Jurassic Park (1992) was one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time. With the direction of Steven Spielberg the film masterfully married live action and CGI and over 20 years later has managed to stand the test of time. It is truly iconic. Which makes it incredibly hard to have a successful and engaging sequel. But that’s never stopped Hollywood from trying. Cut To:
BOOM! 23 years after that fateful journey to Jurassic Park we’re treated to another go around, this time with less than stellar characters and even less wondrous cinematic magic. However, that hasn’t stopped Jurassic World from having a monumental opening weekend box office haul. In just three short days the dino flick has raked in $204.6 million domestically and a whopping $511.8 million worldwide (courtesy of NBC.com). It appears that stock in Chris Pratt just went up! If you were getting tired of seeing him pop up in everything from television to film, you’re about to get a whole lot more!
A major PRO that Jurassic World has going for itself is that it isn’t Jurassic Park. When Hollywood goes for a soft reboot the biggest flaw is the studio just rehashes the first film and adds nothing original to the franchise. Fortunately for us, Jurassic World, while using themes from the overall franchise, brings us an original (to this franchise) story. Sure we’ve seen the park meltdown and dinosaurs get loose but never have we had the chance to see the fully realized dream of John Hammond come to life. The park can hold well over 20,000 guests and its multiple species of dinosaurs and seems to have been operating without incident for some time. Of course every few years when attendance starts to slip Jurassic World has to up the ante and create newer, bigger, scarier dinos. “Probably not a good idea..”
If you’re looking for well-rounded characters who change over the course of their narrative arc then you’re going to be a little disappointed. There isn’t one solid character in this whole film. You might’ve seen the term “shell” used in other reviews and I’d have to agree. Sure Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are capable of breathing some life into these parts but ultimately are just action movie tropes. A big concern I had was that producers would focus too much on Chris Pratt’s comedic ability and turn every other line into witty joke or one-liner. I was pleasantly surprised to see a much more toned down version of Chris Pratt’s charm. He’s never too brooding or playful and balances the two perfectly. His co-star Bryce Dallas Howard faired slightly worse unfortunately. She really is the poor man’s Jessica Chastain and I stand by that! She really hams up a lot of her dialogue and action as seen early on when she and CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) are in a helicopter and she is flailing about showcasing how terrified she is to fly. It was so overdone I found myself giggling at it’s stupidity.
Now, no Jurassic film would be complete without it’s dinosaurs, obviously. There are 3 main dinos to watch out for. The Mosasaur, that massive water dino, the Raptors and the new baddie, the Indominus Rex, a genetically modified, mixed-bag of “DINO DNA”. The Mosasaur really only comes out a few times during the flick and has only 2 shining moments. However, both are fun and I don’t want to spoil anything. The I-Rex spends most of the film hiding which helps build the tension for when you do finally see her stomping around wreaking havoc on the park. The biggest question mark that everyone had relates to the shots of these scary ass velociraptors and Chris Pratt freaking pal-ing around. Are they really going the dolphin trainer route with one of the best parts of the entire Jurassic franchise? Yep. That’s exactly what’s happening. But fear not, this actually pulls itself off and never feels like a bad idea creatively. It convincingly works and justifies itself early on into the film so you’re not twisting your face for half the movie in disgust. Again, I don’t want to spoil much so I’ll just leave you with that nugget.
A major CON would have to be that Jurassic World is not Jurassic Park. Sure, through most of the film World is as entertaining as any other summer blockbuster, giving you thrills and scares and laughs and is well worth the price of admission. But there is practically no magic to this feature at all. The best moments were when the fantastic and iconic score would creep in and remind you of why you loved Jurassic Park in the first place. The nostalgia factor is very high at points and gives hope that the film will somehow capture this original magic that the first film seamlessly weaved throughout but ultimately leaves you wanting more. With a sequel damn near guaranteed, let’s hope that a new direction will be taken and we see more of the world outside of Isla Nublar.
You can catch Jurassic World in theaters now! Stay Entertained!