Jurassic World

jurassic worldI have to say that I enjoyed this film mostly but I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s now the 3rd biggest grossing film of all time. It was pretty good, but I didn’t think it was that good to warrant such a high spot on the list knocking the first Avengers film down to 4th (the superior film in my opinion). So let’s examine why I feel that way, shall we?

First, the premise – fast forward after the first Jurassic Park films to the future. The dinosaurs are back only there’s no origin story, we’ve already been there. So this time ‘round we have a fully imagined dino park in the form of the attraction Jurassic World. The park takes up most of an island off the coast of Costa Rica and has been getting visitors for a few years at this point. Only now, people have a seen-that-done-that kind of attitude about dinosaurs and are looking for some new thrills as well as the usual triceratops, stegosaurs, etc. Luckily the new people in charge (as well as some faces from the past) who have taken over the park are cooking up a new breed of dino sure to knock your socks off. Unfortunately the new variant they create gets a bit out of their control (surprise, surprise), breaks free and starts ripping up the place…

Not exactly a new premise for this series of films, in fact that whole losing control of nature thing has been the theme all along for every film in the collection. So, this isn’t a movie I would classify as “original” in any way whatsoever. The real pleasure for me was seeing the dinosaurs obviously, which is usually the reason to go see the films in the first place. And I must say that the film delivers there. The effects mostly look great and the way the actors interact with them is convincing too. My problem with this particular area of the film is that there are times the effects look super digital so much so that I lost the whole suspension-of-disbelief vibe on numerous occasions which presented a distraction. With the kind of insane budget they had, you’d think they could’ve been a little better with this. Don’t get me wrong, the various creatures look pretty bad ass, especially during the big fight at the end between the new breed and the other dinosaurs she locks horns with the exception of the very end of the battle which looked very digital.

What really bummed me out was the lazy writing in this movie and the continuity issues. Along the way through the storyline the film sets these rules of existence and interaction with the dinosaurs that it just seems to toss out for it’s own convenience whenever the opportunity presents itself, even to the point of violating various laws of physics. Ultimately the film contradicts itself at various points as if it never established it’s own rules in the first place. Lazy ass writing in my book. One example of this is how Chris Pratt’s character keeps stressing that he can’t control raptors but he keeps doing that anyway even to the point of riding alongside them on a motorcycle during a hunt without them being even mildly interested in eating him, hmmmm. The there’s the whole thing about Bryce Dallas Howard’s shoe issues. She’s wearing super high heels but is somehow able to run and jump full speed through various trying conditions including wet surfaces, mud, deep grass and so on. And I mean she RUNS through these things supposedly wearing high heels, even Chris Pratt points these shoes out as being problematic but there she is anyway somehow mastering this art of high speed running in heels through mud. Again, lazy ass writing.

The directing is ok but pretty standard, nothing that sticks out as being special, just another installment in this established series without anything too new to offer aside from some new dinosaurs. The actors are all pretty good but are mostly playing cookie cutter characters. Pratt’s the smarmy hero (obviously), Howard is the hot-but-distant exec playing hard to get to Pratt’s love interest guy. Vincent D’Onofrio is the main bad guy trying to weaponize raptors (yep, he’s trying to find a military application for raptors since they are the perfect killing machines). And yes, the phrase “perfect killing machine” is used a couple times in the film as if we haven’t heard that a zillion times in these films.

It’s a fun film to catch in the theater but despite the giant dinosaurs, I can’t say it’s all that big of a deal.

reviewed by Sean McKnight