Movie Review: Jurassic World

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Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, Indominus Rex

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril, 124 minutes, Sci-fi/Action/Adventure

Compare to: The Jurassic Park films (1993-2003), Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh, danah nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh…Can you hear the theme when I spell it out like that? No?

This is kind of what I imagined the movie would be like. Spelling out the tune of a great piece of music but not actually understanding what makes it so great in the first place. Thankfully, Jurassic World isn’t as bad as that though it certainly isn’t the original. But hey, at least it’s not Jurassic Park III.

Twenty-two years after the original park failed, things have moved along nicely enough that not only has a new park been open, but dinosaurs in a park are as normal as seeing Mickey Mouse at Disneyworld. So the next logical thing to do, as far as corporate investors are concerned, is to do something really edgy and create a new dinosaur. But as you can imagine, things don’t work out so well when the new creature at the park decides she wants a different place to run and a different type of food.

Good thing this guy can't come on land.

Good thing this guy can’t come on land.

There’s a lot of give and take in this movie. For the first hour or so I went back and forth in my mind, giving them a little credit, then taking a little away based on some beaten down cliche within the plot or characters. I would cringe in my mind at what this movie was turning out to be or at least, seemed like what it was turning out to be at different points. Most people are able to put the third film out of their mind when it comes to the earlier films, many people don’t mind the second, and most audiences love the first. So how does this one fit?

Well, it’s always cool to see the dinosaurs. I’m seeing a naturally occurring metaphor within the story and the real-life audience watching the film. In World, Bryce Dallas-Howard’s character makes it clear that dinosaurs are no big thing anymore so they created a new one to really boost sales; this is pretty much exactly what the film has done, no? We’ve seen the first three Jurassic Parks and a million other movies that were made due to the effects, ideas, and success of those films.

But now? You wouldn’t be able to just remake Jurassic Park though God knows they probably passed that idea around. So the creators think up a new dinosaur to really draw crowds in and the story writes itself. The marketing tie-ins you see in the film are well placed considering where they are in the film is the same locations they would be in an actual theme park. Pretty intelligent for your more-or-less average summer blockbuster. One of the many themes touched on in the film is the rampant commercialism made from something natural.

"A Dinosaur has been here. Definitely."

“A Dinosaur has been here. Definitely.”

Still, that doesn’t mean this one is going to make you think about the ethical decisions made, the right and wrongs of man coexisting with nature, blah blah blah. They’ll throw a couple morality lines at you occasionally but you’ll be glad when that scene ends by way of Supersmartasaurus, aka Indominus Rex, eating somebody’s head or a helicopter blows up followed by Rex eating somebody’s head.

Positives: Cool effects/dinosaurs brought to life is always cool, good cast, does it’s job as a Summer film.

Negatives: Overly “clean” look to the film/nothing looks quite real but rather shiny. You’ll feel like you’ve seen versions of most things that happen in the movie.

Grade: B-

 

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11 Responses to “Movie Review: Jurassic World”

  1. It’s been 22 years since the first one thoroughly angered me, so I was thinking maybe I should let go of the hurt feelings and give this one a chance. Thanks for the info.

    • Taylor Says:

      It angered you? You don’t like the original Jurassic Park? Madness!

      • Randy Says:

        I made the mistake of reading the book first. Ergo, I also hated Congo, Rising Sun, and all the other movies based on Crighton’s work, as well as all movies based on John Grisham’s “work”, and Peter Jackson’s work on LOTR and The Hobbit. Yes I am a grouchy old man.

        • Taylor Says:

          Ah. Yeah I don’t hear many complaints from people who read Jurassic Park and saw the movie but all those others are usually torn apart pretty easily. Seeing the word “Congo” makes me shudder.

  2. In some ways, I actually enjoyed this version better. It had an overall feel that was far more similar to Crichton’s novels than the original films: suspenseful buildup followed by multiple horrific death scenes, smart but realistic characters; profit-seeking villains, etc. I thought the original films didn’t quite utilize these elements correctly.

    The script was like a classic Crichton novel. I think fans of the books will be pleased, as I was.

    • Taylor Says:

      Yeah, it was interesting to know that Hammond in the books is much more cold and business minded- as opposed to Spielberg’s “Spare no expense” Walt Disney-esque character.

  3. yojimbo Says:

    The part where younger protagonists watch that Jimmy Fallon video in the bubble car. That part spoke to me because, they also don’t find him funny.

    Also, I enjoyed watching Chris Pratt’s character speak, train, and deal with the raptors. That added to what he says in the Indominus Rex Cage about how, a living creature is only functional in relation to it’s social life during it’s foundation years in life. That was some subtle but meaningful discussion.

    • Taylor Says:

      Yeah, it went both ways I thought. Some of it had potentially insightful moments while others just came off as dumb. The line Pratt has “Well maybe progress should lose for once” sounded dumb to me.

      • yojimbo Says:

        Come to think of It, that was overtly idealistic.

        It’s like hitting the viewer over the head with a brick.

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