Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Nick Robinson, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
Written By: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 4 min
When we consider a movie clearly designed to ‘reboot’ a once very profitable franchise, it behooves us to consider what came before. Why are we watching Jurassic World? Back in 1993, Steven Spielberg was having a very good year. He delivered the award-winning Schindler’s List, and reminded us why he’s the king of summer blockbuster entertainment, with Jurassic Park. I remember sitting in the theater back then, and was awestruck by the first full view of the T-Rex. Towering over two SUVS, roaring a mighty roar. There were goosebumps.
Many films since have looked to re-create that magic, and so far, all have failed in my opinion. With Hollywood’s approach simply locked into a bigger is better philosophy. It’s even a sentiment reflected in Jurassic World’s plot. But in a way that felt strategic to me. The people making these films aren’t stupid after-all. And likely figured a ‘self-aware’ attitude would placate the critics, and improve their chances at a positive score on aggregate sites like Rotten Tomatoes. With movie tickets getting more and more expensive, a negative consensus from critics means lost revenue at the box office. Something these huge tent-pole films can ill-afford.
So here’s Jurassic World. A carefully planned homage to the original (better) Jurassic Park, that hopes to be a franchise starter. And that in a nutshell is my main problem with the film. This feels planned by committee, with an eye on future box office takings, rather than a genuine attempt to tell an engaging story with characters we care about. In fact, I was shocked how unimportant the human element was in this film. We’re told who these people are, and how they got to the stage. But we’re never told why they are who they are. In another nutshell, they’re incredibly two-dimensional. Needed only to demonstrate scale, and be dinosaur food.
So why are we watching Jurassic World? For the dinosaurs of course! And in that regard, Jurassic World is not disappointing. Old favorites mix with new CGI creations, and there’s plenty of dino on dino action to make sure you feel you got your ticket’s worth of entertainment. Especially during the admittedly thrilling finale.
If you’re looking for simple fun thrills, big dinosaurs, plenty of action, and don’t care about much else. Then you should find Jurassic World entertaining. It’s not as good as the original Jurassic Park, but on par with its two sequels. This movie is rated PG-13 so the carnage never gets too gruesome.
Big monsters need a big screen. Your best experience with this film will be in the theaters. If you wait for the rental, make sure you get the HD version to watch on a nice home theater system. This film won’t screen well on a laptop, tablet or phone.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
The best moment during the finale actually comes from the smallest dinosaur. As ‘Blue’, the lead raptor bravely rejoins the battle against the genetically created mutant monster, called Indominus Rex.