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Jurassic World - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Jurassic World
Directing: B
Acting: B
Writing: C+
Cinematography: B+
Editing: B+
Special Effects: B

When Jurassic Park came out in 1993, I was seventeen years old, and I was part of a world whose imagination it captured. That is a movie that will forever hold a special place in my heart, the first I consciously experienced as a visceral thrill. It had unprecedented special effects that nearly all, amazingly, stand up to this day; it had dynamic and funny characters; most importantly, it had impeccable pacing, with a tightly polished story that built to the kind of thrilling climax that brought people back for multiple viewings.

Jurassic World has none of those things. The characters take an absolute backseat to the creatures, giving us little reason to care about them. Most of the humans are of course expendable, and that is telegraphed at every opportunity. The pacing is spotty at best. The special effects are merely serviceable, breaking no new ground. The effects in particular are curiously discarded as something to create, or even recreate, a genuine sense of wonder at these amazing and thrilling animals. But they don't waste much time getting to the action.

And that's the flip side to the many downsides to this movie: several genuinely thrilling action sequences -- even the ones that are transparent callbacks to scenes in Jurassic Park. A couple of kids that wind up having to navigate the park amidst the mayhem? Check! Bipedal dino-monster peeking through the glass at them and then breaking it while they're in the park vehicle? Double check!

But God help us, it's impossible not to get sucked in. Jurassic World goes places so dumb they make even the least plausible parts of Jurassic Park seem brilliant, but who cares when raptors are on the loose? Even trainable ones. Yes, you read that right. Rugged rangler Owen (Chris Pratt, irresistibly adorable even when reciting idiotic dialogue) has managed to insert himself as the "alpha" in the pack of four captive raptors.

To be fair, when those raptors are sent out to take down the escaped genetic hybrid rampaging Isla Nubar, they are ultimately used for one of the scripts few truly clever twists. You just have to endure watching them run alongside Chris Pratt on a motorcycle first -- with muzzle-cameras mounted on their heads, no less. Yay raptor POV shots!

We learn early on that the "Indominous Rex" has a proprietary genetic makeup, but it's mostly Tyrannosaur. This becomes the Big Baddie for the majority of the film, leaving you to wonder if a genuine T-Rex will ever actually be seen. Just be patient. There's plenty more Jurassic Park scenes to reference, and in some cases actually re-create.

Don't get me wrong, though -- if there's anything that makes Jurassic World worth seeing, it's the dinosaurs run amok. That's all you're really going for anyway, right? One could argue that depth of characters and finesse with plotting would be worthy enhancements, but whatever. Watching the "breach in the Aviary" sequence, with dozens of winged creatures terrorizing a fully populated theme park, is thrilling as hell regardless.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire, the workaholic aunt whose two visiting nephews are inevitably going to bring out the maternal instinct in her! If you need to either barf or yawn, I'll wait. Vincent D'Onofrio is the requisite InGen corporate greed stand-in, a story gimmick played out several sequels ago. Indian actor Irrfan Khan appears as Claire's boss, perhaps just to add appeal to the 1.2 million potential movie-goers in India. Oh, and shortsighted dimwits want to weaponize these creatures for military use. Wait, when did this movie turn into Alien?

I actually enjoyed this movie, I swear! It's just so, so dumb. But with a movie like this, thrillingly executed action sequences can make up for a lot. That is precisely what's at play here. Jurassic World mirrors way too many of the beats of Jurassic Park, bringing it halfway toward a remake rather than a sequel, and doesn't tell the story anywhere near as well -- but it's still an exhilarating roller coaster ride of resurrected pandemonium. A record-breaking number of opening weekend movie-goers agree: for many people, that's enough.

Chris Pratt is cruisin' for a bruisin' with the dinosaurs inChris Pratt is cruisin' for a bruisin' with the dinosaurs in JURASSIC WORLD.

Overall: B
2 comments or Leave a comment
fatpie42 From: fatpie42 Date: June 17th, 2015 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
the workaholic aunt whose two visiting nephews are inevitably going to bring out the maternal instinct in her

Ah, so she's playing Sam Neill's role then? ;)
cinema_holic From: cinema_holic Date: June 17th, 2015 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Indeed.
2 comments or Leave a comment