After some long awaited hype and missed opportunities this weekend, I was finally able to see Jurassic World on Sunday, which is the 4th movie in the Jurassic Park franchise. The events take place roughly 20 years after the events of the original movie, in what is now a major operational theme park. The park seems to be running smoothly and without any major complication… so naturally something’s got to screw that up, right?
Apparently, after all these years, kids just aren’t “wowed” by dinosaurs anymore…and neither are the investors. They want something bigger and with more teeth. Dr. Henry Wu certainly gave it to them too, with the Indominus Rex. It’s nifty hybrid dinosaur, the first of its kind, designed to be bigger and scarier than any dinosaur before it. (It’s even got an easily pronounceable name!) It’s a cross between a T. Rex and CLASSIFIED. We later find out that it’s crossed with raptors (and maybe other things that were never revealed.) Of course, it’s highly advanced and can do all sorts of nifty things, like change its skin color and hide itself from thermal detection. And it escapes. (I suppose the movie would be boring without an escaped dinosaur, right?)
If that were the central focus of the movie, it might have been a little stronger. And this is where the problems come in. You have a subplot where the main park manager’s (Claire) nephews are there. There’s a lot of talk about the moral compass of dealing with these animals they way they have been. Claire’s character growth subplots. InGen wants to utilize weaponized dinosaurs for the military. Romantic subplots. It’s just a hulking monster that’s trying to throw in too many things at once.
Jurassic World could have easily stuck with a central focus on why genetic splicing can be dangerous, especially when your funds come from big corporation sponsors. It could have left out the subplots with Claire, her romance with Owen, and crap with her nephews. The movie could have left out the InGen involvement, but easily involved them in a future movie with one simple cut-scene without trying to shove them in this somehow.
It was like investors all sat around and said, “How do we make a summer blockbuster that says uncomplicated smart things but still manages to deliver carnage, explosions, and touching crap?” Jurassic World. It sucks, because I really want to like this movie more than I do… but I can’t. What really astounds me is just how lazy everything feels. I’m not even sure anything in the movie was actually real, aside from the actors… and even then. How did Spielberg manage to make Jurassic Park look so good in 1993? How did he manage to have effects that still look good by today’s standards?! I have no idea, but I wish those methods were implemented again… especially considering how much money this film made.
Overall, it’s not the worst film out there, and not even the worst in the franchise. It feels like a direct sequel to Jurassic Park, and it’s certainly more entertaining than the previous two movies before it. But, it feels like some hulking monster. The final scene, though, had me in a childish “wide-eyed” fest. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s definitely worth it just for that. As a summer blockbuster, Jurassic World isn’t terrible; there are far worse things you could go see. I just don’t think anything will ever match the original movie, though Jurassic World tries.