Do you realize that it’s been more than two decades since the original Jurassic Park was released? That means that there is an entire generation that wasn’t able to experience the spectacle of the film on the big screen. Well, 22 years has passed and it looks like we’re finally getting another installment in the Jurassic Park franchise that started in 1993.
Welcome to Jurassic World! But was it a good idea to reopen the failed theme park? Let’s find out!
So if you’re worried about this review revealing too much of the overall plot of the film, don’t worry. This review of Jurassic World is going to be SPOILER-FREE!
Jurassic World takes place after the events of the first three films. Dr. Hammond’s dream of actually opening a theme park with real life dinosaurs, Jurassic World, has finally become a reality. However, most of the theme park’s visitors (as well as the corporate sponsors) have gotten bored with the attractions. As such, the genetic theme of Jurassic World created a new hybrid dinosaur. When this new species of dinosaur escapes from its pen, it goes on a killing spree. It’s now up to Owen Grady (played by Chris Pratt) and theme park manager Claire Dearing (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) to somehow stop the beast.
If you want the quick skinny of Jurassic World, let me tell you: the movie is good. Really, really good. It manages to somehow nail the charm of the original/first Jurassic Park but somehow updated it for modern audiences. Fans of the first film will still find a lot of enjoyment with Jurassic World but they won’t have as a good of a time as they did with the first Jurassic Park. The younger generation who haven’t seen the first film on the big screen will probably enjoy it a lot as well… but will probably not feel the wonder and fascination the first film delivered as it’s become the norm in big summer blockbusters.
Don’t get me wrong. That’s not to say that the special effects are bad. In fact, they are fantastic! Like the original Jurassic Park, Jurassic World makes you believe that they managed to resurrect a bunch of extinct reptiles to make the film! I know they used a mix of CGI and practical animatronic puppets to create the dinosaurs but I honestly couldn’t tell you which is which. The effects never fall into the “uncanny valley.” The effects are that good!
Unlike the first film, which hides the dinosaurs until you’re a quarter ways in the movie, Jurassic World shows them almost right from the start. After all, this is a fully functional theme park so it would be kind of absurd to not show them early on. Even so, the film manages to follow the pace of the original Jurassic Park. It takes it’s sweet time to build up the intensity. However, they do manage to sneak in a few comedy bits here and there to lighten the dreary mood.
There aren’t a lot of comedic scenes. They aren’t hilarious but good for a chuckle or two. They are used very sparingly but used to break the monotony of the intense feel of, oh, I don’t know, being hunted by a genetically modified intelligent dinosaur? There’s also a few meta jokes thrown in early on. I’m not sure how many of the “normal” viewing audience will get these jokes but I wholeheartedly appreciated them.
The acting in the film won’t win any Academy Awards but the cast does a decent job all throughout. But The characters aren’t particularly interesting. In fact, all the characters fall under some weird stereotype that’s in your typical mindless summer blockbuster.
You’ve got Bryce Dallas Howard’s character who’s more interested in her career than getting a social life. You’ve got the eccentric billionaire-slash-philanthropist who’s eager to give the world dinosaurs without understanding the repercussions of the act. You’ve got the gung-ho military adviser who wants to use the dinosaurs as soldiers/cannon fodder. You’ve got the nerdy tech staff who’s socially awkward. And, of course, you’ve got Chris Pratt’s character, the guy that loves dinosaurs so much and understands how they think and act. Yes, they’re all stereotypes but they all serve a function.
Of the cast, I would say Chris Pratt pulls off the best performance among all of them for the simple reason that he acts so differently from his Guardians of the Galaxy character, Peter Quill/Star-Lord! He manages to still be the cocky heroic goofball he was in that film but subdued enough so you won’t make the connection.
While Jurassic World is a very good movie, I do have to nitpick on it a bit. I have a small issue with the last 20-30 minutes or so of the film. It’s the big climactic action sequence where everything comes to a head. It just reached a level of insanity that it broke my suspension of disbelief. Oh, it was an incredible action sequence but it felt like it was put there to please fans of the first three Jurassic Park films!
Also, like I said from the start, Jurassic World just didn’t capture the sense of awe-inspiring emotion the first film gave viewers, which knocks off a few points off it’s awesomeness factor. That’s because it doesn’t exactly feel like the original films. Like the new hybrid dinosaur, Jurassic World is a totally new beast. But it would be unfair to say it’s a bad movie because it didn’t manage to do the same thing Jurassic Park did. It’s impossible for a sequel to copy the same feeling the original delivered. But maybe younger audiences who’ve never experienced the first film in the theaters will feel differently.
Overall, Jurassic World is still a fun film and definitely worth a watch. Just don’t expect it to be a breakthrough film like its predecessor. To paraphrase Chris Pratt’s character, Jurassic World is “wow enough.”
Have you seen Jurassic World? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!