duh nuh nah nah nah, duh nuh nah nah nahThis isn’t going to be some nitpicking review of all the science they got wrong in Jurassic World. Say it with me: “Deinonychus,” not velocity wrap tore – Dino Nick Us. Tearing apart the science (or the running through mud in spike heels) would be too easy and wouldn’t do justice to an otherwise fun film.

It is too bad this film didn’t come out 22 years earlier. The grandiose reveal of the animals would have been more entertaining if they were new. Instead, we have a meta-joke. The plot centers on a park struggling to show attendees something new. Which is, somewhat precisely, what the film struggles to do. For the story, they have “Indominus Rex,” the first genetically engineered dinosaur—more on that in a moment. For the movie, we have “raptor” training.

I’ve done a little animal training, so I found myself very interested in how they would portray it with dinosaurs. Like most of the technical pieces of the film, I was disappointed. The training didn’t really show us anything. Sure, they stopped and looked at the trainer while he overused a clicker and blabbered away at them, but if we were to believe he had some sort of relationship with the animals or dominance over them, they should have shown us some actions on command. In a flurry of side stories, some quasi-government types want to weaponize the order-taking dinosaurs. Observing the demonstration, I would have concluded that the animals were not trainable in their current form. They were definitely not ready to be seized, packed up, and shipped off to Mosul to hunt insurgents. There has been some controversy about the whole concept of training Deinonychus (more on this in a moment), so it would be easy to think I’m commenting on the science. I’m not. The film failed to demonstrate training sufficient for the story.

This raises the biggest story point. The Indominus Rex is not the “first” genetic hybrid/splice/designed dinosaur in Jurassic Park. ALL of the animals are. Fragments of DNA were spliced, traits were removed (lysine contingency from the first film), engineered 100% female—everything about these animals is designed. Why wouldn’t they be smart as dogs? They could be engineered that way. They are not dinosaurs; they are engineered animals. This did get brought up in the film, eventually, but it bears noting because it is easy to confuse the Jurassic Park films with paleo-science. The story of Jurassic Park is not a presentation of current thinking in paleontology. It is a cautionary tale: “make something with science and you might be killed by it.”

For that, we look to the largely forgettable stereotypes: divorcing parents, resourceful children, self-important corporate types, incompetent gung-ho military guys, and the guy who lives in a shack on the beach. The humans’ only purpose is to be chased and eaten by dinosaurs, and this makes this movie fun. The inattentive get eaten first, bad guys die horribly, and Starlord lives to sign on for a sequel.