4 Signs 'Jurassic World' Is Supposed to Be a Comedy
If you're like the rest of civilized society, you probably spent your Thanksgiving hunched in your grandmother's bathroom watching the shiny new Jurassic World trailer on a fevered loop. And as excited as we were about the prospect of a new dinosaur movie, we also couldn't help but get the sense that this entire two-and-a-half-minute ordeal shows the awkward remnants of some abandoned studio plan to make a David Zucker-style screwball comedy instead of raw theropod-on-theropod action. Yes, based on what we've seen and what we know, Jurassic World seems less like a gritty adventure movie and more like a two-hour pie-throwing contest. POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Entire Cast and Crew Are Hilarious People
Apart from the token uneatable child present in every Jurassic Park film, here are the first two people we see in the trailer:
Cheryl and Not Archer.
That's Judy Greer and Andy Buckley. Greer is best known for recurring roles as hilarious crazy people on Archer and Arrested Development. Buckley, who shows up in tons of small TV roles, also including Arrested Development, is probably best recognized as one of the bosses from The Office and has played parts in movies like Horrible Bosses 2, The Other Guys, and Bridesmaids.
In other words: these people are comedy actors, not unlike the film's star, Chris Pratt, whom we all know and love for being a comical buffoon on Parks and Recreation and aw-shucksing his way through space as Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. They also threw Jake Johnson from New Girl and Drunk History into the mix. Even the director of Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow, has only one previous feature credit to his name: the independent comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. That's like hiring the cast of Saturday Night Live to make a Jaws sequel.
This one, specifically.
For an adventure-thriller, that entire lineup makes zero sense. But if Jurassic World is secretly a hijinks-laden comedy romp, that lineup is a goddamned treasure chest of chuckles. Who wouldn't want to see Star Lord bumbling his way through an encounter with an angry T-rex?
Apparently not the studio, because Pratt has already gone on record saying that his character is "deadly serious" and "not like Peter Quill," despite being required to deliver lines like "Depends on what kind of dinosaur they cooked up in that lab" with a straight face, like he's Leslie Nielsen in a Jurassic Park spoof.
That would actually make a lot of sense, considering ...
The CGI and Tone Make It Look Like a Spoof Film
After welcoming us with the most cartoonish-looking gate in Jurassic Park history, the first big dino-huzzah the Jurassic World trailer tosses us is a sequence wherein a great white shark is dangled over a Sea World-style arena to feed a ridiculous monster that comes exploding out of the water with all of the convincingly realistic computer effects of a direct-to-DVD Lake Placid sequel. The entire shot looks like one of those photographs you can take at the Natural History Museum that inserts a fake dinosaur background behind you and your stupid friends.
"We should have gone to the Pink Floyd show at the planetarium."
Then we cut away to the crowd in the splash zone that cheers in good-natured fun as they get doused with water. This is essentially telling Steven Spielberg's two most iconic monster films to eat fistfuls of shit until they choke to death.
"Wait until you see the 1941 stuff in the third act!"
The CGI is so objectively laughable that the director had to instantly address it after fans voiced their appropriately incredulous reactions. However, once again, the terrible effects would be perfect if Jurassic World were secretly an elaborate spoof of the original film.
Check this out: according to the plot outline, Jurassic World takes place in a future where cloned prehistoric beasts have actually lost the public's interest, and so in order to reinvigorate the Jurassic Park brand, they decide to create a brand-new dinosaur. You know, kind of like how giant CGI monsters have become so common for movie-going audiences that Jurassic World had to create totally bullshit dinosaurs in order to make people give a shit.
The meta-commentary here is, "Nobody would be impressed by the dinosaurs from the original Jurassic Park if that film came out today. We've seen Matthew McConaughey fight fucking dragons." By having such cartoonish effects, it's almost as if Jurassic World is lampooning the outlandish visuals we've come to expect in modern action films with a kind of resigned indifference. We don't go apeshit over CGI anymore; it's just par for the course. Unless it's being used to create something we've never seen before, like a 200-foot crocodile-dinosaur eating a great white shark like a chicken biscuit. Jurassic World might actually exist in some alternate reality where everyone and everything is being made as satire -- which would certainly explain the park itself ...
The Whole Park Was Clearly Designed by Stupid People
We're no dinosaur experts -- the endless cartons of dinosaur-shaped macaroni we have collectively eaten in our lifetimes notwithstanding -- but we know enough about animal behavior to realize that when dealing with prehistoric thunder behemoths, the best method of protection is probably not "hamster bubble of fear":
"Dude, go under. I want to check out those balls."
We need only to fast-forward the trailer a bit to see why a glass ball is a foolish means of dinosaur observation:
"Shit, we got another tea-bagging."
So, after three films outlining the same basic message of "Hey, maybe just don't go near dinosaurs," we're immediately shown that humans have learned so little about the previous accidents that they have deliberately created the even more horrible "Diabolus rex," which is a genetic combination of a Velociraptor and a Tyrannosaur. With devil horns.
Its original code name was Ronnie James Diosaurus.
Why combine the two dinosaurs responsible for killing the most people in the history of the world? Because shut up, that's why. Compared to the park in the original film, even from the trailer we can tell that this new park is filled with so much obvious life-threatening disaster that it's borderline farcical. We wouldn't be surprised if the finished film includes a scene in which the park's head designer pulls off his lab coat and fake mustache to reveal he was a dinosaur the whole time. In the storyline of the films, Jurassic Park has already failed twice in disastrously public ways. Why the hell would anyone keep sinking money into such a cursed death trap, unless the improbable cycle of folly was being played up for maximum ridiculousness?
It Would Not Be the First Time This Has Happened
There are only two kinds of movies where humans are continuously defeated by animals: horror movies and Beethoven sequels:
Or both in the Cujo crossover in Part 6.
Really think about that. How many times can a shark or a prehistoric reptile outwit organized human beings before it becomes absurd? Universal evidently realized this back in the 1980s. The studio's original plan for a third Jaws film was to make a National Lampoon comedy called Jaws 3, People 0, until they chickened out and turned it into a 3-D movie about a bus-sized monster fish invading Lou Gossett's Sea World.
After three Alien films (the last of which flopped like a dead facehugger), the director of Alien: Resurrection wanted the film to be considered more of a dark comedy than a straight-up horror film. Audiences would later disagree with him on both points. And now we have a fourth Jurassic Park film, coming 14 years after a dismal third installment and starring a comedic actor playing the "serious" leather-vested lord of a Raptor motorcycle gang.
The original script had them riding in detachable sidecars, Fantastic Four-style.
Look, we're not made of stone: that image is incredible. And there's nothing wrong with a hilarious B-movie style Jurassic Park wherein the actors dramatically spew hammy satirical dialogue about genetically modified dinosaur Satans. The only problem is that the trailer seems to indicate that Jurassic World was totally written as a comedy, but the producers realized that funny movies don't do nearly as well at the box office as big-budget action movies starring frowning people. Hey, Universal Studios, you more or less just remade the 1993 Z-movie Carnosaur. THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO WITH A STRAIGHT FACE.
From now on, we're closing out every article with Carnosaur.
Ask Dave why he hates movies so much on his Twitter account.
Also check out 5 Jurassic Park Plot Holes With Horrifying Implications and The Insane Future of the Jurassic Park Franchise, in which we discuss the scrapped Jurassic Park 4 script about humanoid dinosaurs.