Jurassic World managed to surpass my low expectations for the movie. It is far from a great movie, but it is entertaining enough to overcome its story and character issues. If you’re one of the few people that haven’t seen the movie yet or are curious to know whether it is worth a rental, this spoiler free review is for you.
Jurassic World is the only Jurassic Park movie since the first one to capture the childlike amazement of seeing the park. In the first Jurassic Park movie this was accomplished showing realistic looking dinosaurs for the time. Never before has special effects made such a difference in the viewing experience than seeing a dinosaur in the first Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, this is a move that can only be used once and the sequels had to rely on better story and action that couldn’t live up to the expectations made by the first one (I personally like the second Jurassic Park movie, but the third was a complete franchise killing train wreck). Jurassic World recaptures this by making the most believable looking dinosaur occupying theme park. Going into the movie, I doubted they would be able to make a reasonable explanation for why people would go to another Jurassic Park after three movies of dinosaurs killing people. After seeing the movie, there is a decent chance I would ignore the risk of being dinosaur dinner to visit Jurassic World, it is that impressive.
After the impressiveness of Disney World with dinosaurs wears off, the scenes of multiple people getting attacked by dinosaurs keeps the movie entertaining. While I cannot be 100 percent sure that more people died in Jurassic World than the previous three Jurassic Park movies combined, it sure seemed like it watching the movie. If you are looking for a disaster movie that replaces earthquakes with dinosaurs and value special effects over story when it comes to summer movies, you will not be disappointed.
If you are looking for a solid story and compelling characters, expect to be extremely let down. The reasons they created the Frankenstein like dinosaur killing machine Indominus Rex included an expectable explanation, but the story completely falls apart when training dinosaurs as a replacement to soldiers in wars became a major plot point. The idea that the USA or mercenary group, it is never clear what type of organization it is, would train dinosaurs to takedown Al-Qaeda or ISIS is stupid. Since this is a storyline that is introduced in the first twenty minutes and continues throughout the movie, I do not consider it a spoiler. It was not bad enough to completely ruin the movie for me, but I can see it hurting the movie for others. I just hope the sequel doesn’t feature Owen leading a team of raptors to assassinate the leader of ISIS.
Owen is the character played by Chris Pratt and the only decent human character in the movie. He is a somewhat generic action hero, but is an iconic movie character compared to the other characters in the movie. The other lead character Claire can best be described as a do no harm character. Claire did not add or subtract from the movie, and filled her role in the plot. I did not care for Claire’s nephews Zach and Gray. I hated the older brother Zach for the first third of the movie, because he was basically a stereotype of a stereotype of a bratty teenager. The worst character in the movie is Vincent D’Onofrio’s Hoskins. Hoskins is an unneeded human villain that pushes the ridiculous weaponized dinosaurs storyline.
Jurassic World is a very entertaining movie, as long as you turn your brain off during 124 minutes it’s on.