Jurassic World Review: Big On Fun, Short On Substance

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The latest installment in the Jurassic Park series hit theatres this weekend and has already raked in a whopping $82.8 million on its opening day alone. After catching up on the trilogy over the past few weeks, the family ventured out to check out the continuation of the films that started over 20 years ago. Find out what we thought in our Jurassic World review.

Apparently people never learn. Jurassic World takes place 22 years after the original Jurassic Park. Isla Nublar has been turned into a fully functioning dinosaur theme park which has been operating successfully for the past 10 years. The thing is, people are getting bored of the whole dinosaur thing and every few years Jurassic World needs to come up with something new to entice new visitors to the park. In years past, this usually consisted of creating living versions of other dinosaurs who once lived. Over the years, the park went from 8 dinosaurs to around 20 created in the onsite InGen labs.

But of course, the board wants something bigger and badder, something that will truly knock the socks off and bring the guests back to the island in droves. Enter Indominus Rex, a.k.a. D-Rex, a genetically modified dinosaur who is part Tyrannosaurus Rex and part… something else. We’ll leave that to you to figure out.

The genetically created Indominus Rex is the new bad ass of the dinosaur world.

The movie starts off with a pair of brothers, Gray (played by Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), who are sent by their parents on a week long vacation to Jurassic World, which is basically run by their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). When the pair arrive at Jurassic World, their aunt sets them up with VIP access but she’s too busy trying to entice corporate sponsorship (the visitor center just happened to be sponsored by Samsung, while she’s trying to get Verizon Wireless on board to sponsor the unveiling of D-Rex) and pawns them off on her assistant.

Boys will be boys and slip away from their escort the first chance they get and they tour the park visiting all the attractions they can, finally ending up on the Gyroscope ride which features a pair of seats in a gyroscopic vehicle which allows them to roam freely in a valley full of herbivores.

Meanwhile we find out that Owen (Chris Pratt) has been working with training Velociraptors to follow commands. Enter Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio – who I might add has packed on quite a few pounds these days, perhaps a remnant of his Kingpin role in Daredevil). Hoskins works for InGen and is looking for a way to use the raptors as a military weapon.

Chris Pratt: ‘raptor wrangler!

The park owner, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), has come to the facility to see how the recent additions are coming along and instructs Claire to enlist Owen to inspect the D-Rex enclosure for any weaknesses they may have missed. As with all Jurassic Park movies, things go from good to bad to worse in a real hurry and before you know it, the D-Rex has escaped, Gray and Zach find themselves exploring a restricted area, and all havoc is breaking loose.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story, you can probably figure out how it plays out.

As much as I enjoyed Chris Pratt as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, he seemed a lot more deadpan in his delivery in Jurassic World. There were quite a few comedic lines that were good for a chuckle, however the dynamic between Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard seemed a bit of a stretch, Claire being the straight laced by the book always thinking about the bottom dollar of the park and Owen being the ex-military turned raptor trainer tough guy – who apparently had a date once upon a time. Oh, and how Claire survived the entire sequence of events that unfolded over the course of the movie in a pair of high heels is beyond me…

The relationship between Pratt and Howard’s characters seemed forced at best.

D’Onofrio was decent as Hoskins, but it was a pretty cliché role. These days it seems there’s always a faction within a company that wants to weaponize whatever product it is, and jump at any opportunity to capitalize on a tragedy to try and get their way. Both Simpkins and Robinson were o.k. as Gray and Zach, although there were a few moments that seemed to come out of nowhere which can be attributed to mediocre script writing. One particular discussion between the two about their parents, presumably meant to be a bonding moment, was never resolved at any point in the movie.

The story was pretty predictable, but then again one can pretty much expect similar out of Jurassic Park movies… man tempts fate with dinosaurs, dinosaurs escape/cause havoc, man escapes/defeats dinosaur. While the effects of the original Jurassic Park trilogy blew everyone away at the time, and to be honest still stand up to recent viewings, the effects in Jurassic World were out of this world (no pun intended). Everything from the larger dinosaurs to Pratt’s interaction with the raptors looked very real, and there wasn’t a moment when anything looked unreal or unbelievable – although I did question the existence of a Pteranodon with a T-Rex style head but it turns out Dimorphodons really existed. The end sequence was a lot of fun as well, but that’s all I’ll say so as not to spoil it for you.

If you’re expecting a Jurassic Park movie, you’ll be disappointed. While Jurassic World is full of dinosaurs, it’s light on the science talk that partly made the other Jurassic Park movies. If you’re expecting a fun action movie with more than a few comedic quips thrown about and dinosaurs roaming and flying around left, right, and center, you won’t be disappointed. In the end, despite the mediocre story and script, Jurassic World is a fun action-comedy that is enjoyable on the big screen. For the record, the kids ranked this as the number 2 best Jurassic Park movie following the original classic which started off the franchise.

Last Updated on November 27, 2018.


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