You know that phrase, “Ruining my childhood?” It’s just one of the many phrases that comes to mind when thinking back on my experience with Jurassic World. Honestly, I wish that Hollywood would just let a good thing be and not try to profit from a name. Who am I kidding though? Movies are products and the movie companies want them to sell, and what better than to capitalize on the success that Jurassic Park had 22 years ago. I realize this review will make those who really enjoyed Jurassic World angry, but that’s the beauty of film – you love some and hate others.
Jurassic World takes place in a universe where the second and third installments didn’t take place and Jurassic Park has now become a highly successful park open to the public called Jurassic World. It is under entirely new direction due to John Hammond obviously selling the rights to the park to investors and now dinosaurs are just part of daily life – no big deal anymore. The park is incredibly successful, but every so often, they have to introduce more dinosaurs, a new attraction, or make improvements to the park to keep customers satisfied and visitor numbers high. Jurassic World’s latest plan to increase visitors to the park, keep people stimulated and maintain the wow factor is done by creating an entirely new dinosaur altogether: the Indominus Rex. If you haven’t guessed it by now, the Indominus Rex manages to break free from its pen and wreak havoc on the park. This idea is similar to when Dennis Nedry shut off the power to the park and the T-Rex broke free in the original film.
As you have most likely guessed, I really disliked this film. I found it insulting for it to even be in the Jurassic Park series of films. For starters, let’s just talk about that horrendous CGI. The dinosaurs in Jurassic World looked pretty good, but sometimes it was flat out obvious that a computer image was in front of us. The original film actually used models and large scale puppets to create a more authentic and realistic look for many of the dinosaurs, but in Jurassic World, half-decent CGI was used. It bothers me because they had the money to have the BEST effects possible, but they cheaped out instead just to ensure a higher profit. It honestly took away from the realness of the film because so many of the dinosaurs just looked like computer graphics running around. Secondly, the characters were completely unlikable and forgettable, especially the two main children. They were the kind of kids you liked to hate and quite frankly, I didn’t care what happened to them. The character of Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, was incredibly annoying and again, the kind of character you are rooting against. The most likable character out of the entire movie was Chris Pratt, who I normally am not a fan of. He was really the only character you wanted to survive the ordeal. Honestly, one of the biggest letdowns of Jurassic World was simply the fact that it lacked suspense and heart. The original was so special, unique, and full of imagination. Jurassic World left barely anything to the imagination; the amount of dinosaurs that were shown attacking people or eating people was astounding. I just didn’t care anymore; I was so desensitized. The first Jurassic Park was similar to Alien in the sense that they didn’t show a lot, which made it more suspenseful and thrilling. They really built up the reveal of the T-Rex in the original film and whenever a dinosaur was shown, it was something special. Jurassic World was showing dinosaurs left and right and I just sort of didn’t care anymore. Like the teenager in the movie, I probably would have been looking at my phone the entire time too. After two hours of dinosaurs eating and attacking people, it just doesn’t have any effect on you and it really leaves a lasting impression of ‘meh’. There was something incredibly special about the original film that made you feel like a kid again, or just made being a kid even better. This movie was just so basic, so bland, so average. There were so many predictable scenes and plot lines that had been used before within the series that I sort of tuned out; it actually started to get boring at times. It’s funny how one good thing can’t just remain good, it has to be over exaggerated and overblown into something ridiculous in order to sell nowadays. For example, Chris Pratt’s character, Owen Grady, has built a strong relationship with four raptors in the park in which he is the alpha. They respond to his commands and he has essentially trained them. This is a BIT much to accept considering how dangerous these animals are and whether or not that could ever happen. I realize it’s a movie, but it kind of took away just how cool and badass the raptors were from the original movie and made them into trained sheepdogs.
One positive note regarding the film; however, is Michael Giacchino’s score. Now, this is by no means my favourite score of 2015 and not one of Giacchino’s best, but he does do a good job trying to make the score sound similar to what Williams would have done had he been tasked with scoring Jurassic World. John Williams’ themes are used throughout the movie (sometimes in the most bizarre places that did not seem to fit) for nostalgia and fan service purposes and also to keep the movie a true ‘JP’ sequel. You can’t have a Jurassic Park movie without Williams’ beautiful themes. There were so many little additions to Giacchino’s score that were clearly done to mimic either what Williams had done in the past with Jurassic Park or what he would do had he been assigned this movie. The way he used woodwinds to emphasize adventure and curiosity was evident of Williams’ style as well as more gritty scenes with sparse percussion being used. There were a lot of moments were I was thinking to myself, that was TOTALLY something John Williams would have done – good job Giacchino! Having listened to the score after hearing the movie, it’s not too bad and I would say it is one of the best aspects of the film.
I had heard that Jurassic World delivers on fan service, which really excited me. I was looking for tons of references to the original film, but after seeing it, this was just not the case. There were a few moments when something from the original movie was brought up or shown, but in general, the fan service was lacking. There is a scene in the film where the two main kids discover the old park building and end up finding the old Jeeps and the infrared goggles that Tim used in the famous T-Rex scene. Just seeing those goggles kind of took me back and also made me remember how great of a film Jurassic Park was and how boring Jurassic World was…
Overall, Jurassic World is simply a cash grab. No heart, no lasting appeal, and beyond ridiculous scenes that definitely would not happen if Jurassic Park were to ever be a reality. There were so many parts in the movie that I thought, “Come ON!” It was just too silly, and that honestly made me dislike it. Please go and see it for yourselves before forming an opinion though, because that way you can truly see what it is and either LOVE it, or HATE it. It makes me wonder what John Hammond would have thought of the park and what Richard Attenborough would have thought of the film.
Image Credit: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/markhughes/files/2015/06/JURASSIC-WORLD-15-1940×1042.jpg