So I just got the chance to see one of the big movies from the summer, Jurassic World. It is the 3rd sequel to the 1993 classic- a movie I saw in the theater 6 times because it hung around my town theaters forever. It’s interesting because I don’t normally like scary movies but I’ve always had a nostalgia for the original.
Jurassic Park 2 was a disappointment with the scenes in San Diego feeling more like a Godzilla movie than Jurassic Park. Jeff Goldblum as the skeptic makes 2 watchable along with Steven Spielberg’s direction. 3 is just plain silly with Tea Leoni shrieking her way through every scene.
After all that we get Jurassic World and they acknowledge all of the previous films. There are little hints, easter eggs for all 3 throughout the movie (something I did enjoy).
That said it makes for a premise that to me was hard to get on board. It’s supposed to be 20 years after the original movie. That means how many years since San Diego and the island in the 3rd? It takes a long time to build a park like they show in Jurassic World and yet they not only built it, contained the dinosaurs, and convinced 20k people to come all the way to Coasta Rica on a regular basis after what happened in San Diego? No way. (And like I said the previous movies actually come into play so it is not a moot point).
But let’s accept that it does and move on. Surprisingly I didn’t hate this movie. In fact, if you want a popcorn movie it is entertaining on that level.
Basically they have the park up and running and Bryce Dallas Howard is the corporate non-kid friendly woman in heels we’ve seen in a million other movies. She was such a weak uninteresting character. And there is a scene where she literally outruns a t-rex in heels!
She makes such idiotic choices again and again. It’s the equivalent of a person in a horror movie who decides to keep going back into the house of the crazy person. Evacuate the island! (Laura Dern is sorely missing in this one, or even Julianne Moore).
Chris Pratt plays an animal trainer who has managed to train 4 raptors who he has given names. I really liked his character and just as in Guardians of the Galaxy, he is funny and sarcastic and very confident.
There are also other solid side characters like Irrfan Khan as the CEO of Jurassic World who is a little more sensible than Howard’s Claire. BD Wong also makes an appearance (another wink to original movie).
We also get Claire’s nephews played kind of blandly by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins. I heard an interview with them and they asked what they would do differently than their characters in the movie? The little boy said “I would be smarter than they were” Yep, they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.
The key that makes this movie watchable and entertaining is the cat and mouse chase between the dinosaurs and the people. Claire and the park has created a new creation called Indominous Rex. Evidently people have gotten bored with a regular T-rex.
Funny because nobody has gotten tired of Shamu? Circus’ still draw crowds with their elephants. I think people would be plenty excited for a t-rex!
The new Rex is unpredictable and breaks out killing dinosaurs and causing mass panic. It was pretty scary but not too scary.
This part of the movie worked as spectacle and I was entertained by it (and it is a lot of the movie so that is saying something). Because it is a new dinosaur we haven’t seen in 1-3 it was a little unpredictable but my friend and I kept whispering to each other ‘ah she’s a goner’. It was so easy to predict who was dinosaur fare and who wasn’t.
Vincent D’Onofrio plays a black hawk type security guy who wants to take the dinosaurs and use them for warfare. This whole plotline even for a stupid popcorn movie was so ridiculous. I couldn’t wait for him to get off screen and get back to the dinosaurs. The idea after San Diego of controlling the indominus rex or even the raptors is so absurd.
I’m making it sound like I didn’t like it very much but that isn’t the case. It is stupid and dopey but some good scares and Pratt is charismatic so I was entertained. I think the average moviegoer will go and enjoy themselves.
It could have been much better and the ending is too dark. I couldn’t tell what was doing what. And I though the iconic music was way underused. I guess they didn’t get John Williams to do any new variations on his themes? It wasn’t grand enough for this kind of popcorn movie.
Like I said if you want to go to the movies and see kid-friendly scares and laugh at the dopey characters and story than you’ll enjoy it. If you can’t dive into an imperfect movie than give it a pass.
Any of you seen it? What did you think? What do you think of all the winks to the other movies?
As far as content there are lots of kills but minimal blood and some scares but nothing a kid old enough to see the Harry Potter movies can’t handle. There’s a very silly scene where a woman rolls up her sleeves and unbuttons her shirt to show she’s tough…groan but that’s about all the skin you get. Minimal language.
Overall Grade- C Content Grade- B+
Also even with inflation how did this cost 50 million more than the original. A few of the special effects looked really green screened and cheesy? Hollywood needs to get the budgets under control.