Jurassic World – Review

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Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson
Based upon the character created by: Michael Crichton
Story by: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Written for the screen by: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
IMDb Score: 7.1
Metacritic Score: 59
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science fiction violence and peril.

The first film was a classic that, to this day, still holds up as one of the best action movies ever made. The second film is disappointing and has someone kicking a raptor via gymnastics. The third film was downright horrible and had Sam Neill talking to raptors.

To just set this straight, Jurassic World is nowhere near the first film. But it’s also not a bad film.

But what does the first film have that the other three doesn’t? Dinosaur poop…and a person fisting said poop.

Such a simple need, and yet no one else has decided to mirror this amazing cinematic feat.

Jurassic World is the newly opened theme park featuring dinosaurs roaming in the wild lands and all sorts of Sea World like attractions. However, a hybrid based dinosaur created in the lab has escaped and turns into a threat to killing everyone in the park. Mayhem and callbacks to the first film ensue.

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Is there any film series that has dropped off in quality so steeply than the Jurassic Park film franchise? Jurassic World is the second best of the four films, but comparing it to Jurassic Park is like saying a steakhouse steak is better than a slice of Steak-umms.

Jurassic World is a by-the-numbers action film that goes through nearly every monster flick checklist, while providing a modicum of decent action. The movie has the standard good tough guy, 21st century’s version  of a damsel in distressed, bad guy who is obviously bad and kids who can’t be killed because…well, they are kids, that wouldn’t be right.

To put it bluntly, when there is no action, there’s nothing good to watch. Thankfully, that’s only half of the film.

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Yes, I said “thankfully” only half the film sucks. The only reason it’s acceptable here, in a sense, is because it’s very clearly meant to just get the action going.

We get our establishing narrative, decorative shots of wonder, great CGI (a HUGE step up from Jurassic Park III) and the main characters introduced in about 25 minutes, then on to the action.

And with that the action is…well, it’s good. Not bad, not great, just good. In fact, the action is kind of a throwback of the first two films. shots of near kills, running and/or riding with dinosaurs, “scary” takedowns in stealth: World healthily borrows from the first two films to create it’s action set-pieces.

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Strangely, that’s what makes the film watchable. The movie is basically have a conversation with you:  

“Hey, remember Jurassic Park?” Says the movie.

“Yes, movie, I remember and it was awesome.” I say to the movie.

Then, it answers back: “Yes, we think so too. Have another!”

“OK, I didn’t ask for it but thanks anyway.”

The movie balances from throwback to plagiarism regularly, but it changes just enough of the formula from Park that it’s okay that it plays those same lines a second time.

I will say, though, that the rest of the film is just serviceable. Performances are only just enough to not be embarrassing but not enough to make any of them charming or anything other than their archetypes. Howard in particular is the epitome of “just enough;” her performance just feels like it’s there to not be terrible.

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That’s it really. The movie is good in action and just okay enough not to be embarrassing when you watch the rest of it. Mind you, this movie is more “throwback” than it is “reinvention” of a movie franchise, but as long as you keep on that mindset, it’s an okay movie.

And we can also look forward to a sequel in 2018. God damn it.

2.5/5 – Throwback to the original at best, paint-by-numbers action film at worst.

The Wiz Says #49

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