Jurassic World

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In a world….(I typed that in my best, move trailer voice-over baritone)…where dinosaurs have run amok, and where the resulting events are not unlike those of Jurassic Park… comes another blockbuster that stands to make $100 million on its opening weekend.

Jurassic World is just like every other CGI action-flick – a genre which includes the Transformers franchise and the recent San Andreas. This time instead of disaster there are dinosaurs. Genetically modified dinosaurs, which means they’re not only bigger, but they’re also smarter. It’s kind of like when a grocery store wants you to buy the new Tide or Windex. They tell you it’s stronger and better than the previous version. We’re supposed to think these dinosaurs are so much scarier than the previous Jurassic films, yet there isn’t the awe when the creatures  are on screen. Instead, the movie becomes just another action picture with predictability, dopey dialogue, and one-dimensional and clichéd characters.

The movie was penned by four different writers, including director Colin Trevorrow. He did the fantastic indie flick Safety Not Guaranteed, and he brought one of the stars (Jake M. Johnson) from that. Johnson is the smart aleck that wears a “Jurassic Park” shirt he bought on ebay.

The person sitting next to me asked, “These people all know what happened at that Jurassic Park with the dinosaur attacks, so why would they go to this place?”

I responded with, “Look at all the problems on cruises, and people still go.”

What I thought two seconds later was…what insurance company would be involved with such a facility? But when you pick up those 3-D glasses, you have to leave your brain at the door. Trying to use logic of any kind on the goofy science involved will just drive you nuts. It drove me even nuttier to see all the same things I’ve seen in previous movies. Monsters created in a lab used for nefarious purposes. Creatures flying down on people – Alfred Hitchcock did it better with worse special effects; although the CGI is where the Jurassic World shines. Studios just need to realize that that needs to be combined with a good script, too.

There are a few interesting things going on when we are first introduced to the park: the petting zoo scene; the Velociraptors being trained with a live pig.

When we find out dinosaur DNA was combined to create the biggest dinosaur ever – you know what’s coming. The Megasaurous Wrecks will obviously escape and wreck everything in its path. You’ll easily guess which humans will lose their lives. In fact, there comes a point where the dinosaurs seemed more real than the people. The expository dialogue and interactions were atrocious.

The movie winks at the audience a number of times with pieces of dialogue. That may be references to the first few movies, or they may be about how audiences don’t want the same old dinosaurs, but bigger, scarier ones. Well, when this movie makes hundreds of millions of dollars, they’ll be proven right.

Some of the sweeping shots were a blast, but the score (Michael Giacchino), coming up underneath everything, got annoying quick.

I’m not sure how we’re supposed to feel about Bryce Dallas Howard’s character. She is one of the suits at Jurassic World, but was given the task of showing her two nephews around. She passes that job along to her assistant so she can get some corporations to sponsor an exhibit and make money. She’s also rude to Chris Pratt in their conversations. She was smart enough to read the script though, and realize that if she’s going to be running from a dinosaur at some point, she should probably wear heels. It was all the rage in the B-movies of the ‘70s.

So, let’s talk about some of the idiotic traits the other characters in this movie have. There’s a teenage boy (Nick Robinson) that’s sad about leaving his girlfriend behind to go with his younger brother (the adorable Ty Simpkins) to Jurassic World. Yet once they arrive, the teenager can’t stop looking at every girl he sees.

The younger brother is the smart kid that knows everything there is to know about dinosaurs. He’s got the wide-eyed amazement look down, but it should be the same expression the movie audience has. We’re watching this in 3-D, and yet most of the dinosaurs just don’t look real. There were only two scenes when they did. One of those involved an Apatosaurus dying on a field. The other had Velociraptors strapped around the mouths, and looking like horses ready to run out of the gate.

Vincent D’Onofrio plays one of the villains. He wants to see how the dinosaurs are trained, so they can be used in war.

His partner in crime is Dr. Wu (B.D. Wong). He mixes the monsters in the lab to create his own Island of Dr. Moron.

There were times I thought of Romancing the Stone, as well as The Horse Whisperer. More like…the Velociraptor whisperer. And every single person in the audience will think of Sharknado at a certain point. That’s not a good thing.

It’s strange how the power and size of these beasts just didn’t illicit nervousness. Perhaps it’s because we’ve seen people hiding behind cars too many times over the years.

The first time we see a dinosaur eat a human, it works. The second and third time, still creepy and icky. All the other times were just monotonous.

Talented actors Irrfan Khan and Judy Greer were wasted in their roles.

This may just be a summer popcorn flick, but they had so many action tropes that never need to be done again. Of course we also need to make sure scientists heed this warning: don’t mess with nature.

The movie had a few suspenseful moments and a few jokes that worked. Most of the subplots didn’t. Since it was Spielberg, we had a divorce going on.

It’s a shame there were more bad scenes than good. One coming to mind now has Pratt on his motorcycle, channeling Hans Solo/Steve McQueen, as he races along side his Velociraptor pals to catch the killer dinosaur. I wonder why they didn’t play Flight of the Valkyries during that chase.

The movie will make money, so expect another one.

If you don’t care for originality or interesting characters, and just want to see dinosaurs eat people, you’ll love it.

2 stars out of 5.

4 comments

  • Josh Board

    One of my Facebook friends just wrote about this movie, “I just watched a two hour long Mercedes Benz commercial. It also had some dinosaurs in it.”
    A great line I wish I had thought of. This movie did go a little nuts with the product placement.

  • Jo F.

    I saw it with a large group. Some liked it and some hated it. I wasn’t so enamored with it. It did keep me entertained. It should’ve been better. I agree with your points.

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