A Mindless Popcorn Flick that Thinks it's more
Jurassic World (2015): Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly.
Wow. That is a long IMDB description. You know what? I think that just about sums up the problems with this film. It's trying to do too much. At the end of the day, this film is just a mindless popcorn flick. Great visuals and great dino-battles, but absolutely nothing more. However, the problem is the film is trying to be so much more. It's trying to have these great tales of morality, similar to that of the original, (which is what made that film so great) but the dialogue. The dialogue is just TERRIBLE. On IMDB, there are seven people who have a writing credit for this film. SEVEN! And the tales of morality can be summed up like this: "Bro, trying to control the dinosaurs is a bad idea. We've seen it not work before, it won't work now." What's the appropriate response? "IT'S PROGRESS, BIYATCH." Of course. Brilliance. Ok maybe the guy didn't say the later part, but at one point the explanation of why someone wants to do something that obviously won't work, his response is simply and quite literally "It's progress." I mean, that's the same as someone answering a scientific question by saying "It's science." YOU SAY THAT AS A JOKE. NO ONE IS OK WITH YOU JUST SAYING SCIENCE TO RESPOND TO A SCIENTIFIC QUESTION. Why should we be ok with it here? Look. If this film wasn't trying to be anything more than popcorn fun, I'd be more than willing to accept the ridiculousness of the premise. But....but it's not. It wants to walk in the footsteps of Jurassic Park. And it fails. It fails.
"You were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." Fans of the series will know that is a quote from original film, and it was stuck in my head all throughout this film. There's no doubt the original film, Jurassic Park, is a revolutionary film in the history of cinema. But one of the reasons why it's extraordinary is the incredible and relevant discussion of scientific morality throughout the film. This element of fantastic writing has been long lost in this franchise. After all, the very foundation of the tale of morality in this franchise is completely lost when it acknowledges the other dinosaur parks that have come before it. Hell, here not only do we get references to the previous parks, not only is this park built on the original Jurassic Park, but there's even a ridiculous statement that dinosaurs no longer thrills people. Seriously? You really want to say that? That's going to be the foundation on which you build the entire explanation for making a genetically perfect super-dinosaur? C'mon. We might as well have freaking xenomorphs invade Earth. That would definitely be a better explanation as to why we have to create super-dinosaurs. And yet this film tries so hard to stand for something. If this film embraced the mindless premise that it has become, it would've been so much better.
Maybe I'm being too hard on this film. Let's talk about what it does well: being a summer blockbuster. It is dinosaur porn, after all. So how are the dinosaurs? Great. Absolutely great. While the initial awe of watching the CGI is long gone, time and care clearly went into making these dinosaurs. And the final battle is spectacular to watch. Even though there's sooooo much noise at that moment! Seriously. This film goes for the "bigger is better" approach, and refuses to have silence at any point. Well, except when it's setting itself up for a pop scare. But the final fight was SO LOUD. Ummmm Chris Pratt is in this film! Yay for that. Even though he's extremely one-dimensional. While this is easily the worst performance of his career, his mere presence just makes everything better. Bryce Dallas Howard is pretty good, and, well, that's just about it. And she's obviously a boss, even though she's a damsel in distress type mostly, but hey! She managed to outrun a T. rex in high heels so she's awesome! Cause that could happen, right? Ummmm the kids, Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson are not very good, but they are also not helped by their script. But this film does accomplish its primary objective: make fun dinosaur porn. And that's important because I did have fun watching this film. I did enjoy myself. But I found myself laughing at the film whenever it tried to be more than a mindless popcorn flick. And when Bryce Dallas Howard outruns a T. rex in high heels. So, that aside, you have a fun, mindless sci-fi film. Nothing more. And at this point it's safe to say we'll never see a sequel out of this franchise that's even in the same ballpark as Jurassic Park. Sad face.
The Critique: A fun, mindless popcorn flick that fails miserably at being anything more.
The Recommendation: DO NOT TAKE KIDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE. WHY WOULD YOU EVER DO THIS? WHY ARE THESE FILMS TARGETED TO KIDS IN THE FIRST PLACE? This franchise as a whole is not meant for children under the age of 10. Don't do it! Fans of the franchise though, go see it. You have the best sequel in the franchise. Not that that's saying much....
Rewatchability: Moderately High
The Verdict: 4.5/10 Slightly Below Average.
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