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July 22, 2024

Jurassic World: Movie Review

By Bernie and Sand Pilarski

Sand said:

The hero, wronged, turns back to save innocents fleeing across a dangerous land, against horrific odds, pursued by a heartless monster and freaks of nature! Bloodshed, explosions, motorcycles, cobbled-together cars, death at every turn!

Hmm. Sounds a lot like Mad Max: Fury Road, doesn't it? But it isn't, it's Jurassic World, a two-hour chase through the jungle and parklands that echoes not at all eerily its source material of Jurassic Park. Only more people get killed by dinosaurs.

Okay, here's the story: profit-mad idiots genetically engineer a dinosaur to wow the ever-more-blasé tourists wanting bigger, toothier and scarier monsters. The monster escapes, and warped Frankenstein that it is, runs amok. In the meantime, two ill-behaved kids wander off in spite of danger signs ("Timmy! Stay away from the abandoned mine!") and become monster bait. Time is running out -- who will survive?

Don't go back and watch Jurassic Park first, it's a spoiler.

Now don't get me wrong, the special effects and CGI are PHENOMENAL. And the pacing was pretty darn good. And who doesn't want to see motorcycle-riding Chris Pratt tearing through the jungle with flesh-eating velociraptors in a hot pursuit?

I did enjoy the movie, in spite of a moronic mother letting her five-year-old kick the back of our seats (what kind of dimwit takes a five-year-old to see people get bloodily killed?) but I don't think I'd pay to see it again.

Bernie said:

Jurassic Park, the 1993 blockbuster about the disastrous attempt to open a theme park featuring real live cloned dinosaurs, was a Steven Spielberg classic. It was innovative, exciting, imaginative, technically groundbreaking, visually beautiful, and just loads of fun to watch. Its sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997 was not so good, and Jurassic Park III in 2001 more not so good. In fact, I found the third movie to be off-putting, and I really had little interest in seeing a fourth. Two things changed my mind.

The first was that the male lead in the film was going to be Chris Pratt. I thoroughly enjoyed his portrayal of Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, but that's the only thing I'd ever seen him in, so I was curious to see if he could really act.

The second was that the female lead was going to be Bryce Dallas Howard. Bryce is Ron Howard's daughter, and Ron is one of those entertainment industry people I've grown up with. I was curious about how his kids were doing.

If it wasn't for those two, I might not have gone.

The story for this movie is nearly identical to the original -- a couple of irritating kids, a couple of adults who have an ill-defined relationship, a stupid bad guy, and of course dinosaurs. Like most sequels, this story is driven by the principle that states that no matter how disastrous our efforts have been in the past, this time around we know what we doing. (This, incidentally, is the very same principle that is the basis of American foreign policy decision making.) Thus when a really big, nasty and hungry dino breaks out of confinement, as you knew would inevitably happen, and this dino heads straight for the 20,000 guests at the "new and improved" theme park built over the bloody ruins of the original, all hell breaks loose.

I was hoping to see some innovation in this film besides a new cast, but I didn't get it. If you've seen Jurassic Park, you've already seen Jurassic World. That said, I will admit that this movie was a well done sci-fi adventure, and it did manage to capture (copy) a fair amount of the feel of Spielberg's original. If you had never seen a Jurassic movie, this could well be the summertime special effects blockbuster you've been waiting for.

There's nothing in this movie that would warrant me saying "Hey, you've got to go see this one." On the other hand, when I was a kid, I looked forward to the school picnic which was held every year at Kennywood Amusement Park, and every year I would stand in line to ride the Racer roller coaster. It's one of the old style wooden roller coasters, opened originally in 1927, and it's still in operation today. If I ever had the opportunity to go back to Kennywood, I would in all probability hop right back on the Racer.

You've been there before, but you won't waste your money if you want to go back and see Spielberg's dinosaurs again. Oh, and Pratt and Howard make a cute couple.

Article © Bernie and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2015-06-15
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