Hey there every peoples!
This last Friday The Avengers: Age of Ultron kicks off the summer movie season. I’ll see it, but i can’t say i was actually waiting to see it. That honor goes to Jurassic World, which opens in about a month and a half. However, i won’t be talking about the history of the film. Nor will i discuss the inaccuracies in this film, as i already about that on facebook (not because i find them bothersome, but because of the giant temper tantrum the dino fanboys threw over them). This time, i’d like to talk about a different aspect of the film: the apparently underwhelming fire power of the Jurassic World security force.
Now, real dinosaurs would probably be easy to take care of with guns (as is the case with pretty much all living animals). But in the world of the Jurassic Park franchise, apparently guns just serve to piss off the prehistoric super monsters. So you would think they would pack more heat then we see in the movies. This problem becomes especially clear in Jurassic World, where we have a fully functional theme park of dinosaurs. And then they engineer a new genetic mutant. Hell, we even hear a guy in the trailer say “you don’t have enough guns”. I mean, they couldn’t outfit their men with M1 Garands, Tommy Guns, BARs, SMLEs, browning .30 cal guns, and such. Ok those were all WWII guns (kinda where my interest in guns ends). Let’s try again.
There is a nifty little website called the Internet Movie Firearms Database. It can tell you what the guns are in movies and just about everything you want to know about them. Based on the trailer, the ACU (Asset Containment Unit) is armed with:
The UTAS UTS-15, 12-gauge pump action shotgun with a 12 to 14 round capacity.
The Heckler & Koch UMP, a sub machine gun which fires .40 caliber ammo and has a magazine capacity of 30 rounds.
We also get brief glimpses of a GE m134 Minigun
And a M136 AT4 missile launcher
Most of those look right for the job. Except for the UMP, which looks underpowered for the job. In fact, the only gun more that looks more ill-suited to stopping a rampaging genetic monster is Owen’s gun. Judging from the trailers, he goes after the Indominus rex after the ACU has failed to subdue the beast. To take on this unstoppable freak of science he charges in with:
Really? That’s it? No wonder you need the raptor squad! This looks more like something a guy would carry while playing cowboy. So you arm the guards with sub machine guns made for fighting people and the hero has a low caliber single action rifle. Right now it leaves little doubt why the Indominus rex is able to run roughshod over the island.
Look, since dinosaurs are monsters (instead of animals) in these movies, why aren’t the armed better… armed? It seems the previous movies understood this. In Jurassic Park, when they are loading the raptor, several of the men can be seen holding M16 assault rifles. Not to mention Muldoon rocking a big shotgun. These same weapons are later seen in the emergency bunker’s gun locker.
In the Lost World, the InGen hunters came prepared not just with shotguns but also with the AKMS (a variant of the legendary AK-47 assault rifle):
Dieter, Roland’s second in command, uses a Heckler & Koch HK91 rifle:
And Roland, anticipating a confrontation with the T. rexes, had the good sense to pack an elephant gun (before Vince Vaughn sabotaged it).
In Jurassic Park 3, the mercenaries again realized they needed to bring the heat. Nash packs a Heckler & Koch SL8. It is a stripped down version of the H&K G36 assault rifle. But since it uses 5.56x45mm NATO rounds it still packs a punch.
Udesky has a Steyer AUG, again an assault rifle:
Cooper (a “professional, he can take care of himself”) brings a Barrett M82A2, a .50 caliber sniper rifle. According to the movie it fires 20 mm (the size of small field artillery) incendiary rounds:
Either he has lousy aim (it would have to be remarkably bad to miss a 50 dinosaur) or the Spinosaurus is ridiculously over powered since it emerges from the scuffle unharmed.
So this all begs the question: why aren’t the ACU troops and Owen in Jurassic World packing inferior firearms? Some of them (two ground troops and a helicopter) are carrying sufficiently powerful guns, but for all we know they are the exception rather than the rule. Could this be what the guy weant when he said “you don’t have enough guns”? Again, given the circumstances and what happened to the last park they would up the ante on their security. Why not follow the military model. Have a group of men armed with assault rifles and have a couple guys with more heavy duty guns. Why not use “ol’ reliable” the M16? Or the dependable AK47? If you’re worried about length (often a disadvantage when fighting in closed spaces, like the jungle), how about the LWRC M6A2 PSD rifle? It is more compact than a typical assault rifle but because it uses 5.56x45mm NATO rounds it has plenty of stopping power.
Their shotguns are good, but perhaps against something as big and tough as dinosaurs, perhaps something a little quicker. The Russian Saiga-12 is automatic, and those few moments where you don’t have to pump could be the difference between life or death. It can use a 10 round box magazine or (if you want/need sheer volume) a 30 round drum. Ideal for dino slaying, i say!
For the guys with heavy weapons, there is always the M60 .50 caliber machine gun. Or it’s Russian equivalent the PKM. While heavy and cumbersome, a handheld mingun can lay down the suppressing fire like few others. A rocket (or missile) launcher is not bad, but you have to be careful because it can only fire once before having to reload. So how about giving a few guys Milkor MGL Mk 1L grenade launchers. They can fire six rounds before reloading
But maybe them being under armed is kind of the point. Jurassic World is a disaster movie with the disaster being a rampaging genetic mutant. Obviously that rampage wouldn’t last very long if the security force was equipped well enough to blast it into oblivion. Not only that but such a scenario would significantly reduce the body. And at the end of the day, the point of a Jurassic Park film is to watch people get eaten by dinosaurs. And Owens gun is weak but it does look pretty cool. I guess it makes sense for the hero to have a unique, stylized weapon that could become a trademark of the character. So maybe i just wrote this whole post for nothing, lol.
But to even the scales against the Indominus rex Owen isn’t just bring a gun. He also has a pack of raptors at his back. These raptors aren’t trained or domesticated, as many feared. Rather, their relationship is more complex than that. And judging from a shot in the trailer the raptors may eventually turn on the humans. Of course what i would like to see is some Cenozoic monsters taking on the dinosaurs. The dino fanboys would have you think there would be no contest. But considering how “beefed up” the dinosaurs of the Jurassic Park series are, why not do the same with mammals? They would probably argue a mamoth or mastodon wouldn’t stand a chance against a T. rex. How do you know? Because T. rex preyed on Triceratops? A mammoth/mastodon is not the same as a Triceratops. If they were anything like their modern cousins (and there is evidence they were), mammoths and mastodons could be very dangerous if provoked. Not to mention they would have been much more intelligent than any dinosaur (even if they were as smart as modern elephants, who we are finding more and more are very smart). And since many mammals are more inteligent than any dinosaur probably was, they could more easily trained to go after the Mesozoic blowhards.
Suppose the Jurassic world geneticists got a hold of well preserved dna from a bog in Patagonia or a cave in Australia and/or southeast Asia or from a tundra in Siberia. Mind you these are all from the Pleistocene, but they would give us: elephants (mammoths, mastodons, stegodons), Gigantopithecus (the largest known ape. Though “only” 9 feet tall when upright, it could still give us some pseudo King Kong action), Thylacoleo (marsupial lion), Megalania (a lizard the size of a polar bear), Quinkana (a ten foot land dwelling crocodile), sabertooth cats, terror birds (i guess that would be considered dinosaurs on dinosaurs, whatever), Arctotherium (the biggest bear ever, over twelve feet tall on its hind legs), cave lions, cave hyenas, cave bears, wooly rhinos, giant musk ox, ground sloths, and glyptodonts. If they sampled the whole of the Cenozoic, then there could also be: bone-crushing dogs, giant hyenas, bear-dogs, entelodonts, uber bears (Arctodus and Agriotherium), super sized predators (Sarkastodon, Andrewsarchus, Megistotherium), dire wolves, rhinos, giant buffalo, brontotheres, Titanoboa (49 foot snake), Purusaurus (giant alligator), and a whole range of sabertooth predators.
But that won’t happen. Remember, no matter how big, weird, or fierce, mammals will always fall short of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are big, which apparently trumps intelligence, speed, and brute strength (how many dinosaurs can lift and move a log like an elephant can?). Judging from the comments i have seen on blogs and facebook it appears the dino fanboys (obviously not all people interested in dinosaurs are like this. That is why i use fanboy in stead of scientist or lover or enthusiast) seem to take every opportunity to remind us how nothing can be as cool as dinosaurs. Remember my 100th blog post? On one share of it I saw a comment saying “Awesomeness ended at the end of the Cretaceous. The rest is mere postscript.” Another on that same share said “Post-K life is judged awesome by how closely it approaches Mesozoic forms in coolness.” So not only is everything after the dinosaurs an afterthought, but apparently the Mesozoic is the standard to which everything else is measured (and always fails to live to it). I saw a share of my post on Twitter with the tweet “35 Cenozoic Creatures Attempting to be as Awesome as Dinosaurs”. Hell, someone on facebook posted a photo of an ice age fossil asking if anyone knew what it was and one of the responses was “ewwwww… mammals”. In an article responding to someone dissing feathered dinosaurs, Brian Switek closed the article with “Feathered dinosaurs are awesome. Deal with it.”(presenting your opinion as fact. How professional). For Christ’s sake, i saw this posted on facebook:
What exactly constitutes a “feather hater”? Apparently not thinking feathered dinosaurs are the greatest thing ever. I said “what about those of us who think feathered dinosaurs are just meh?” Basically, i don’t hate them but i’m not gaga for them either. Two people told me i needed therapy. The poster said “hey, nobody’s asking you to be interested in dinosaurs. There’s plenty of echinoderms out there.” Mammals are completely glossed over. Apparently you are interested in dinosaurs or “boring, spineless bottom feeders”. Now i can hear everyone rushing in to tell me that each and every one of those was just someone joking around. I guess, but when it’s that prevalent one can’t help mistake joking for a passive aggressive mindset. I mean look at the responses i was able to bait out by calling feathered dinosaurs meh. And the ones targeted at my 100th post: it’s hard to take a joke when you spend over two months writing a defense of something you are passionate about… only to see it dismissed out of hand so casually. But then again, who would argue with that? There is no arguing with the dino fanboys. Dinosaurs just win everything. Size. Strangeness. Perceived ferocity. Perceived strength. Mammals are older? Nope since the root ancestors of dinosaurs showed up the same time the protomammals did. Mammals are still around? Nope since birds are dinosaurs. Diversity? Nope, since birds are dinosaurs and right now there are 9,956 modern species of birds against 5,416 modern species of mammals. Mammals conquered the 3 realms (land, air, sea)? Nope since most birds fly and penguins (among other species) live in the sea. I could do a picture of a cat with a dead bird saying “Mammals: 1- Dinosaurs: 0”, but then someone would just counter with a hawk or something clutching a mammal. Hell i have thought of a long line of “mammals rule” images, but those would just get countered with “dinosaurs rules” because dinosaurs will always be bigger, faster, stronger, weirder. They own all the superlatives.People only want superlatives, so dinosaurs will always hog all the glory.
Sorry, went off on one hell of a tangent there. Back on topic. Right now Jurassic World is looking solid. It could fail (every movie has the potential to). Or it could be like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, breathing new life into the franchise. We will have to wait and see. Despite my rant about dinosaurs vs mammals, i can’t wait for Jurassic World to hit theaters.
Til next time!