Jurassic World (2015)


“Jurassic World” is the “Gremlins 2” of the “Jurassic Park” franchise. It’s filled with call backs to the original film, and garners a tongue in cheek attitude about itself, while commenting on the ills and woes of consumerism, the media, and theme park spectacles. And the very spectacle that became of “Jurassic Park.” There’s one instance where the technicians groan at Verizon sponsoring an animal exhibit, and there’s constant talk about how consumers always want bigger, better, and toothier. And that’s what “Jurassic World” is. It’s bigger, toothier, yet not exactly better.

There’s nothing that can compare to “Jurassic Park,” but “Jurassic World” at least tries to match the heart and soul of the original. That is when it’s not disgusted with its own presence, mind you. Everything about “Jurassic World” seems to point to a narrative that’s distractingly self aware to the point where not even the dinosaurs are fun anymore. The characters that work at the park are angry and frustrated that audiences are no longer fond of normal dinosaurs and dagnabit it makes sure to feature as little of the dinosaurs as possible. What we see of them degrades the image we had of them while showing almost nothing of the main dinosaur Indominous Rex. For a dinosaur that’s supposed to be so dominant and new, it’s definitely one we see very little of. Perhaps it’s because of the girth, but we only see parts of Indominous Rex at a time.

There’s never the money shot that leaves us breath taken at its size. Perhaps they’re saving it for the merchandise. Or perhaps it’s intentionally commenting on how the producers are saving it for the merchandise. Who knows, really? The vision for Jurassic Park has been realized and now twenty years later, it’s become a theme park for just about everyone. The Park is now a world and Isla Nublar has become a tourist destination for people that want to see real life dinosaurs. The problem is people are getting bored with the spectacle and the scientists of the park have bred brand new dinosaurs for the fun of it. The biggie is Indominous Rex, a mysterious animal hybrid that becomes the antagonist of the film.

When it breaks free and begins roaming the park, it’s up to Raptor wrangler Owen to stop it, and keep people from dying all around him. “Jurassic World” is like the party guest that doesn’t even want to be at the party. It’s sarcastic, rolls its eyes at everything, and you just find it tough to engage yourself. Raptors are turned in to glorified dolphins, the park is now a bland franchise a la Seaworld, and there’s very little sight of a T-Rex, or Triceratops for a very long time. A lot of “Jurassic World” is just fine though as there is some great dinosaur action, and a spotlight on Bryce Dallas Howard’s role as a strong feminine protagonist who spends most of the movie kicking ass without relying on men for help. Chris Pratt also does a great job of pulling the Sam Neill role, playing a bold new hero for the new direction the series takes. “Jurassic World” is cynical and occasionally a hollow venture, but in the end it’s a perfectly fine movie and entertaining enough to keep you watching until the closing credits.