Jurassic World [MOVIE REVIEW]

For me personally, 'Jurassic Park' is one of my favorite movies of all-time and it is one of the films that I grew up watching. It is a brilliant and groundbreaking film, but of course you already knew that. I also actually find 'The Lost World: Jurassic Park' to be an underrated gem and not a bad film at all (but I do see where everybody is coming from). The only real bad film in the series for me is 'Jurassic Park III' where it just looks like they gave up. So being a fan of 2/3 of the movies and holding one of them to such a high regard that it would make my top 10 favorite movies of all-time... how well does 'Jurassic World' fit into this franchise?

Chris Pratt is a hot dude right now, both literally and figuratively. Starring in critical and box-office successes like 'The LEGO Movie' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and of course the TV-Show 'Parks and Recreation' (which I have not seen by the way). Now he is being considered to play possibly every single famous role ever, from Indiana Jones to Han Solo so who is really surprised he is a main character in 'Jurassic World'? From a performance standpoint, he is fantastic in this film but I worry he might become typecast as this type of character - but I cannot deny that he is a lot of fun to watch. Bryce Dallas Howard is also great, definitely the best character in the film because she does not come across completely like an archetype (but she still is) thanks to her performance.

This is the first movie I have seen directed by Colin Trevorrow as his only other feature film is 'Safety Not Guaranteed' and I must say I was quite hesitant when he was first announced seeing as he had not really had a lot of experience working with a movie on this scale - but I was definitely proven wrong when the trailers were released and now after I have seen the film I can without a shadow of a doubt say that it at least looks gorgeous, the cinematography is sleek and the composition clicks 90% of the time. The problem though is that a lot of the scenes in the actual film needed more excitement and thrill to it as there is nothing in the film that even comes close to matching any of the thrilling scenes in 'Jurassic Park'. I am not saying 'Jurassic World' should have tried to 'Jurassic Park' because that is a bit much to ask but it does not even come close to be as exciting even once. When you hear the theme in 'Jurassic Park' you are truly filled with awe and you get goosebumps all over your body because the buildup is so perfect and the payoff is so perfect. In 'Jurassic World' the buildup is barely there and the payoff is an establishing shot of the park (with no dinosaurs in sight). The action sequences are fun though as the movie does not hold back on the death count thankfully as we do see quite a lot of redshirts get axed off (and for the most part, the blood is there and it is real).

Before I move on I need to mention the biggest flaw with the film, the characterization. All the characters are generic archetypes and because of this, none of the characters are especially memorable. The kid likes dinosaurs, so that is his character. His room is filled with dinosaur toys, he never shuts up when talking about dinosaurs. That is his character. The big brother is like a millenial stereotype who does not care about the dinosaurs and spends his time on his phone and does not really pay attention to his brother. He also has a girlfriend he could not say "I love you" to in the beginning as he leaves for the island. You would think that would come back in the end because it was such an obvious setup and he spends a lot of the first act checking out other girls. Then that "subplot" is just dropped and never gets mentioned again. Bryce Dallas Howard's character goes from being an uptight business woman who does not have time to spend time with the kids (who are her nephews) to a less uptight business woman who decides to spend more time with them. Chris Pratt is a badass. That is his character. The older brother once even says "your boyfriend is a badass" to Bryce's character and they never develop him beyond that. Irrfan Khan's character is basically the new John Hammond. He cares more about the people and the dinosaurs than making money. He is also practicing being a helicopter pilot. Yes his character is so poorly developed that one of the biggest things we know about him is that he can almost pilot a helicopter. Look I am not saying that the characters in the first film were masterfully written - but they at least were memorable. Who does not remember John Hammond? Or Dr.Grant? Ian Malcolm and Ellie Satler... these are truly unforgettable characters. Meanwhile in 'Jurassic World'... the only reason I keep mentioning them by their actors names is because I have already forgotten their names in the film. I cannot say that they are bad characters though, I did not neccessarily want to see anyone get eaten by the Indominus Rex. I was just hoping for a bit more rounded central characters to carry this film.

Another subplot in this film that gets completely dropped after only being mentioned a couple of times is the kids' parents getting a divorce. We never see the parents discuss it so we are left to having the kids talk about it, the older of course does not really care that much seeing as he will soon move out of the house and the younger is sad that his family is kind of breaking apart. We get a little resolution to their relationship but the parents getting a divorce is completely dropped and ultimately feels pointless because it did not help to make us care about these people any more than we already did (which is very little by the way). BD Wong returns from the first film (he is the chinese guy) as the same character. He does have a lot more to do here but halfway through the film he is just dropped completely.

The advertised Indominus Rex is a great creation, very creepy dinosaur and in my opinion a welcome addition to the Jurassic Park franchise. I do wish they had spent a little more time on the other dinosaurs though as they sort of take the backseat this time in order to show the full glory of what the I-Rex can do (which is quite a lot). I like that they do not really try to go all out realistic with the dinosaurs and actually explores the possibility of the technology they have available to them.

At times they mention the original park in and when they do that, it takes you right out of the experience because it is like they are just telling us "Remember 'Jurassic Park'? That was a great movie right?" instead of focusing on making this movie great and stand completely on its own. I do not want to come down too hard on it because I still had a lot of fun watching it, I just wish the four(!) screenwriters actually spent a little more time developing the characters and the story. Dwelve in a little more on an underlying theme and a clear moral. There are no layers to this film so there is really no use to seeing it multiple times and they even have Jimmy Fallon appear on a video screen as himself which is just going to make the movie dated after a while (something the original will never be). As a summer blockbuster popcorn movie, this is pretty damn good and a welcome addition to the franchise. I do wonder where they can take the sequel though...


- Lucas


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