking dinosaurs.

How was this accepted? Was someone being blackmailed?

In the context of the film, Jurassic Park hero Alan Grant is flying back to the islands he escaped from two films prior, but it's clear he's still suffering some form of PTSD from the experience. While on the plane, Alan comes face to face with his ultimate nemesis; a Velociraptor, and wakes just in time to realize it was all a dream.

That in itself could be scary, but the fact that someone thought it would be a good idea to make the Raptor not only sit in the plane like a fellow passenger, but to make the creature's jaw flick up and down and utter Alan's name; is both mind blowing and awful.

The scene would have been effective if the Raptor started tearing other passengers apart, and THEN Alan woke up. But instead, the creators went for the dumbest idea, and JP3 will forever be known as the film with the talking Velociraptor.

Source: https://whatculture.com/