Reviews: Jurassic World
Looking back... a rather mediocre, overhyped movie
It's been a while now since this movie came out, and the sequel is now coming, so I guess it's as good a time as any to take a look back at this movie. And, now that I do... I find myself wondering why that movie got all that attention and success. Yeah, I know, Jurassic Park was a classic, and is still hailed by some people as the greatest movie of all time. But this is the fourth sequel, and the previous two were infamous as a case of Sequelitis; and yet, when this one comes out, many applaud it as a return to the roots and the first actually good sequel. In my opinion, however, this movie is just as bad as the other sequels, only in a different way. Lost World and III were bad in a typical nineties sequel style, as in they basically just repeat the formula of the original with little to no effort to bring something new to the table. Jurassic World, meanwhile, is bad more in the style of, say, Anaconda 3 and 4: it does bring something new... namely, Shark-Jumping B-movie material that completely derails the original concept. I mean, seriously; putting aside the rather poor special effects, this movie features both Too Dumb to Live characters whose stupidity causes the accident in the first place and a genetically engineered dinosaur; both things that wouldn't be out of place in one of those Scifi movies like Sharktopus or Mega-Shark vs Giant Octopus. Not to mention that while the humans are unrealistically dumb, the dinosaur is unrealistically smart. I mean, seriously, I know It Can Think applies here, but that thing figured out it was under surveillance by thermal camera and that it had a tracking device?! Despite being only a few years old at best? Screw being smarter than the average animal, a human being wouldn't be able to figure that out in the same situation! The only redeeming factor I can think of is the final showdown between I-Rex, T-Rex and Raptor, which I still think was awesome. But aside from that specific part, that movie was forgettable at best and stupid at worse. Why it gets so much praise elludes me.
I HATED this movie.
Alright, I'm probably one of the few people who's going to say this, but I prefer the other sequels. Horrifying, I know, right? But at least they had actual characters, even if most of them were ridiculously cliched. The characters here are so flat its barely believable. Oh, and I'm not a fan of Chris Pratt. He's okay, but he's basically just playing Chris Pratt. The movie felt very nasty at times as well (there's one scene in particular that comes to mind), while not really exploiting the fact that they have an entire parks worth of people trapped. At least in the other movies the villains weren't UTTER mad scientists. Hybrid dinosaur? Why? Its goofy and didn't really make sense to me. Why didn't they just keep on digging up new dinosaurs? Why would the public be interested in a make-believe hybrid? Why would the public be losing interest at all? Its a dinosaur park and its not like there's another one. And then there's the crowning achievement of mad science idiocy, which I won't say here, but will become obvious upon watching. Its possibly the dumbest thing I've ever seen in a film in the last couple of years. So there we have it. Jurassic World. It doesn't live up to its name at all. (BTW, remember how those pterosaurs escaped in 3? Wouldn't a movie where dinosaurs have escaped off their island made a much better movie?)
Passable Monster Flick with Jurassic Park References
If you want to watch not-dinosaurs and other not-prehistoric-animals go on a rampage, you're in for a good time. The first half mainly focuses on setting up the pieces and building up your expectations before the Indominus escapes and escalates problems with traditional suspense and scares. The second half goes full-on monster carnage, starting with a helicopter crash that releases a horde of mass-murdering not-pterosaurs and only gets crazier from there. Moreover, there are several nods to the original film, which provide some good old nostalgic kicks for long-time fans. Sadly, the film adds nothing worthwhile to the franchise. It sets up some metaphorical parallels between the park attractions and the state of the franchise, but it amounts to little more than cynical lampshading. The subplot about weaponizing the dinosaurs is cartoonish B-movie fare at best, with the raptors changing alliances simply because it's more dramatic that way. And for all the interesting talk about the dinosaurs not being dinosaurs and why, its reconstructions are worse than the first film both from a scientific and from a technical perspective, which misses a key part of what made the original so special. The characters vary from OK to insufferable. Pratt's un-PC, far-sighted trainer is the obvious highlight, though he's not given much to do beyond that one-dimensional characterization. Howard's Defrosting Ice Queen character is average, though the way other characters treat her has some unfortunate implications. Khan's CEO is an intriguingly grey character that's wasted, Wong's critical geneticist makes fascinating points but is otherwise "meh", D'Onofrio's idiotic head of security is a charmless Hate Sink, and the kids never rise above "meh" (and sometimes sink below irritating). Moreover, the story often relies on characters making awful decisions and having Swiss-cheese security. This was a problem with the first film too, but at least there it felt like the idiocy was part of the point the film was trying to make, and you had to dig for some of them. Here, they're obvious and serve only to enable bigger and badder destruction scenes. Don't get me wrong; it's an OK monster film, gleefully delivering the spectacle. But it's massively overhyped, and references and easter eggs aside, its association with the ground-breaking original is undeserved.
Actually Really Good
The movie was pretty good. I liked the slight self-reference in that they needed to create a bigger, scarier dinosaur because kids didn't care about the old ones any more. A very good performance from Chris Pratt. I especially liked the dynamic between him and the raptors. The two children weren't so great and didn't really contribute much to the plot. The deaths were somewhat predictable. I liked the symbolism of the T-Rex smashing through the Spinosaurus skeleton. The deaths of the three raptors were heart breaking. Considering all that I had heard about how bad the CGI was, it was actually surprisingly good. The Dimorphodons were not that great. They looked like someone had just grafted a Velociraptor head onto a Ramrphyancus' body.
He trains raptors, there's a white dinosaur, two retarded kids, camera goes all over the place, one chubby woman and some fat guy that wants dinosaurs as weapons. Is it good? No. Apparently nobody is interested in dinosaurs anymore which is why the white dinosaur is in the movie. The security is laughable and it escapes immediately and they try to capture it with... melee weapons. Yeah, that's going to work, guys. Great job. There's nothing good about this movie. The only thing I liked was the running scene with the raptors, that was cool.
I Really Liked It
It was a really awesome movie, and I saw it twice. I can't really describe how much I feel about it from the dinosaurs to the plot and to the CGI, but I'd highly recommend watching it. It may not be as good as Jurassic Park (or is it as good as Jurassic Park?), but it's still one of the best movies I've ever seen. Final score: 9 out of 10 stars.
I seem to be the only one here who didn't like it.
It rehashed the same themes as all the other movies in the series, with the same stock characters and situations, but more over-the-top. And where the original just told you its moral, this one ties it to a beatstick and goes savage on the audience: For example, some scenes bordered on overt Science Is Bad territory, and Hoskins' entire character made me feel like someone was screaming "Take That, America!" an inch from my face. Oh yeah, about the characters: they just weren't that interesting. the two leads were paper-thin "badass outdoorsman" and "businessperson who learns to be badass" stereotypes, and the rest seemed to have been made by a robot analyzing the first three movies. There was the Corrupt Corporate Executive; the obnoxious computer guy; the screaming kids who exist just to almost get killed even though you know they won't be; the same pack of mostly fat, ugly, or minority Red Shirts; and the herd of clueless bystanders. Although none of them were anywhere near as likeable as the original's. The writing left a lot to be desired in general: the dialog was bloated and often unnecessary, and you can see every "twist" and character death coming a mile away. The movie's main selling point is its obligatory CGI carnage. That's fine, I guess, but the movie was way too eager to show it off. There was no awesome Monster Delay like the T-Rex's or the Velociraptors' in the original, they just shove the dinosaurs in your face as soon as possible. And where the original took time to ramp up suspense, many of this one's action scenes were just mindless death and destruction festivals. ...But at least all that Stuff Blowing Up and getting smashed up, lit on fire, and trampled looked real cool, right? To be honest, I found it kind of repulsive, and it exemplified a lot of what I don't like about Hollywood movies now.
Not a masterpiece like Jurassic Park, but a very good film in it's own right
I very much enjoyed the film very much. It may not be as good as say Jurassic Park, but it laughs Jurassic Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 out of the water. The acting was very good for the most part, though the two kids could have been done better. Chris Pratt played a convincing raptor trainer. I thought the film looked great with a few goofs here and there. Overall the movie was just very good. It looks good, had a good story that did it's own thing while respecting the original film. The last 30 and twenty minutes of the film was very tense. The crowd where i went to was on edge during that time, me included. And before anyone asks: I didn't see anything sexist about the character Claire. While she isn't furisoa or even Ridly, she still holds her very well when the action began to start. I am not quite sure was Joss Wheldon was talking about few months back. (sorry for the short review. this is my first movie review)
Awesome, but where was Part 1?
And no, I'm not talking about Jurassic Park. I remember it well; it was the first time I ever saw my dad excited about a film. (I was 10.) I'm talking about Jurassic World, Part 1. We open this sequel In Media Res. There are eggs hatching with dinosaurs in them. Then there are two kids being put on a plane by their parents. Then there is a Woman in White who, for whatever reason, has to remind herself that her name is Claire, which immediately made me wonder if she was going to be a double agent. There's an Indian CEO and a control room where CO Fischer works. And then finally Chris Pratt appears, at which point my girlfriend and I were already starting to doze off. The thing about all these characters is that we have no context for them; we have no reason to care about them. And we're never given one. Gray runs; Zack snides; Claire ice queens; the CEO is arrogant; Zara has an English accent. It isn't until Claire and Owen meet that there's anything resembling actual emotion. I can only conclude that all this Backstory was in the prequel, which I somehow never heard about. The original Jurassic Park had emotional set-up. We spent enough time with Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, with Tim and Lex Murphy, with Malcolm and Hammond, that we cared about what happened to them. This film misses that goal entirely, probably to make room for more dinosaurs. The problem is, the dinosaurs aren't all that awesome anymore either. In 1993, Jurassic Park's special effects were mind-blowing. Today, in our era of CGI, they're par for the course, and you can't sell a film solely on them. (At least, I think you can't. The film's box office begs to differ.) Finally, given that this film was a direct sequel to Jurassic Park, I wish there had been more attention paid to that fact. There are a few throwaway references (most notably the Visitor Center stuff), but not enough to make the triumphant return of OG T-Rex into the moment it deserves. In fact, until Claire runs over there, there's nothing to say that OG T-Rex is even alive. Jurassic Park showed us relatable characters and jaw-dropping special effects. This film has neither. It's fun, but not very interesting.
No Masterpiece, but enjoyable
I must first admit that the first Jurassic Park holds an untouchable position as my favourite film of all time, so I am as biased as anything. That said, I will attempt to review this film as fairly as possible nonetheless. Secondly? Mild spoilers may well be ahead. For me, the best comparison to make is to call this film the Aliens to JP's Alien. It doesn't try and match the first film for depth or development of character... just cranks up the action and the spectacle (and the body-count too.) And what action! The brand new Indominus Rex (whose rather uninspiring name is given a rather amusing [[lampshade]]/[[handwave]] is certainly a terrifying beasty, and the sheer stupidity of creating a super-intelligent, massive, killing machine is actually justified when it is revealed that it was not actually primarily developed for the park's clients at all. On the other hand, the human characters really are the most cardboard and flat bunch for the most part, sadly. Chris Pratt plays it rather disappointingly straight in his action man role, with little of his Guardians-style charm and charisma to get you rooting for him. Bryce Dallas Howard is given an even thinner character of a workaholic business type (who can't even remember her nephews' ages! The fiend.) who, what do you know, comes to care for them after all... though this development is just thrust upon her with no real plot motive. She just goes through a U-turn midway. That said, she gets perhaps the most awesome (human) moment of them all late on. Vincent D'onofrio and the sole returnee of JP, BD Wong, are the human villains of the piece but are pretty bland and generic, 'corrupt executives totally underestimate the dinosaurs, pay for it' JP cutouts. That said, Wong gets a nice rant about the nature of the JW 'dinosaurs' that also just so happens to serve as a fourth-wall breaking justification for the utter lack of science marching on. This is something the film does pretty well, in fairness. It does add a few clever lines that add something of a meta-commentary on the nature of blockbuster films and franchises without getting overly preachy. It tips its hat rather heavily to Jurassic Park, admittedly, but never to the point of being entirely beholden. Overall? The best JP sequel by a very long way. But the best JP film? No. Nothing will touch the original, for me.
Top of the food chain?
I was born just a little too late to buy into the whole Jurassic Park thing. But I can totally see how those of the right age or mindset could come to view it as something of a classic... hell, I might've very well been one of them myself! It also doesn't help that the essence of what makes dinosaurs fascinating was captured more whole-heartedly in The Land Before Time and that segment of Fantasia. This is my roundabout way of saying nostalgia may or may not be a factor in its continuing survival in the popular culture landscape. To say that I was sort of half-expecting Jurassic world to be a cynical nostalgia cash-grab wouldn't be much of an exaggeration. Heck, I wouldn't have even given it the time of day had my hand not been forced due to babysitter duties. I was pleasantly surprised to find I was genuinely entertained by this. Not only that, but it kind of got pretty close to that uniquely Spielbergian sense of timeless wonder that the man himself has struggled to recapture for near on two decades now. Sure, it's a bit dumb and hyper-kinetic to a fault—not to mention it's got plotholes out the wazoo—but the characters are likeable, and stuff like the dinosaurs being "tamed" is justified with the level of respect and understanding they deserve. The whole romance thing feels a bit tacked on and underdeveloped, but... it's a summer blockbuster. It's one of those things you just have to go with. The dinosaur scenes are tense and action-packed, just like they're supposed to be in a film like this. It even takes the time to stop and let the characters receive some minimal depth every now and again. Most of all, it's got an infectious sense of belief in its own strengths as a film, that feels lacking in oh so many of its blockbuster buddies. Connections to previous films are downplayed, and merely enhance certain scenes rather than devolving into nostalgic pandering. Having already broken box office records and liable to break a few more after time of writing, does it live up to the hype? To a point, I'd say yes. while its artistic merits are cut short due to its status as a dumb, action-y romp, it revels in this. You get exactly what you pay for. And hey, that's not always a given these days!
Depending on preferance, it just might surpass the first
People go to movies principally to be entertained, and this movie doesn't skimp out on that. Does JW have a deep, emotional, twisting plot? No, it doesn't need one. It instead plays to its strengths by going with exactly what makes dinosaurs so appealing. They amaze and humble. Definitely more DNA of Jurassic Park in the mix than the other two movies, but not quite in a way I ever felt seemed annoying or unimaginative. We have two child characters who aren't The Load by the end of the movie. These days, that's an achievement. Yes they can seem grating at times, especially in the beginning, but these two feel much more real than the previous four child/teen characters in the series. They don't constantly get along or just throw light teasing like Lex and Tim, and they aren't loaded with Chekhov's Skill like Kelly or Eric. The rest of the cast do a pretty good job with distinctive personalities and all are very distinguishable even if you don't memorize the names. The plot is competent and has a decent moral that doesn't seem ham-fisted in like the second movie's. This time the outing is about the dangers of excess, especially in the cooperate field, that 'progress' can sometimes be dangerous. The park wanted a dinosaur that breathed Rule of Cool to be its new icon. What they got was a sociopathic hybrid with over exaggerated apex predator traits. Unlike many of the other films, this one actually does manage to be surprising on what it does. Even as a huge fan of the original movie, I will admit the only surprises were the dinosaurs breeding, not as plot relevant as it was in the books, and raptors opening doors. There was plenty of shocks, but not many plot shifting changes. JW however has a mix of both. In my theater, no one foresaw the surprises of the "Raptor Squad's" Face-Heel Turn or Simon, the Honest Corporate Executive with an Awesome Ego, dying. Yes there are some nit picks like no one knowing I-rex's mix, but to be fair it makes sense plot wise as in a big cooperation most branches have no clue what the other branches are up to. Still, when Tyrannosaurus arrived and final battle commenced, everyone in my theater erupted in roars of applause. It's not for everyone, but in my mind after seeing it no less than three times to pick it apart, it's still the most entertaining movie to come out this year. Overall 9.3/10
THIS Is Jurassic Park
This movie could've crashed and burned if it had fallen to a lesser director. But fortunately, director Colin Trevorrow is a director who can make this movie work. A combination of good acting, and good directing, are what saves this movie, and actually makes it worthy of being called a sequel to Jurassic Park. Let's keep in mind, you need to have suspension of disbelief in order to properly enjoy this movie, like the first movie. Concepts of why they would never tell people what they used to create the I-Rex, or why they don't have more military grade weaponry for security. If you let details like that bother you, then you're clearly overthinking it. I would hesitate to call this a B-Movie, because there are scenes with character development, some better or worse than others., but still there. For example, I wanted to see Claire reunite with her nephews, and I bought the bond between the brothers. The romance was less convincing, and slightly rushed, but they didn't dwell on it very long, and it honestly wasn't that much different than the romance in the first movie. The acting is good, and each actor gives properly fitting performance. The concept of Owen training the raptors isn't actually as ridiculous as you may think. Its not that he's controlling the raptors, and he's tamed them insofar as one can tame big cats. And the scene with him riding the motorcycle with the raptors is also slightly different. Its more like he's following them, and the raptors are just letting him do it. Let's talk about the ending. We don't see the T-Rex until the end, with Trevorrow drawing on Spielberg's style to build up the beast, and its entrance is spectacular. The fight with the I-Rex is also great, especially when Blue the raptor joins the fight. The final scene with the T-Rex going up to look over Isla Nublar, and roar makes you think "This is Jurassic Park". In all, this movie is welcome change over "The Lost World" and "Jurassic Park 3", and can certainly be considered a rightful addition to the Jurassic Park franchise.
> JP 2 & 3 but < JP 1
Yup. The best thing I can say about this movie is that it's better than two of its predecessors, which isn't saying much. A lot of elements are rehashed; two kids are brought in just so we'll have someone to be scared for and the heroes will have someone in danger they can run in to rescue; there's an adult character (an aunt this time) who's not good with kids but rushes to save them; there's the super-rich guy who's there just to get killed off, a bunch of Red Shirt Army mooks as cannon fodder for the Rexes, some Scenery Porn with Dinos, etc. etc. Been there, seen it done better. The new: Chris Pratt's character is "the Raptor whisperer" and can control is Velocipack; and the Big Bad this time around is a new, genetically engineered Hybrid dino which is supposedly smarter than Stephen Hawking: it somehow figures out that the humans are watching it with thermal cameras, successfully hides its camo abilities throughout its entire captivity until it's ready to break out, sets up distractions, and - obviously - kills for fun. Also - get this - the people running the park don't know which animals are spliced into the thing, so they have no way to predict its behavior, its natural abilities, or its unnatural abilities it acquired as a result of the DNA splicing. Yet they decide to shut it up in a cage and use it as a theme park attraction. IdiotBalls aplenty alert. The best part of the movie is towards the end; how the situation with the new Indominus Rex is resolved is pretty cool. Other than that - meh. Best movie to come out this year is still Mad Max Fury Road. Overall 6.9/10.