When I first saw the original Jurassic Park, I remember being overcome with this magical feeling. What I was watching was so freakin’ cool. It didn’t need glitz, it didn’t need glamour; all it needed was its massive, majestic and beautiful stars – the dinosaurs. And to this day, every time Grant sees those dinosaurs for the first time, I still get that tingly feeling, that OMG feeling.
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Judy Greer, Omar Sky, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake M. Johnson
Jurassic World was supposed to be the movie that brought back those nostalgic feelings – that returned the franchisee back to a magical time where Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 didn’t exist. And while this movie was an improvement, it could have and should have been much better.
WHAT IT GOT RIGHT.
The Theme Park: Jurassic World was fully thought out down to the Margaritaville and Pandora that exist in every Caribbean port. I couldn’t help thinking that even without the dinosaurs this would be a place I’d really want to visi. I’d love to canoe down a river as stegosaurus’ graze nearby or ride a baby triceratops even though I’m 30 years old. It just looked like a fun place to be, no gimmicks necessary. Then again I’ve always been a suckers for zoos and aquariums.
WHAT IT GOT WRONG: Basically everything else.
The Magic: There was no magic! Or pretty much none. What happened to those long panning shots where we can admire the dinosaurs? Or the wide-eyed awe of young children as they view their favorite dinosaur. Instead we got quick shots of dinosaurs running and bored children being bratty. I know that was the point, that people were becoming bored with the dinosaurs wanting something bigger and better, but I just wanted the camera to spend more than 3 seconds on a dinosaur at any given point. (And I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen elephants many times and each time I do I look at them with wonder and awe and feel like a child every time.) But this lack of magic could be forgiven if I could care about…
The Characters: They were terrible and under developed. All of them. Chris Pratt was the most developed but what about his backstory? How did he become a velociraptor trainer? How is he still alive? Are there other places that have dinosaurs that taught him how to be a trainer? Does he have a family? Why does he live in a rinky dink trailer? And HE was the only character in the movie that really felt like he belonged there. Dallas Bryce Howard started off as an unpleasant, workaholic who had no time for family or friends or pleasantries by the end of the movie she kind of turned into a badass. Only no one acknowledged it, or cared, not as long as Pratt was on screen gently stroking his raptor (the dirtiness of that statement is just a happy coincidence). Then you have minor characters that serve no purpose but to further the story, a villain who is just plain stupid and two kids one of who is so bratty and annoying you don’t really care if he gets eaten by the dinosaur or not. And finally, how do you cast someone like Judy Greer and not use her? Bringing the kids parents and sister to one of our main characters along could have would have given the movie an actual opportunity to have a story. But instead she and her husband and their possible divorce was just another point that disappeared into…
The (Practically Non-Existent) Plot: There was no plot, no story, nothing to care about, just a dinosaur rampaging on people and things we don’t really care about. Except for those baby triceratops, that was sad. I want story, I want people to care about, I want a plot to care about. As big of a star power Chris Pratt is, he can’t and shouldn’t have to carry a movie like this all by himself.
Overall, while the movie was entertaining, the special effects and CGI fantastic, and the dinosaurs are always a thing to Marvel at, but this reboot of the franchise would really help itself out by getting a plot and people we care about, just as long as it includes Chris Pratt.
Rating: 6.5/10 Stars