By Darin Skaggs
If you ask me my opinion on Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World with just presenting the facts, I would say it was a bad movie. If you ask for my personal opinion, I would say I kind of loved it. It’s characters are nothing, the film cannot help but make fun of itself and the effects are less than dazzling. Nevertheless the film’s meta moments hit me in just the right way and it has many terrific action sequences that make the viewing more than worthwhile. In this take of the prehistoric theme park, the place has been open for over twenty years and quite successfully at that. The wow factor in having a park full of extinct animals has lowered considerably, so to boost attendance the park’s scientists has genetically modified a new dinosaur called the Indominus Rex that is a mix of many types of animals that are kept secret from our characters. After the new dino gets loose the park runner Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who treats the place like a zoo or just a regular old theme park, calls Owen (Chris Pratt) a navy man who has now dedicated his life to training Raptors, to help with catching the new beast before it reaches the park’s many guest.
What could be viewed as a big problem in the movie is the constant referencing to the original movie and making fun of the fact that it is a sequel to that. This does not bug me at all. In the 1993 classic the music swells with wonder as Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler see a real life dinosaur for the first time. They are almost brought to tears as they witness the impossible and see a walking creature of the animals they dedicated their life to studying. In this one however the music builds as a young boy opens the window to his hotel room and sees the vast land of product placement. It looks nice and it the sort of main street of Jurassic World. In fact we do not see any dinosaurs for a long, long time. There are plenty of fake outs as well that work pretty good as jokes. The end might be hinting that all four films are in a battle royale against each other. At one point a door is being pushed at, and you think it is the big dinosaur, and then it turns out to be a terrified crowd. It even takes a jab as SeaWorld saying these animals will become violent not because they are dinosaurs, but because they are caged up.
There are many clever moments in the movie but overall the script is lackluster. It is a collection of cool scenes put together poorly. The performances are nowhere great either. The best acting done in the film is from the two youngest stars Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) as the two estranged nephews to Howard’s Claire characters. Howard does okay work, but due to an underdeveloped script there is not much focus you can put the blame. That goes double for Pratt’s Owen character. 95% of his dialogue is declaring what the new dinosaur is up to or has learned. All this delivered with the intensity of Harrison Ford’s “I don’t care. Give me my paycheck” type performance from Return of the Jedi.
Most scenes while fun, are also messy. Characters stop in the middle of danger to say something cool and of course are not picked off by any of their attackers. Part of me thinks the directors just wanted to create the final battle, and then made the rest of the film afterwards. And if the rumors are true about that last scene then we might as well all agree that it is the best scene in all of film.
Overall though Trevorrow does well with what he has got. Jurassic World is a blast from beginning to end. It has a good flow so even if you are baffled by what is happening on screen, at least it will be over soon and will keep your interest throughout.