When the original Jurassic Park film came out in 1993, it made large waves with the general public because it was the greatest advancement in CGI technology the world of cinema had seen since its conception. I remember seeing it when I was younger and thinking it was the coolest concept in the world: a live dinosaur theme park is every seven year olds dream come true. Unfortunately, my first viewing didn’t last long as I promptly turned the movie off when I was frightened by the famous T-rex scene, in which the dinosaur is looking through the windows of the car with the children inside. Even though it prevented me from finishing the film for years to come, those tense scenes are part of what makes the original so great; the balance between great story telling, effects, and suspenseful scenes is spot on in the first film. It is no surprise it has gone down as of the greatest films in movie history.
Sadly, the next two entries that followed were less than satisfactory, and were the main cause for my uncertainty going into Jurassic World. Despite my slightly negative predispositions, Jurassic World is the best sequel of the three. There are thrilling actions sequences, especially with the various battles between the dinosaurs. One of the dinosaur battle scenes even begs comparisons with the near perfect confrontation between King Kong and the Vastosaurus Rex in the Peter Jackson remake of the 1933 classic. The movie is entertaining throughout even if it is overwhelming in terms of the action sequences and peril. It doesn’t quite have the right balance as the original but still manages to be a worthwhile thriller.
Besides those strong positives, however, there are a few things wrong with the film. First and foremost, the script is absolutely terrible (probably because they spent all of the budget money on special effects rather than paying quality writers to produce a good story and strong dialogue). The first half an hour is very difficult to get through because all of it is just an irrelevant attempt to create any sort of emotional tie to the children visiting the park. For me, though, I couldn’t care less about the children because they weren’t likeable and we know nothing about them. Their storyline was there to allow us to believe that this movie did have a soul and wasn’t simply all action, but ultimately it failed. Still the worst part about this movie, which is a common problem with many summer blockbusters since the turn of the decade, is that the entire movie just reeks of box office ticket stubs. Everything about the film was made so that the movie studio could bring in half a billion dollars in profit. My biggest piece of evidence for this would be the casting of Chris Pratt. People will be angry at me for saying this but Chris Pratt is not a good actor; he is solid, but not in the upper levels of the acting world. He is a crowd pleaser, and people will go out to see the movie simply because he is in it. There is nothing wrong with him being in the film, but it is just another example of why the movie was simply made just to make money rather than have a legitimate substance to it. The original movie has a feeling of originality and soul that made it all the more worthwhile whereas Jurassic World ultimately lacks a soul and a sense of purpose that was present in the original. Again, very entertaining for much of the film, but too many problems for it to be one I would pay to watch again.
Jurassic World (2015): 2.5/4 stars