By Mark Saldana
Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
In 1993 Steven Spielberg and visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic left movie audiences in awe with Jurassic Park, a summer blockbuster that most people consider a cinema classic. Spielberg followed this in 1997 with The Lost World: Jurassic Park and served as executive producer for the Joe Johnston helmed Jurassic Park III (2001), both of which received mixed responses from audiences and critics. Twenty-two years after the release of the first film, Steven Spielberg has returned to the Jurassic universe with a fresh director, Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed), but with a not-so-fresh approach to the material. The result is another sequel that may have all the thrills of an intense amusement park ride, but all of the silliness of a lame cartoon.
Just over twenty years after the last failed and tragic attempt by InGen to open a dinosaur-themed amusement park, the Masrani Corporation has finally achieved success with a fully functioning park that allows its guests to witness real dinosaurs within a safe and controlled environment. Having been open for a few years now, Masrani CEO and park owner Simon Masrani has been working with Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and a team of scientists to develop the next big attraction to alleviate dwindling sales. As usual, the scientists have cooked up a recipe for disaster when said attraction escapes and reeks havoc in a park filled with guests, including Dearing’s nephews Gray (Ty Sympkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson). Dearing and Velociraptor expert Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) go on a search for her nephews who are unaware of the danger they face. The Masrani company desperately turns to Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), an InGen security head with plans of his own.
Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly, and directed by Trevorrow, Jurassic World starts off with much promise and almost recaptures the wow factor of the first film. Trevorrow and ILM have done exceptional work with some incredible visual effects and pulse pounding action sequences. The attacks on the people characters offer audiences more of the same they probably experienced in the first three films, but to the credit of Trevorrow, cinematographer John Schwarzman, and editor Kevin Stitt, the filmmakers do build up the suspense and tension beautifully. The visual and sonic presentation of the movie does beg for a theatrical experience in the finest cinemas out there. The story and writing; however, will have some audiences bewildered, laughing, and cringing in their seats.
Well, at least that’s the effect it had on me. At first, I watched and enjoyed the beautiful aesthetics of the movie making–the expected “oohs” and “ahs”. However, when the lines and dialogue get really stupid, I was left slack-jawed and sometimes laughing to the point of tears at how bad the writing in these scenes get. Then the writers and filmmakers make some really ludicrous story choices as the movie nears its climax and conclusion. Just when I thought the movie may have redeemed itself with an awesome climax sequence, Trevorrow and crew decide to throw in everything including the kitchen sink! I was looking for the Fonz to make a motorcycle jump over the dinosaurs at this point. That’s how moronic things get. The filmmakers may have improved some things from the first movies, and repeated a few of the past mistakes, but they go ahead and make a whole bunch of new ones I hadn’t even anticipated.
To be more positive, though, the overall movie is fun and the cast is pretty good, just lacking solid character development and great dialogue. Like I previously stated, the visuals and sounds do demand that this film be watched in a theater, perhaps even in a great 3D one, but the flaws cannot be denied. It is a film that I’d recommend my readers to watch at a matinee, because I know I’d be annoyed if I had paid full price to see it. I’m not sure if Spielberg hoped to re-launch this franchise with Jurassic World. Unfortunately, his company has come up with another inferior sequel to a film classic that still holds up to this day and has yet to be topped.