I was going to give Jurassic World a pass. I really was. But, you know, it’s one thing to imagine being able to deny the glory of a dinosaur and another to actually watch dinosaurs galloping across fields in that trailer. Suddenly I’m screaming “I want that!” and apologizing to all of my co-workers. (Again.) Dinosaurs are just cool and I can’t explain why and now suddenly here they are again. I want to go to Jurassic World, the park. I want to watch the big snappysaurus eat a shark while I marnch on a $14 raptor-shaped rice krispie treat. (IRONY.) I want to have an apatosaurus look at me dismissively for a moment before going back to slurping in the river. I want to yell “You shouldn’t be!” at a stegosaurus.
I’ll get what I want, probably. Judging from the trailer, Jurassic World the movie looks pretty capable of showing me the small and large wonders of Jurassic World, the park. But here’s what I want to see in Jurassic World, the movie. (Or as we laymen like to call it, Jurassic World: The Park: The Movie.)
1. Underwater dinosaurs.
I’ve wanted this since the first movie, really and it’s about time the franchise got around to featuring this awesome little corner of the dinosaur world. Sea creatures were the stuff of nightmares back then. Look at all these terrifying sea creatures that weren’t even dinosaurs! How can a Jurassic Park possibly get away with not showing me swimmysauruses and still call itself a comprehensive entertainment experience? Sure, the snappysaur (whatever it’s supposed to be, a pliosaur or mesosaur, maybe?) up above looks way too big for its lake environment and sure, making marine dinosaurs is probably difficult when it would be so easy for them to slip into the ocean and terrorize cruise ships (FREE BUFFET) but on the other end of the scale: all dinosaurs are cool. This logic is, I know, unassailable.
2. Pterodactyls should roam the planet.
Speaking of forgotten corners of the dinosaur species, where are the flying dinosaurs? The pterodactyls and pteronodons and things? Give them feathers or realistic proportions, I don’t care, just give them to me. Better yet, have them roaming the planet because how would you cage up such creatures, anyhow? They’d get out somehow, breed, then after a while spread to the nearest mainland and start a’chompin’ there.
We saw them in Jurassic Park III, as well, and I like the idea that the mistakes seen in the previous movies have essentially made flying dinosaurs part of the planet’s current range of life. They’d eat fish and occasionally your dog… Probably LAX probably has to shoo them from Los Angeles air space from time to time…. One of them roosted in La Brea Park for a few minutes and someone Instagrammed it and it’s since become a meme… I love the idea that beyond a specialized theme park, some dinosaurs are just inescapably here now, and we just have to deal with the annoyance.
3. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
I’m not saying it has to be obvious, but the reference should be there because…come on. (Also it looks like one of the park techs in the trailer has dinosaurs on the edge of his console, so…)
4. Jeff Goldblum needs to make a cameo.
Maybe Dr. Ian Malcolm buried the hatchet and made a funny introductory safety video for the park, complete with his trademark laugh. Maybe he gets to testify before a congressional committee on the need for genetic creation laws. Maybe he runs an occult bookstore on St. Mark’s Place now. Maybe he just lives alone in the Pacific Northwest making knots all day. I don’t know. All I know is that the above needs to be somewhere in Jurassic World. Preferably all over it.
5. Kill Chris Pratt’s character.
Look, it’s not that I don’t love the enjoyment that Chris Pratt brings to this earthly plane of existence but it’s not like his character’s existence is going to be key to the making of more Jurassic Park movies. You can’t kill him in the Lego movies, you can’t kill him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can’t kill him in Parks and Recreation. (Gods, that would be a bleak storyline indeed.) But you can kill him here. So kill him! Let us know that messing around with dinosaurs comes with serious consequences. Make it a shocker for the audience. Our hero! Gone! Dammit, Jurassic World, this is no longer a laughing matter!
6. Have the magic word be an actual password in Jurassic World: The Park.
I like the idea of a twisted tribute to Dennis Nedry, corporate espionage artist and all around jerk, hiding in the movie somewhere. Maybe “please” is a legitimate catch-all password login for Jurassic World’s systems. Or maybe “nedrysucks” or “wevegotdodgsonhere.” (Although the knowledge that we had Dodgson there was probably lost once Nedry’s face got eaten.) A reminder to the lifers at Jurassic Park/World of how close they came to complete disaster.
7. An incisive and exciting look at how first world culture is so consumer-driven that it is considered monetarily worthwhile to develop and perfect the technology of bringing back entire extinct species of fauna for our personal amusement, circumventing all moral objections.
And how even the wonder and outrage of bringing dinosaurs back to life can be boring and feel comfortably safe after the idea has been in existence for only a single generation.
Or maybe the movie will point out that the efforts behind Jurassic World are akin to NASA in that the tech and research that created dinosaurs for amusement had a lot of secondary benefits to important fields like human medical care.
Either way, Jurassic World has an opportunity here to depict some fascinating and common science fiction themes and apply them to the world as we know it today. It can be more than just hybrid dinosaurs and thrilling chases, film-makers. Remember that!
Chris Lough would go to a real life Jurassic World theme park. No question.