Last night, Universal unveiled the first full trailer for JA Bayona's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Fan reactions to the trailer have been mixed for all the usual reasons - some folks consider the storyline ridiculous, others aren't thrilled at how "small" the footage looks, still others would prefer if the film leaned more heavily on animatronics versus CGI - but my beef with the film is far more specific: namely, it does not appear that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's dinosaurs will shoot machine guns.
This is complete and total bullshit.
We are now five films into the Jurassic Park franchise, and though the series has flirted with the idea of turning into an over-the-top creature feature before (most notably back in 2004, when John Sayles turned in a script for Jurassic Park IV that would've involved genetically-engineered, bipedal dinos that wore bullet proof armor and had gizmos strapped to their heads which let humans control them as living weapons) and hinted at the possibility of dinos being bred as war machines (see: the original Jurassic World), we have yet to see the Jurassic Park movie that should've been made years ago: the one where dinosaurs wield machine guns.
Why would dinosaurs have machine guns? Why wouldn't they?
We've already seen dinosaurs stomping through forests, tearing apart cars, ripping people limb-from-limb in mid-air, menacing children in an industrial kitchen, escaping their enclosures, learning to open doors, eating whole cows, attacking San Diego, and - in one particularly memorable encounter - a T-Rex somehow killing everyone aboard a gigantic shipping freighter. Some of these gags have been recycled between Jurassic entries, and they have long since lost their flavor. If I have to see one more goddamn Jurassic Park movie where a bunch of humans flee across a field amidst a dinosaur stampede I will scream until my vocal cords give out. Diminishing returns does not even begin to cover it.
My solution to this problem, then, is to heavily arm the dinosaurs. Preferably with machine guns, but I'm also open to bazookas, shotguns, crossbows and possibly even various types of laser-based weaponry. Basically, I want a Jurassic Park movie that looks like this:
I submit to you that this image, an advertisement for the only-'80s-kids-will-remember Dino Riders (#never4get), is better than the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trailer, and may prove to be better than the final film, as well. It is more colorful, more dynamic, and - as you can clearly see - it features dinosaurs who have been equipped to fire lasers and rockets at each other. The brilliant minds behind Dino Riders were pioneers, and understood implicitly that the excitement that comes from seeing dinosaurs in action can only last for so long. Eventually you're gonna need to give them an upgrade, like rocket launchers and laser-cannons.
It's baffling to me that a franchise that's already playing around in the realm of pulpy sci-fi (genetic modifications, secret labs, dinosaurs being bred specifically for use in guerilla warfare) has refused to take the next obvious step. Is this a case of Universal being too precious with its IP? Is someone over there concerned that audiences might stop taking the Jurassic franchise "seriously" if it were to take a much-needed detour into the realm of the absurd? Do the gatekeepers of this franchise honestly believe that audiences will continue to show up in perpetuity for unarmed dinosaurs?
I, for one, will not, and have decided to put my money where my mouth is: I will see JA Bayona's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and if it does not feature a scene where a dinosaur uses a machine gun (or a bazooka, or a crossbow, or maybe a gattling laser-cannon), I will have no choice but to sit out the future films in this franchise until someone does what needs to be done. I'm sorry it's come to this, Jurassic Park, but the heart wants what the heart wants.