This weekend I went to see the movie I was most excited about for the summer (yes, I was more excited for this movie than The Avengers). Jurassic World made millions of dollars in the opening night alone and should rank high on the all-time opening weekend box office list. Before writing this review, I attempted to avoid looking at what critics had said about the movie, but had conversations with my friends to gauge their opinion about it. Although my opinion of the movie is not a popular one, from what I have heard from others, it has not been debated too much.
Jurassic World is turned out to be what I was starting to fear it would be as the release date became closer: a big, dumb, dinosaur movie. The fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World relates closer to the two sequels rather than the original movie in my opinion (I realize that I may receive some hate for this but I have reasons). This movie made me want to watch the original movie as soon as I left the theater because it was a bad movie. It is a fun and entertaining movie (not as much to me but I will concede that to popular opinion and can see how it can be fun), but not a good movie. Although I attempted to stay away from other reviews, I did see some that essentially stated that but they still reviewed the movie as a plus. Now, if this was a movie that stood on its own, then it being a fun and “popcorn” type movie would be no big deal. However, it is part of the Jurassic Park chain which increases the standard for which this movie has to reach. In my opinion, it failed horribly in comparing to the quality of the original.
The concept of the movie was not poor, it actually was the base of my excitement. The idea was executed in a form that strays away from Jurassic Park and runs toward Transformers territory. From the acting to the writing, the quality was subpar in judging. Chris Pratt seemed disinterested with the movie once his character escapes the first attack of the Indominus Rex. Spitting out “dramatic” one-liners throughout the course of the action, Pratt came off a man who agreed to the role before seeing the script. His character lacks the development seen in the original Jurassic Park from Dr. Grant, Dr. Malcolm, and Dr. Sattler. A clichéd character, Pratt’s is one of the entire cast of one dimensional characters that did not allow the actors/actresses to utilize their talents. This cast was filled with great actors who could perform at a high level, but the movie seemed to withhold them from fulfilling those abilities. These characters simply do not compare to the others that have been portrayed within the franchise, especially the CEO who replaces John Hammond.
It is one thing to pay respect to the previous films in the franchise, it is another thing to steal scenes. Two of the best scenes from the original trilogy were essentially altered for Jurassic World. Jurassic World took the “children trapped in a vehicle” scene from the first movie and the “raptors picking off people in tall grass” scene from the second movie. Some might argue that it was not stealing from their own franchise and that they altered the scene far enough where it was “original,” however the feeling I got from seeing those scenes again took away from the movie that desperately needed something of actual quality (rather than “exciting action”). In addition to those scenes, returning to the old park felt added in rather than simply flowing along with the movie. A nice show of respect to the first, the scene felt unnecessary and did not do much to move the plot forward at all. Jurassic World made a respectable effort to tribute the original, however, an effort is not good enough.
Since I happened to mention the plot at the end of the last paragraph, let me discuss the numerous confusing and poorly developed subplots. Without spoiling anything, the subplots were almost grabbed out of thin air throughout the movie. The overall plot of the film stayed focused, while subplots would weave in and out of the story at random times. Sometimes a subplot would pause the rest of the movie in order for the characters to address it immediately (even if chaos is occurring all around them). Along with the subplots being a headache, the comic relief throughout the movie was spoon fed to the audience. While other movies (including the original) would use subtle humor to provide that relief, Jurassic World slaps you in the face with a joke in the middle of the scene. Before the release of the beast happens, Pratt is able to provide solid laughs that were not shoved in the audiences face. Once the escape is over, the comedy turns into blatant humor that screams comic relief. That is not what a good movie does, which prevents this movie from achieving the combination of fun and good.
Other quick bullet points from the movie
• The young boys fail to do bring sympathy or care to themselves, making them useless characters in a movie that focuses on them since children were able to impact the first one so well.
• The score of the movie was wonderful, perhaps the best part of the film. It happily reminded me of the original movie.
• The dinosaurs seemed unnatural. The best visual dinosaur was the dying brontosaurus, which seemed to be animatronic rather than CGI.
• The pterodactyl/t-rex mixed dinosaur was most likely to be used to demonstrate man’s decent into utter ridiculousness to entertain and make a profit, however, it made that statement about the people making the movie, not the company in the movie.
Before this review turns into a four page rant, let me surmise this review by saying that I did not go into the movie to nitpick it and destroy it for those who loved it. I honestly wanted to love this movie so I did not feel that my excitement was wasted. However, the quality of the movie speaks for itself. Now I could be wrong about this, but, I believe that in a year or two (when the anticipation and excitement are gone) that this movie will be more criticized. With listening to the few other reviews that I was unable to avoid, they even admit that this movie was not good. They say it was a “popcorn eating,” fun movie that will entertain. Along with saying that it was not good, the few reviews I have seen do not have counterarguments for their own critiques of Jurassic World. Another popular statement I saw and have heard is that Jurassic World should not be expected to be Jurassic Park. My argument to that is as follows: when the new Terminator is released and may be collectively agreed as awful, will the critics and fans not compare it to T-2 and Terminator? Will people not complain how it was not similar to the good films in the franchise? The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 have been compared to the original, so why should Jurassic World receive a free pass? I think it is because people want this movie to be good so badly that they are willing to ignore the major flaws that the movie contains.