“You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox.”
These lines spoken by Dr. Ian Malcolm seem to transcend the 1993 Jurassic Park. That of course assumes it is actually a genuine masterpiece created by geniuses, meaning 2015’s Jurassic World is only banking off their success. I bring up that quote because I have seen it used in other articles, memes and so on. I take issue with it because I don’t have nearly as much love as so many people do towards Steven Spielberg’s original film. I didn’t grow up with it or find it that exceptional. On the other hand, there is a certain charm the first film had that has yet to be recreated, so I do see where that quote applies to its many sequels.
Jurassic Park is always going to be the standard for all its sequels, and any other dinosaur movie for that matter. But I propose we look somewhere else. By now we can be sure it’s story is timeless, so why do we need a rehashing and telling of a story that we’ve already seen? Surely there are more ways to go. Jurassic World lies somewhere in between a reboot and a sequel. It should be only one and focus on just that.
Jurassic World captured the wonder and excitement of the first better than its two predecessors. It is the same movie though, making it a reboot. It takes place chronologically however, making it a sequel. Here is the dilemma I think this movie faced: Everyone one has been pleading for 20+ years for another Park movie that moved them the way the original did, but they were let down twice. To overcome the pressure of accomplishing this, the formula was copied almost directly, but also unsuccessfully. However, I did enjoy the occasional throwback references it did make to the original.
We are introduced to two kids who are related to someone who runs the dinosaur park. They go on a ride that inevitably goes wrong, having to be saved by some other guys on the island. We also see bits of other attractions that are supposed to make our jaws drop. That description sums up both Park and World pretty well, so much so that I’d rather call this film a reboot. If I understood the hype for the original, I suspect I might have liked this fourth installment more. But through my eyes, Jurassic World took a flawed movie and reshaped it into an even more flawed one.
Director Colin Trevorrow is a huge fan of this franchise. I can appreciate that and recognize it in this film. Unfortunately, it seems he was more interested in remaking a beloved movie of his rather than expanding on it. That is why I believe thousands of people are loving it, enough to gross more than $200 million in it’s opening US weekend. It is also why I keep repeating the point that I am much less interested in these movies than most. I forget the degree to which I am in the minority, and realize this film hit so many of the marks that make a true fan enjoy it.
Chris Pratt is officially a movie star. Guardians Of The Galaxy was not a one time hit for him. He can carry a franchise and sell tickets. From being a long time Parks And Recreation fan, I will support anything this man does, including following him through this movie. He was hands down the best character even though he suffered from a poor story and awkward one-liners. The rest of this cast was fine. No performance was downright bad, I just didn’t care for any of the characters. There were also too many of them that were there to advance the plot and create exposition.
No matter how many negative things I will say here, you will never hear me say anything bad about the score in all of these films, especially this one that had the audacity to create new, incredible compositions. John Williams’ original Jurassic Park score is one of his bests, which is saying a lot. It is so important to all of those movies and a large reason why that first one is so beloved. Jurassic World utilizes a new score by Michael Giacchino, Oscar winner known for some of Pixar’s best movies and so much others. Williams’ theme is used, but the majority is Giacchino’s, which was my favorite part of the whole film.
The finale of this movie is being praised beyond belief. Since more people saw this in one weekend than they did The Avengers, I feel okay going into spoilers. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character decides to take from Ken Watanabe’s playbook in Godzilla and let them fight. She releases a T-Rex and lets it fight with the monster dinosaur with the help of some trained velociraptors. It was a cool fight to see between giant dinosaurs, but I’ll take the Godzilla fight over it. Though however cool it was, I can’t get that excited when I am seeing computer images fight while the actors stand there and watch.
Jurassic World is not a bad movie. It has a stellar score, is shot well, and is in stride with the modern blockbuster. My problem with it is that it lacks any originality and good story. It is too much of a remake of the original film that I’m not a big fan of in the first place. I am glad that the director of Safety Not Guaranteed is having success and now has a name that definitely holds weight. This film already has and will satisfy a lot of people. It is exciting, visually appealing, and aware of its audience. That should be enough to earn your money.