JURASSIC WORLD – Is More… More?

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JURASSIC WORLD is pretty fun when dinosaurs are on screen. Duh, right. Unfortunately, it’s pretty boring when they aren’t.

Now before you get all, like, What did you expect on me, let me address that.

I’m not a film snob or anything. I love EVIL DEAD 2 and TREMORS right up there with SEVEN SAMURAI and Bertolucci’s BESIEGED. I love b-movies when they’re done right. And that’s what WORLD is: a monster b-movie with a big budget.

Fun? Or Ridiculous? And anti-thetical?

All I want out of a movie like this is to be entertained in between the action and adventure. I want to have fun the whole time. 

That said… The story and characters of JURASSIC WORLD really fall flat.

Charismatic rising star CHRIS PRATT (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) leads the way but isn’t given too much to work with. His comedic talent isn’t fully put to use.

I still liked him as a serious action hero. Pratt is one of the best parts of this movie.

Too bad he doesn’t show up for so long. The First Act pacing is really off.

The sense of wonder and amazement is missing. This is JURASSIC WORLD’s largest flaw. I rarely felt a sense of engagement. There was no jaw dropping moment.

The most enchanting scene was when the kids traverse the field in a gyroscope hamster ball thing. This is a rare sequence where we get to breathe and just take in the sights.

NOT Jessica Chastain

While the dinosaurs look good, the script missed the mark setting the stage. A slow build-up minus any compelling characters hinders the overall enjoyment.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD (LADY IN THE WATER) has a lot of screen time early, but most of it is exposition setting up the plot and the park.

this technique didn’t work out so well before

Later on, Howard has a little more to do. Actually, her character takes a drastic turn and becomes an action hero herself.

It’s almost like two separate screenplay drafts were combined as one. 😉

The plot isn’t really worth mentioning much. There are far too many sub-plots introduced without any payoffs. There is no real evolution… ironically. Howard makes a turn around, but we never know why she has a change of heart.

Her nephews really never have anything to do either. Although the older one does like to stare at girls a lot. Like in a really eerie way.

D’Onoforio rocking the bad guy pose

There’s VINCENT D’ONOFORIO (DARDEVIL, FULL METAL JACKET) as the pseudo-antagonist. He wants to militarize raptors. Yeah. You read that right. Training raptors is like training soldiers for war, right.

Boot camp doesn’t always turn out so well. Right, D’Onoforio? Remember Kubrick’s JACKET?

The dinosaurs are the focus. Most of our time is spent in fear of the genetically spliced Indominus Rex. I won’t spoil the twist there with what creatures were spliced. But I’m assuming you’ll guess it before the movie tells you what’s up.

This new Rex hybrid is rather imposing. There are a few intense sequences. Nothing on par with the original JURASSIC PARK though.

The big bad baddies from yesteryear are today’s heroes. I hated this decision. How would you feel if in JAWS 2 they trained a Great White to fight wars or some shit? So, let’s just say I was never really on board with the training raptor stuff from earlier trailers.

That said… JURASSIC WORLD delivers on this plot. Pratt helps sell his dino-wrangler character enough you dismiss logic and go along for the ride.

That’s a problem with JURASSIC PARK as well. If you don’t go along with the logic of creating dinosaurs you’re not going to enjoy the movie. No matter how wicked the effects are.

However, the original film managed to create characters and a simple story we all enjoyed enthusiastically. WORLD is sorely missing interesting or fun people to hang out with on this adventure.

The original managed to create extended sequences of fear rather than brief moments of horror. PARK also had incredible excitement without dinosaurs, like climbing an electric fence or descending a tree before a jeep crushes them. 

This latest JURASSIC movie seems to favour quantity.  A new dinosaur pops up every ten minutes during a brief action sequence. Kids today might have lower attention spans but this is kind of insulting.

RUuunNNnNN!

Some of the dino moments in JURASSIC WORLD fall flat. For me, the finale versus fight went all Michael Bay with confusing swirling CG close-ups.

I’m old school (emphasis on old) so I prefer a mixture of practical FX and CGI.

For me, recent movies like GODZILLA and PACIFIC RIM use CG in the best way, filmed as if by real cameras with real operators.

JURASSIC WORLD still has a sense of humour and isn’t absolutely filled with dread. There are a few laughs from Pratt, Howard, the kids, and a desktop nerd.

A welcomed satirical undertone flows throughout commenting on the audience, media, and corporations.

The film’s opening shot is also tongue and cheek.

familiar?

The weak story and characters aren’t the only bad stuff in the 4th dino blockbuster of the franchise. There’s a lot of homages to the original film. Probably too many.

The film walks a fine line between winking (I liked the Ian Malcolm book) and totally copying Spielberg’s masterpiece. We get very similar sequences, left behind artifacts (spoiler free here), and returning faces.

John Williams’ phenomenal score from over 20 years ago returns at certain moments… but it’s the wrong moments. This nostalgic score was wasted and could have been put to better use later on. The familiar theme would have played nicely over seeing new dinosaurs, for example.

A predictable script with bland characters isn’t enough to entertain during the non dinosaur moments.

Despite being a better sequel then part three, despite having some exciting action sequences, JURASSIC WORLD didn’t inspire enough wonder and simply wasn’t fun enough to rank high on the best summer movies of 2015.

—- unless the rest of the summer turns out poorly 😉

When you finished watching JURASSIC PARK originally there were several moments you got all excited and talked about with friends.

This time around, it’s hard to remember the good parts once it’s over.

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What do you think?

More is More? Or More is Too Much?

Leave a comment.

Did you like the characters? Do they even matter?

Could anyone have starred in this movie and the box office wouldn’t change?

TWEET TWEET @slipthroughnerd

6 thoughts on “JURASSIC WORLD – Is More… More?

  1. I. Love. Tremors. Did we just become best friends? Yup! (I’m assuming you got the reference but that’s from Step Brothers).
    You made some great points here, I think that Chris Pratt was pretty good, and I liked his character but Bryce Dallas Howard was a little one dimensional. I actually read an article that compared her to Laura Dern in terms of being strong female protagonists and it was really interesting. Laura Dern was definitely a stronger woman and a more interesting character.
    I love your point about the movie lacking the awe. It’s so true. I felt exactly the same way even though I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time.
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments. And Tremors. Hahaha. One of my all time fav cult classics. So… definitely “best friends”.

      You’re so right about Laura Dern. She was way better and a stronger character than Howard’s. One of my favourite moments is Dern with the sick triceratop.

      The wonder is a magical element. A more inspiring storyline would be new bones from a brand new dinosaur not in the fossil records. Add a new scifi DNA tech to clone from bones, and there you go. Like the original Park, this sort of idea could inspire children to become scientists or dino bone hunters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha. Thanks. Are you sure about that 😉

        check my screenplay site thelastfountain.wordpress.com … it’s in my experimental PICTUREplay format… designed to emulate old Star Wars books that came with a record, reading it for you with music and sound fx… ummm, so there’s proof I’m a nerd

        Liked by 1 person

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