I know, I know, I finally got to see Jurassic World. Everyone and their grandmother have seen this film (and grandma has probably forgotten what it is, by the way). Most of my reviews aren’t timely but, hey, it’s not like I get paid to write about this. Once people want to drop a few bucks to support this (seriously, $3 would be plenty) I would watch and review films at a higher rate. As is, I’m an amateur doing this because it’s fun.
Jurassic World plunges us back into the world of Jurassic Park twenty years later. A new company is in town and has been able to get the park up and running. The park is filled with spectacles that even Speilberg would be jealous of. Huge dinosaurs that I can’t even name are there, so they’ll be given codenames. Remember the dino that consumes a FREAKIN’ SHARK like it’s a trout? Yeah, that’s Whale-sauris now. So when I’m referring to Whale-sauris that’s who I’m talking about.
Anyway, the park is run by some corporation, not sure if we get a name. However, it has been in existence for a number of years as the manager, Claire Denning (Bryce Dallas Howard) mentions. The park struggles with attendance and needs to create new attractions to boost attendance and incentivize investors. So they decide to create a new dinosaur: the Indominus rex (from now being known as Villain-saur). This is a genetic hybrid mixture of many dinosaurs. We get one, the T-Rex, but the rest are confidential. To make sure that this dinosaur is safe, they look towards Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), who has been training Velociraptors.
I bet you cannot guess what happened next. What? What do you mean that the Villain-saur escapes? Nope, Owen checks out the Villain-saur, everything is OK, Owens and Denning get it on and the film ends. Pretty sweet stuff.
Except that didn’t happen. The Villain-saur escapes by outsmarting the humans. Not saying that it was predictable but… It was predictable. So when one dinosaur gets out, then all hell breaks loose. Kids jump off stuff, people get eaten and guns get fired.
Look, I actually didn’t mind this film. It was fun, as long as you don’t think about it too hard. Or think about it at all. Sometimes you can turn your brain off and it enhances the experience. Sometimes it doesn’t matter. When you turn your brain off during karaoke night it becomes a lot of fun; but if you think about it like a critic you become the Simon Cowell of the group. Then there are times when turning your brain off doesn’t matter, the experience is going to suck anyway. Like arguing with your wife or girlfriend, driving or watching a Michael Bay Transformers film.
Jurassic world falls into the karaoke of films. You turn your brain off and you don’t mind the dues ex machina velociraptor or that Chris Pratt is the “alpha” of the pack. Does Pratt’s character go through some majestic story arc? Of course not! But that’s not why we want him there. We want him there for his charm, his good looks and his humor. Is Denning a bit of a predictable stiff for no reason? Yeah, but she is what is needed in the film.
I enjoyed the homages to the first Jurassic film and I felt like this was a good sequel. I’ll admit, when the T-rex faced off against the Villain-saur, I got butterflies. That was what I wanted to see. The best part was that they saved it last; not only was it saved last but there was little to no foreshadowing to it. Why would there be? Everyone wanted to see it and to acknowledge that would have turned it into a Michael Bay-ism.
I enjoyed the CGI dinosaurs. While I would have liked more practical effects, CGI is cheaper and can look more realistic so I don’t mind it so much. The thing is, there weren’t lots of moments when I thought “this looks like a real dinosaur.” That’s a bit of a problem. But the fighting T-rex and Villain-saur was totally badass. I thought he velociraptors looked great. In fact, I enjoyed that the film took a different take. It makes sense they would be pack animals and would have an alpha. It makes sense that humans could train these animals (after all, who wouldn’t want to go to a dinosaur petting zoo? Communists and dictators, that’s who. People who hate America).
One thing that did bother me was that the Villain-saur could basically do whatever the plot needed it to do. Oh, need it to camouflage? It can do that! What about talk to velociraptors? It can do that, too! Because we only knew of one animal it was based off of (T-rex), the plot could create a whole slew of abilities. It’s the Scarlett Witch of Jurassic Park. What can it do? WE DON’T KNOW! EVERYTHING?!
The deus ex machina velociraptor also bothered me. Come on, that was cheesy. That stuff should not just show up conveniently. This isn’t an old school Bond film where the gadget finally comes in handy. (Man, I took a shot at Michael Bay then referenced Marvel AND Bond in a Jurassic Park review. All I need is a Christopher Nolan hipster like shot and I win film critic BINGO). The ending of the fight was a big mess that was definitely going for popcorn “WOWs” and not for filming genius.
I know I know, Chris Pratt. I’ll stop thinking about it too much.
Honestly, though, if you turn off your brain that stuff may not bother you as much. Overall, the performances were fine and we got a different take on the world. The park was up and running, which is refreshing to see. Sure, none of the characters outside of Pratt were particularly memorable nor was the dialogue out of this world (no memorable one liners or speeches) but it was an enjoyable flick. The performances were fun, the dinosaurs were fun and the plot was simple enough to follow.
I still enjoyed this film and would encourage people to go see it.
Rating: Watch it in theaters. If you can’t turn your brain off, have a few drinks beforehand and you’ll be fine.