Movie Review – Jurassic World
Category : Movie Review
Director: Colin Trevorrow
I lot went through my mind when I saw the first trailer for Jurassic World. More of the same crossed by when I saw the second. And rewatching Jurassic Park cemented it all into my brain, forming a prediction that I hoped would be wrong; this is gonna suck. The original movie was so very good, the ones that followed were so very not, how could a revisiting of the old premise be anything other than a disaster? I don’t mean a financial disaster, because I & everyone else were going to see the movie regardless, but a disaster in story & originality. Also, my cheese-meter was wobbling more into the red with every detail I saw or heard about: a motorcycle-riding Alpha human who leads a pack of raptors, pterodactyls nipping at the heads of vacationers, boys trapped in a bubble, hybrid dinos. It all seemed a bit much, a bit of a stretch, an attempt to make money instead of cinema. But I saw the film, as seemingly everyone in America did, and I’ll say this in the movie’s defense; my prediction was wrong. It didn’t suck, wasn’t horrendous, and actually did a great job paying homage to the one that started it all. And here’s something I didn’t see coming that perhaps I should have and I can only hope was slightly intentional; the movie wass absolutely hilarious.
So, we all known what happened twenty-some-odd years ago; Jurassic Park failed to open because the shit hit the fan and a bunch of people got eaten. John Hammond’s dream became a nightmare, humans weren’t equipped to handle dinosaurs come back to life after all, and the whole thing ended in disaster. Well, there’s something to be said for perseverance I guess, although in this case, perhaps everyone should have given up. But they didn’t, his dream lived on, and a second park, Jurassic World, succeeded in opening & delighting the planet. Things were going swimmingly until the scientists in charge of the dinosaurs started creating genetic hybrids, made-up creatures that had no place in the park, let alone on the Earth. When the biggest & baddest gets loose, it’s up to a dino trainer named Owen to save the day, a couple of kids, a bossy lady, and as many regular people as he can. If won’t be easy, this dinosaur is a living weapon, but it must be stopped before it eats the island and goes looking for more.
I really, really did not expect to have such a good time watching a movie that I was sure would be bad. And actually, it kinds was, but not at all in the manner that I had expected. It was cheesy, though not as terribly as it could have been. It was over-the-top, but not as insanely as it looked at first glance. And it was a complete ripoff of the original, but in a manner that seems more like a nod than an insult. In so many ways, Jurassic World was terrible but honestly so, allowing us to forgive the audacity of its genesis and the inevitable dramatics of its plot. Chris Pratt was terribly miscast & acting below his ability, but somehow managed to be hunky & heroic enough to win us over. BDH was as talentless as we could have predicted she would be, but her character was cold & dumb enough to deserve such a portrayal. The bad buys were super bad, the dinos were super scary, the helpless kids were super helpless, and every awful feature of the film was at the same time glaringly obvious and unapologetic, leading to a movie that was so bad it was good.
The comedy I did not see coming. I assume that some was unintentional, but a good deal must have been thought out, because I laughed more than I jumped and that seemed to be expected. Jake Johnson & Lauren Lapkus as a pair of control room operators stole the show, made us chuckle, and let us know that it was OK to find the action occurring in other scenes ridiculous, because it obviously was. Chris Pratt’s lines seemed tailor-made to poke fun at the genre & the franchise, all while making him seem like some sort of Alpha-stud. BD Wong’s cameo was priceless; so incredibly soap-opera, but in a way that had me wringing my hands like a villain from a Pixar movie. And Irrfan Khan as the proprietor had absolutely no function in the film other than flying a helicopter around like an idiot. I could not have been more pleased with the entertainment value of Jurassic World, though more as a comedy than as a sci-fi/action-adventure. It made me laugh, it reminded me constantly of the old one (songs, locales, reference, lines, sets), and seemed to understand that its quality relied on its understanding that it could never live up to its preceding hype. Don’t go in looking for perfection or you’ll be sorely disappointed. But also, don’t go in thinking you’ll hate it, because chances are it’ll make you laugh like a kid and remember the days when you were one & you watched a phenomenal film that this modern one couldn’t possibly be.
My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆