Jurassic Park is one of those one in a million movies where the first movie is so fantastic that it can never really be equaled by it sequels (heh, rhyming), but Jurassic World is a really good try by a competent director and a really good cast. As I said, nothing will be as good as the first movie so I won't spend much time comparing and contrasting, but I will do a little of that later in the review as a comparison will highlight one of the movies strongest points and two of its weakest. First the plot:
A divorcing couple (Judy Greer and Andy Buckley, for the few seconds they're on screen) decide to send their two sons, Zach and Gary, to spend time with their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard, beautiful as always), who happens to run the worlds most popular theme park: Jurassic World. Helping her run the park are Cruthers (Jake Johnson), who is the chief control room technician, and Owen Grady, a character that walks right out of the brochure of protagonists without flaws (unless you count womanizing as a flaw, which i do). We meet Claire as she is explaining the practice of genetically splicing dinosaurs to up the wow factor (makes no sense, there were millions of species across the periods, you couldn't run out of regular dinosaurs to make) and presents to them (and later to the new INGEN owner played by Irrfan Khan) the latest spliced dinosaur, the eye-rollingly named Indominus Rex. I should mention that Claire has sent her PA to take care of the two brothers because she's busy playing to the too career focused for family trope, and because its way easier to give a minor character the slip. Meanwhile, Owen is researching if Velociraptors can be trained to take orders, though he objects to his superiors (Vincent D'nofrio) plan to use it for military applications. All this comes to a head when it turns out Indominus Rex is way more intelligent than once thought and escapes, throwing the park into chaos. Revealing any more than that would include major spoilers.
So what are the films strong points? The cast does a bang up job bringing charm and energy to their roles, Jake Johnson as the Tech that thinks the original park was awesome is a standout. It's not suspenseful for the most part, but it has a dark sense of humor to make up for it. It's climax is dumb but it makes for some real fist-pumping moments. What it gets spot on is Crichton's themes.
In the book (and the movie) the theme was that greed can taint scientific progress. Instead of making a park where the Paleontologists could study dinosaurs in the "wild" and through them, learn more about the evolutionary process, or apply what they learned from DNA reconstruction to medical advancement, they decided to use these breathtaking creatures to make a profit. Neither did they factor in that their creations could break containment and spread to other Islands (as is the subplot in the book). They especially didn't count on the greed of others, as a bit of industrial espionage is what kicks off the first disaster. As a result, everyone who had a hand in the creation of Jurassic Park has to pay in some way, usually with their lives.Though the World goes about this in a different but still effective way, though i won't elaborate due to spoilers.
What does it get wrong? Well for one thing, it's dumb as a post. In the book and movie time is taken to explain how resurrecting dinosaurs is possible. Not only that it talked to its audience like they were adults with even a little understanding of DNA (but condensed pages of scientific lecture by Crichton into one easy to understand cartoon , so even when I saw the original when i was six i could understand why DNA from a frog was so important). World hand waves any scientific questions away with a "because science" type of answer. Plus you will routinely think "why would anyone do that" alot in this movie. but this is a small gripe as the spectacle more than makes up for it.
The major problem is that Jurassic World does not live up to the original in the SFX department. Considering Jurassic Park came out 22 years ago, and is still some of the best effects put on screen, the dino's in World look so fake Stan Winston must be rolling over in his grave. That being said, I have no problem giving this a whole-hearted recommendation.