Thanks for another fun podcast, prodding a movie that deserves it. I'll admit to having enjoyed it (haven't seen it in years though), but man is it strange.
I think a big problem is that for the first half, it keeps changing into a different movie. It's not a case of it being episodic, or it pulling in different directions. Look at these:
- FIrst Malcolm's going to save Sarah,
- Then the group says they're there to sabatoge the InGen corporate group that's on the island, with Vince Vaughn being some sort of secret weapon against them.
- Once that happens, Malcolm's group teams up with the corporates to survive until they get rescued (by what? Good point!).
- Strange coda finale with the Rex in the US.
Any one of those should have been the focus, and each feels it's going to be the full movie, until it just awkwardly changes gears multiple times.
Another serious flaw is Malcolm's never-previously-mentioned daughter. Her presence feels like there's some sort of law that a child must be present in a dinosaur movie, but she's just sorta there and doesn't bring an auro of childhood innocence that Speilberg always goes for.
And why is she black? Are we so politically correct now that we can cast a black girl as the daughter of a neurotic white dork and nobody's supposed to notice? It's not like she's such a standout that they had to pick her over a white actress either.
I actually do like the dark tone. It's not consistent with the first movie, but a theme of "tampering with mother nature has consequences" is a dark topic, that doesn't necessarily mesh with people awestruck at dinosaurs. It's a shame that that movie never saw the light of day.