I recently saw all three Jurassic Park films so I was all set for this one. To an extent, the premise of the Jurassic Park franchise guarantees that the films will always get low scores thanks to the fact that it revolves around dinosaurs and will have a lot of animal violence. This film is no exception and it’s safe to say that it does lose to Jurassic Park III, but beats the first two films. If you’re a fan of the older films, you should definitely enjoy this one.
Claire has helped to put Jurassic Park back onto the map as the new amusement park, Jurassic World. While her boss doesn’t care to much about the financial part of the operations, that’s where she comes in. She had her team create a new dinosaur that was even bigger than the T Rex to increase the wow factor of the park, but ends up underestimating the creature. It escapes so she is forced to call in the resident dinosaur expert, Owen Grady!
That’s essentially the plot in a nutshell and while I will be talking about the film a lot, I’ll try to avoid spoilers. I managed to see this film yesterday which was fun since a day 0 viewing is always intense. The audience wasn’t quite as ready to roll as they were in Age of Ultron or the first Avengers, but it’s mostly due to the timeslot. They were still ready for action though and I had my comfortable recliner so I was ready for anything as well.
I was cracking up for the first 30-45 minutes. Roughly of course since this isn’t the kind of film where you will be glancing at your watch. It was probably partially intentional by the film, but I mostly didn’t laugh at its jokes, but at the scenes due to being unintentionally funny. One example of a joke where I was laughing (on the inside, I rarely laugh on the outside) was when the parents tease Zach after his heartwarming moment with his friend. It was all in good fun so the parents went a little higher on my coolness chart. They were essentially non factors here though as their screen time was minimal. The kids were fairly awful, but they did help the humor for the film.
Another example is when the two kids finally meet up with Claire. She tries to be nice and excited about seeing them only to get one of the more awkward receptions. Zach basically doesn’t want to talk to her at all and Gray’s mood swings of being somber and then super excited don’t wait for anyone. Claire can’t stay so she lets her assistant babysit them. You just gotta feel bad for Claire and I sympathized with her for the whole film. She doesn’t have a lot of free time so it makes sense that she hasn’t seen her nephews in 7 years. It’s regrettable, but these things happen and the kids shouldn’t hold it against her. She’s trying to be a good Aunt, but they never even gave her a chance. Gray may have, but he was disheartened when she couldn’t stay.
Let’s quickly talk about the two kids. Zach’s thing is that he believes that he’s really cool. He completely ignores his parents at times and ends up flirting with every single girl that he meets. (Even though he’s taken) Zach’s constantly giving Gray a hard time. “Sometimes we have to grow up!” Those may not have been his exact words, but he gets a lot of the most generic dialogue in the film and he’s also a shining bad example in many situations like when he decides to head to the forbidden zone. He felt like the kind of character that you would see in a commercial warning you not to hang out with people like that. He has his hero moments towards the end with Gray of course and he sees the light, but that would help him in the sequel, not here. He was just terrible.
No worries, Gray was awful as well. He’s way too excited and constantly blasts through rides to the dismay of the babysitter. At one point, he starts to whine about where all the dinosaurs are…even though we see that dozens of them are in front of him only about a minute later. There’s no way that he wouldn’t have been able to see them. It reminds me of a critique for the flowers film where someone saw a dead body before they ever could have seen it. Sort of the opposite of this event. Gray really had no consideration for anyone but himself during his visit to the park and while you can sympathize with him since Zach doesn’t want to hang out with him, Gray should have still done a better job of enjoying the park. He’s also pretty emotionless when pointing out a giant dinosaur that is around.
Time for a few quick nitpicks. After two characters jump into a lake, we see them walking a few minutes later and they are hardly wet. Their hair is matter and one of the T shirts is soggy, but the characters look way too dry considering the fact that they were completely underwater for a little while. Anyone who has ever jumped into a pool and then walked out will know that you don’t dry out that quickly. There’s also the ball ride where two characters explore the park. Even once an emergency announcement cuts off the presentation and tells everyone to leave…the ball is unaffected. The passenger still has complete control of it and that’s certainly not very safe. If passengers could control these things to go wherever they wanted, people would constantly be crashing into dinosaurs.
I did also chuckle at the fact that one guy’s whole job was making sure that all of the balls were safe during the crisis. He tells everyone that they’re all safe until he actually looks at the screen and realizes that one is gone. Whoops….that didn’t look too good for the guy. I liked his Dinosaur collection and admired the fact that he always talked a good game, but he was out of his league and he also tried flirting towards the end. Luckily, it wound up being the ultimate friend zone moment and I thought that it was handled rather well. We need more friend zone moments to be honest as they would make just about every film better.
The actual park is definitely somewhere that you would want to go and it looks kind of like Epcot. They have big water rides and a petting zoo section as well. You could say that it’s a fusion of your local zoo with one of the big amusement parks. It’s hard to believe that people would get bored of such a place even though the wow factor was apparently leaving. How I see it, Zoos have remained relevant for decades, a Dinosaur park would at least last 20 years without any big decline in viewership. That being said, Claire may have been overreacting as the numbers still seemed to be quite good when she was mentioning the statistics.
Let’s take this time to quickly talk about Owen and Claire. I haven’t really mentioned Owen up til now, but he did have some solid scenes. I did enjoy his interactions with the Raptors and I like how it was handled. He was their partner, not their boss although he thought of himself as an Alpha. Owen’s essentially your average action hero who has his good moments and his iffy ones. His flirting and dicey remarks keep him from being a good character, but he’s still decent for the most part. It’s easy to root for him at any rate and he certainly knows what he’s doing. He’s another guy who never bows to authority and talks when he feels like it. Imagine if everyone in real life were so bold right? I think the world would be topsy turvy before long.
Claire is a good main heroine for the film and she was actually one of my favorite characters. She didn’t want to have kids which is a noble goal and she has spent her career moving up in the ranks until she became one of the higher ups at the biggest amusement park in the world. That’s no small feat to say the least. Towards the end of the film, she has a bit of a generic ending where you can probably guess that she decides to back away from one part of her logic, but she was still a good character through and through. I thought that she did a decent job watching the kids. Sure, she left that to the assistant, but she gave them VIP passes and they got to have a blast. It’s not like she could take a day off when the big bosses were in town and awaiting her sales pitch after all. I also can’t really imagine her getting on some of the rides and having a blast like the kids. Actually, one of the rides was only built for 2 anyway.
The assistant was actually fairly likable and I originally thought that she was going to be one of the main characters. The actress looked like the main one from Twilight so I thought that I may have just been out of the loop there, but considering her minimal role, I’m going to assume that it was someone else. She definitely didn’t care to be there, but she’s probably seen and been on all of the rides many times over at this point. Still, her facade was good enough to fool the kids I’d say, but they were intent on giving her a tough time right from the start. Her character path goes down a dicey road and I felt bad for the whole time. It just wasn’t her day.
The higher up in charge of the park was decently charismatic. The film was going for a Tony Stark kind of feel for the guy and it worked to an extent. He started to look a little iffy towards the end though, but at least he cared about the dinosaurs a little. As always, there is a human antagonist to liven things up and he is similar to the guy from the first film. He talks tough to everyone and he has his own plans in mind. He gave the film another jolt of humor and I liked him as one of the big bads. This guy certainly wasn’t playing around.
Time to talk about the mystery dino. If you’re seen the trailers, then you know that there is a new Dinosaur hybrid attacking everyone. While she is a little smaller than I had expected, she still packs a punch and makes for a great threat. There are few dinos who can hope to match up to this fighter and she is also very smart. The fact that this dinosaur has been created in a lab gave the writers a little freedom to add some new techniques so this dinosaur doesn’t just need to rely on physical strength. It has two defensive skills, which greatly increase how deadly it can be in a fight. This dinosaur was definitely one of the highlights.
The classics like the T Rex and the Raptor are also present of course and I still love both dinosaurs. Once you see this film, you’ll be reminded why the T Rex is so awesome and how merciless the Raptors can be. It would have been fun to have seen the Spinosaurus enter the fray, but maybe next time. The Raptors get a fairly large role and are integral to the plot. They are still my favorite Dinosaurs out there and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. They just look so happy and cuddly next to all of the others.
As you might expect, there is a big climactic fight towards the end of the film and it’s quite impressive. It was a fight that I actually called out as I walked into the theater and I was thrilled to see it play out. The fighters gave it their all and we see some nice teamwork as well. The fight isn’t that short either and gives the dinosaurs enough time to really show what they are made of. It’s easily the best fight scene that we’ve gotten in the Jurassic Park franchise and it’s hard to picture this one being topped.
There are some plot elements left around to get you ready for the inevitable sequel. Let’s just say that the next film could have dog sized super dinosaurs running around and it’ll make for a pretty epic clash. Alternately, it could have a plot similar to the original King Kong. Either way, the sequel should be fun and I wonder if the main characters would return or if it would be time for a new cast. I would like these characters to return, but I’m open to change so that we wouldn’t have to see the kids return.
Now, this review sounds decently positive so you may expect something like a 7? A 7 is what the film would have gotten if not for the main negative, but it is something that it almost literally impossible for the Jurassic Park franchise to get away from. That is…animal violence. It’s a dinosaur eat dinosaur world out there so it’s expected and I’m not surprised at the fact that dinosaurs are getting hurt all over the place. It simply makes sense even if it is regrettable. So, while I enjoyed the film as a whole, I’ve still got to cripple the final rating due to how many times an animal is injured and how prevalent this is in the film.
One scene is really just there so that the mini army can get some hype as a gun man casually shoots one of the Pterodactyls. That was just unnecessary and a lot of the other animal scenes aren’t much better. We see dinosaurs blown up, eaten, and effectively drowned. If you’re a dinosaur in this film, then you’re in a whole lot of trouble. A lot of the hurt also comes to my good ole Raptors, which is unfortunate, but probably a price of being one of the main characters. I could go on and on, but you get the drift and it occurs too often to be overlooked so you should prepare for a fairly low score on this one.
Still, it was more fun than the first three Jurassic Park films and certainly seemed to have more fun with itself as well. I’m glad that the Park finally got to open and the film was certainly able to make it look much more authentic than it could have with older effects. This is one of those times where the fact that it’s modern and has some good effects, really helps it. To an extent, I feel like new technology will always help films to have an edge over older ones. The older ones typically hold their own through the better writing, but when you have a good modern film against a good old one, the modern one certainly has that extra edge. Jurassic Park III still wins overall, but the tone and pacing of this film can’t be beat. World feels like a classic Summer Blockbuster.
Hmmm, have I touched on everything? I managed to stay pretty vague on all spoiler related areas and that also slightly limits what I can discuss in the review. The first half was really funny and made this the funniest film in the series and the ending also had the best action scene from all 4 so it was a nice balance. Any scene with the Raptors is typically a good scene as well. As for the soundtrack, you’ll certainly recognize the classic theme from the first film as well as the trailer theme, which plays during one of the scenes. The soundtrack may be a tad generic at points, but the main theme is still iconic and you probably won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. As long as you have one memorable scene, that’s more than most films have got.
While the animal violence is really the only big negative, there are some mild ones as well since this still wouldn’t be a perfect film if the violence was gone. (Although it would be a good-very good one) The kids naturally weren’t good characters, but the rest of the cast helped to nullify them. The writing isn’t great although this is mainly due to Owen and Zach’s characters as the rest are typically fine. There is one scene that will puzzle you a little bit as two security guards seem to have no idea that the Park is in trouble even though the alarms had already gone through a good half hour ago. It struck me as a little odd and random. That’s about it so the film was mostly solid. At around 2 hours, it was a good run time, which gave the film enough time to develop the characters and showcase the dinosaurs.
While Jurassic World is mainly a popcorn film with a lot of epic action and enjoyable moments, it can actually get pretty somber and sad at other moments. One of those moments is the Dinosaur graveyard, which is definitely tragic and one of the more emotional moments of the film. One moment that is supposed to be emotional is when we learn of a divorce, but it has no point in the film and its thrown out so randomly that you probably won’t feel any emotion other than a casual wince. Of course, if you like to have fun with films, then that may be a good thing as I was having fun grinning and wincing for some of the dialogue, but in a good way. On the whole, Jurassic World is still a fairly upbeat film that stays happy for most of its run time as it only gets sad once in a while.
The Pterodactyl attack scene will just get thrown in with the rest of the animal violence issue, but I wonder how some critics will take it. I read a critique of Jurassic Park III that Pterodactyls shouldn’t be strong enough to lift a grown man. Let’s just say that they lift quite a few people during the attack in this one. Is the science/films right or are the real life keyboard warriors correct on this one? I don’t know myself, but it seems perfectly feasible that Pterodactyle could lift humans up since animals are typically so tough. I’m no dinosaur expert though and am happy just being a casual moviegoer.
Overall, I’m definitely glad that I saw this one. If you liked the first three Jurassic Park films, then you should definitely like this one a lot. At the most, you may not like the fact that it’s much more of an action film than the first Jurassic Park, which was a survival film, but it’s still about dinosaurs and it’s still a good film so I believe that you would end up enjoying it. The animal violence is regrettable and it’s something that likely won’t leave the series until they bring in the mecha dinosaurs and I’m ready for that to enter the picture soon. Well, next stop should be good ole Terminator and it’ll be fun to see how that holds up.