Am I getting old? That’s the thought that crosses my mind as I tap away at this keyboard. I’m trying to figure out if I missed something, or if I’m jaded—I mean, I just went back to Jurassic Park! I saw dinosaurs! I saw flying pterodactyls, even the armored joints, and velociraptors! Big ol’ computer animated… oh. Maybe that’s what it is. When I was a kid, I was watching Jurassic Park like:
But after this screening of Jurassic World I’m like:
Jurassic World revisits the island of Isla Nubar, two decades after the events of Jurassic Park, and things over there have changed dramatically. The theme park is fully functional, and most importantly, it’s successfully running—and even more importantly, it’s raking in those sweet, sweet, dino bones (if you get my drift). However, there is one problem: attendance is slipping, and the park needs a new attraction if it hopes to fatten up their coffers. This is accomplished by gene splicing the crap out of their genetically created dinosaurs, introducing an even un-godlier creation the park (nor the world) has ever seen before. One thing leads to the next, and BOOM, tourists are dropping like flies, and little Johnny, seated at the front row, needs a new pair of pants. Welcome to Jurassic World.
My nostalgia for the first film keeps my nose high and turned away from this flick, but I admit that this movie is definitely a blockbuster hit. It’s got dinosaurs running amok through the park once again! There’s explosions, chase scenes, and the obligatory references to the first Jurassic Park (it sells itself)! As much as I might whine about CGI use in movies, I think that these dinosaurs looked great. Not Jurassic Park Spielberg great, but good enough. Also, the theme park was bustling with tourists and park employees. The park was fully realized and believable. The movie does a great job of selling this place, because if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that that place actually existed. And speaking of selling, Chris Pratt, hands down, had to be the best thing (next to dinosaurs) about this movie. The man has the word ‘superstar’ chiseled into his face. He tones down his penchant for comedy and tries to man up by playing a military veteran loner (with a beard; a beard never fails). It’s not a graceful transition, but the one-liners he’s given allows him to pull it off with flying colors.
There were a couple of things I didn’t like about the film, but that’s because I’m clearly comparing this movie to Jurassic Park. It’s a no-win situation, but I do have some things to say, and I’ll try my best to avoid spoilers. First and foremost, the direction was handled very well (for the most part), but because this is a franchise reboot, there were the necessary Hollywood injections: the heavy reliance on CGI, unnecessary subplots, and because of that, the forced sequel setups. This would’ve been a tighter movie had all of those things been cut. The subplot with the kids was unimportant. This movie could’ve done away with these kids from the get-go, and it would’ve been a better movie for it. The real story is with the adult characters (mainly Pratt), who are doing their best to regain control of the park. Overall, I felt like the magic from the first film was missing here, and I think that’s because of the turbulent storytelling (damn subplots). Everything was bigger and faster (and pretty easy to digest), but there was nothing left to my imagination. A raptor’s shadow meant something in Jurassic Park, but here they’re caged, and even for a raptor, they’re considerably docile. They’re seen all the time, and I can’t remember if there was even a close up where they (or any dino) weren’t in CGI. I would go on, but I’d rather not continue nitpicking.
Jurassic World is a great summer blockbuster, and the kids are going to love it. There’s no other way around that fact, and I’m fine with that. I hope there is another sequel, and I really hope they do a better job the fifth time around. This is actually better than Jurassic Park 3, the forgettable sequel in the Jurassic Park franchise. One major selling point for this is movie is revisiting the island of dinosaurs and Chris Pratt. That alone sells tickets and makes this purchase worth your money. Have fun!
Jurassic World Review photos courtesy of Universal Pictures, imdb.com
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