If you have read the book Jurassic World War you will know that in the last chapter the entire conflict between dinosaurs and man is essentially rendered irrelevant by the second coming of Christ, the booger. The near-fatal curiosity of the human race in its life-and-death struggle with the swift and predatory nature of the new mega-dino (created on the world’s largest 3-D printer), megalomaniasaurus, ends up leading the reader in a completely senseless circle: from bad humans and no dinosaurs to good humans and bad dinos to ambivalent humans and insane killer dinosaurs to meek nuzzling reborn Christian humans and meek nuzzling reborn Christian dinosaurs. To coin a phrase, the denouement is a douche: Jesus appearing out of the clouds like a Son of God ex machina is literally ridiculous. If the same had happened in the movie adaptation I imagine that the main character, archeologist Alan Grant (played by Sofia Loren), would simply have had to guffaw. Critics and atheists alike have been crowing with pleasure at the decision to leave Jesus out of this war. And yet the novel was art, and it was canon, so it is unfortunate for fans of fiction that the Savior makes no appearance in Korean super-production company Li-Fu-Duk’s new dino flick — not even a cameo, Alfred Hitchcock — and that no mention is made of Alan Grant’s staunch Catholic upbringing and backstory as a conflicted science nerd and choir boy.
The main problem with adaptations is that viewer’s expectations are often thumping at fever pitch: they are much much too high. When interfacing with new book-to-movie adaptations I always compare them to one or more of the truly successful film adaptations in film history, and what I have found it that the biggest success stories always line up with my own 5 Movie Mash Rules For Making A Successful Book a Movie That Is Just As Good.
Are you ready? Let’s review the 5 rules.
Mitch’s 5 Movie Mash Rules For Making A Successful Book a Movie That Is Just As Good
1) The author was a complete unknown (Titanic 1994).
2) It was actually a graphic novel or comic book (Avengers: Ultra Intercepts 2015).
3) It is the second installment in a series (The Hangover Part II 2011).
4) @Todd does NOT bark his little head off for most of a week until you let him see it (Harry Potter and the Deadly Cancer 2010).
5) There are NO children in the cinema (Monsters University 2013) because @Todd hates children.
Jurassic World War violated all of these time-proven Movie Mash precepts (Jurassic World War was not a comic but a novel, its author David Lewman is practically a legend in Cleveland, the movie is part FOUR of the Jurassic series, the cinema was full of toddlers, and @Todd was not interested, not for a minute) and as a result has only itself to blame for its failure with all audiences — not just at Cannes.
One single lovely shivering puppy.
Dino image by Jake Fagan on Unsplash