3 Lessons writers can take away from (the dismal) Jurrasic World

Jurassic-World-logo1 I was SUPER excited to see Jurassic World, but came home BITTERLY disappointed. Basically before I went in I looked like a child on Christmas morning, and when I came out I looked like a sour lemon. What the hell was that gigantic dinosaur shit of a movie?

What follows are the reasons why I thought the movie sucked (spoiler alert), and what we need to remember to do as writers.

1. First and foremost, have a believable plot

Just like movie-goers, readers will be critical about the believability of the story that you are feeding them.  Now, I am not talking about the fact that dinosaurs are alive–we movie-goers know what to expect, we want to see badass dinosaurs doing their thing. What we don’t want is to be told that dinosaurs could be made into pets and follow human instruction, and could be used as a super awesome military weapon instead of drones (come one, they would just get shot in the face… ). I mean, come on! Like what? WHAT?! Are you serious?

… Well, if you buy that one, you should  at least hate the fact that when the big mean, genetically engineered T-Rex/Raptor/camouflaging frog escapes its cage the SWAT team comes in with tasers and nets instead of oh I don’t know an RPG or at the VERY least some gigantic-ass tranquilizer (we don’t want to lose our 32 million dollar investment, but we don’t care that it will destroy the billion dollar park and ruin the chances of ever opening the facility again).

Other things plot wise that irked me:

(1) The dome like hamster-ball allowing people to drive around the park where all the dinosaurs are, boasting it’s totally safe, bullet proof – oh no wait, a dinosaur can just slam it into the ground and it will break open – seriously it doesn’t take an intelligent dinosaur to stamp on the dome ball and kill people. This is unrealistic. This is stupid.

(2) When the dinosaur birds are let out of the bird aviary they head straight for all the people and try to pick them up in their talons, like they don’t just want to explore this awesome new place and fly out and do their own thing. Every single one of them wants to find people to eat. Like they weren’t getting fed or something.

(3) When the two brothers find an old battery from twenty years ago just lying on the shelf and use it to start an old Jeep, the next scene we find out that the brother doesn’t have a licence – yet he’s a whizz with cars. Go figure.

(4) Oh the painful, painful awkward kiss scene between the two leads – ill-timed and cringe-worthy. It was horrible to watch, I literally put my hands over my eyes.

(5) When Bryce decides the only way they can bring down the GE-dinosaur is by adding a T-Rex into the mix.

Lesson  learnt: no matter how cool your idea is you need a believable plot to back it up, or else, like me they’re going to want to leave the movie or put down that book. Not only that, you will have pissed off a reader and that means bad word of mouth and no going back for book 2.

I feel like I am missing a boat-load more things to add into why the plot sucked. But lets just leave it there, and move on to reason 2.

2. Don’t have clichéd characters with clichéd problems: don’t have unlikable characters

Characters –

BryBrycece: uptight workaholic who values work over hanging out with her sisters kids – sister then berates her for not both not wanting kids and then for not looking after kids. What do you know by the end of the story she’s all for kids. Her clothes become more inappropriate as the movie progress, skit ripped up the leg etc.

Older brother: obnoxious mean older brother is not interested in hanging out with younger brother, he drools at every girl he sees but, of course, comforts brother at time of need (when he finds out his parents are getting divorced, and whenBoys they’re being chased by dinosaurs).

Young brother: annoying young brother runs to all exhibits, is a know it all and yells excitedly at things – but is forlorn when brother gives him no attention, his brother stares at girls, or when his brother doesn’t know the parents are getting divorced (note this plot line never gets explained – we don’t know if this was a legit concern or not, and you know we really didn’t care).

Chris PraJurassic-World-New-Image-Chris-Pratt-Raptortt: I actually liked this guy, he was the one redeeming feature of the film, even if the raptor ‘pack leader’ plot line was a load of bollocks.

Lesson Learnt: don’t be clichéd, have likable characters that aren’t annoying. Make their motivations to act make sense, don’t just make them annoying, or obnoxious, or worker focused without backing it up with their reasons why. Or else it feels forced and your reader won’t be able to relate.

3. Don’t force your characters to feel things they just aren’t feeling 

(1) the kiss between the main characters felt forced and out-of-place

(2) the bond between the brothers also felt forced – there was often no lead up to the ’emotional’ scenes and so it felt like dialogue for the movie-goers sake, and not how the characters would naturally and act or what they would naturally say to each other.

Lesson Learnt: characters need to act as they would act, not as the plot dictates they should act so that they can have a character arc or to serve some non-existent romantic subplot.

Alright, rant over. Jurassic Park

What a disappointing movie. It made a mockery of the first, which had smart, intelligent leads, engaging characters, and character arcs that worked.

Tell me, did you like Jurassic World? Did you hate it? Did you take away any lessons of your own?

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