Sometimes a film or book will come along where the premise itself strikes me as simply so stupid and unbelievable that it loses me completely without my having to even see it.
Jurassic World: Dominion is one such film. I haven’t seen it and don’t plan to, but I understand that part of the premise is that dinosaurs, having been released on the mainland in the previous film, are now spreading uncontrolled across the world, even potentially threatening humanity’s dominance of the planet.
Uh…no. Just, no.
For goodness sake, modern humanity has to try not to wipe out most species of megafauna we run into. You’re telling me that these huge creatures with huge needs designed to survive in environments that no longer exist are going to not only survive, but breed out of control to the point where they become a real problem for human civilization? And this from, generously speaking, about a hundred individuals of varying species released in the last film?
What actually would have happened is that the animals let loose would have been rapidly hunted down and either re-captured and put on display or simply put down as dangerous invasive species. If it ever did appear that they were gaining an ecological foothold, they would have been removed or hunted down to ensure that they don’t drive any current species to extinction (which would be the actual danger: not that they would threaten humanity in anything but a very small way. For Pete’s sake, the Telltale Jurassic Park game pointed that one out!). And, of course, life in captivity is probably their only shot at survival anyway, given how small their populations are and, again, that they are completely unprepared for modern conditions. In any case, the moment they actually became a nuisance, it would not be difficult to simply eliminate them again, because, once more, these are huge animals that cannot possibly hide effectively or breed fast enough to escape human pursuit. I could maybe see something like the compsognathi surviving, but that’s it.
(And seriously, why is the mosasaurus still alive? Can someone please chum the water where it was last seen and harpoon the damn thing before it eats the last of the humpbacks? These are not kaiju, people; they’re just animals!).
Maybe some of this stuff is addressed in the film, but I doubt it (The Jurassic Park films have an odd history of never letting anyone use guns effectively against dinosaurs, even though, realistically, that would be something of a trump card. The first film barely gets away with it by being a small group on an isolated island, but the San Diego sequence in the second film realistically ought to have ended with the cops driving up with rifles and shotguns and pumping the T-Rex full of lead before it had gone two blocks).
If they wanted dinosaurs running amok in modern civilization, they should probably have just dropped all connection with the Jurassic Park franchise and done some fantasy nonsense about time portals or something. Because the Jurassic Park premise of genetically cloned dinosaurs cannot plausibly allow for this outcome. It posits itself as being something like the real world and based on something like real science, and we know perfectly well that this scenario is not going to happen under those conditions.
That is to say, you can have pretty much any premise you like; you cannot have any outcome you like from an already established premise.
2 thoughts on “Jurassic World: A Losing Premise”
Time portals. Now, there’s an idea worth filming. You start off small, with divers finding trilobites in the Great Barrier Reef and heart-tugging shots of frozen Leaellynasaura stranded outside Vostok, and then gradually ramp it up until the mother of all rifts opens in the Nevada desert, and all the terrible lizardry of Late-Cretaceous Laramidia descends on Las Vegas… yeah, I could see myself spending money to watch that. (Assuming, of course, that it was made by people sufficiently dinosaur-savvy not to use phrases like “the Jurassic Era” in their promotional material. I get what Universal was trying to say, but, cripes, what a way to make your target audience want to wince their eyeballs out.)
As it is, though… well, let me put it this way. Come the Fourth of July, I’ll be posting a piece consisting of a series of paragraphs from different fandoms I’ve written in, each one based on a key word from the nickname of a different U.S. state. And I cannot express in words the wicked pleasure it gives me to think that Virginia’s “Dominion” paragraph will not be the Jurassic Park one.
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In fairness, I think the “real” premise of Jurassic Park (at least the movies) is something more like, “Let’s have a horror movie but the monsters are dinosaurs,” and the rest of the “scientific” backdrop is handwavium. Or at least that’s how it used to be, I can’t claim familiarity with any of the newer movies (I dunno that “it’s taken over the world zomg!” is really a horror trope either, unless you count zombies).
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