4 out of 5 stars
Ya I gave Jurassic World four out of five stars. And I don't take it back, ever. The reason in a nutshell: no-one was trying to win an Academy Award here, they were just trying to entertain the shit out of us for a little over two hours. And if it's entertainment you want, then entertainment you shall have from start to finish. For an action movie, it has a running time (2h, 05min) that might make old people question whether they will survive the entire thing, but it's one of those movies that doesn't feel nearly as long as it is. The pace is fast, the dialogue is kept to an entertaining minimum, and the visuals are spectacular. I'm not sure why there has been such considerable criticism of this movie considering that it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to. One popular criticism of Jurassic World is the lack of character depth. Really? If you want character depth then go watch The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. If you want to see dinosaurs wreck some shit, then go watch Jurassic World. There has also been some annoying bitching and moaning about the fact that this movie, much like Jurassic Park, is made only to sell merchandise. Wow, because that's never happened before. Get over it folks, does anyone do anything anymore without trying to squeeze out maximum profit? Just enjoy the damn movie, because it will probably be one of the most fun and entertaining mindless romps that you'll see this year.
Jurassic World is a classic summer action blockbuster, with all the hallmarks of a movie that will appeal to today's movie-going general public that seems to have a huge attention deficit (it's those damned young people). Jurassic World has it all; amazing special effects, stunning computer-generated backdrops, mildly funny and quick-witted dialogue, kids in danger, an obligatory love interest storyline, the tender bonds of an all-American family, and of course, an underlying theme that is absolutely a critique on modern American society, which I will get to later.
So welcome to Jurassic World, set on good old Isla Nublar, the same place as the original Jurassic Park. Somehow, the catastrophic events of 22 years ago were not enough to shut this death-trap down (and they somehow found a company dumb enough to insure it), and Jurassic World is now a busy, safe, glitch-free, Disney-like park built entirely on the premise of milking people dry of their hard earned cash. Of course, things can't run smoothly forever, and the premise of Jurassic World is basically the same as Jurassic Park, except this time there are way more innocent civilians to kill. This time, havoc is caused by the creation of a hybrid dinosaur, made up of mostly T-Rex DNA (hell ya DNA is back!), but as the movie progresses we find out it has been spliced with about 400 other dinos and animals, all of which have some deadly character trait that will make Indominous Rex the deadliest living organism on planet earth, other than Rick Grimes. The creation of this creature is a metaphor for everything that's wrong with society of course. People have quickly become bored with the old plain-Jane dinosaurs, so the ambitious and money-hungry park operators had to create something bigger and better. There are nay-sayers of course, who try to tell everyone that it will end up badly, but nothing will stop progress until shit hits the fan. And so shit hits the fan big-time. Don't be alarmed by this repetitive story-line though, because it's just interesting and different enough to keep your brain activated, and definitely exciting enough to keep you from wishing you had chosen to go see Terminator: Genisys instead. There are also some nice moments throughout that serve as an homage to the beloved first movie, and they kick in some serious nostalgia.
Despite the lack of character develpment, the characters themselves are played quite nicely. Vincent D'Onofrio is at his greasy best, playing Hoskins, the obligatory evil army guy who is up to no good. Bryce Dallas Howard absolutely kills it playing Claire, the buttoned down corporate antithesis to the real attraction here, which is Chris Pratt. Pratt plays the hero of course, just another hunky, intelligent, down-to-earth dinosaur trainer who will be forced into action against his will when two more useless children need saving. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, especially if you've seen Jurassic Park, the two useless children are once again responsible for most of the annoying parts of this movie, which thankfully are few and far between. As it relates to human characters, there really aren't a whole lot of other characters worth mentioning in Jurassic World other than the three leads. The chemistry between Pratt and Howard is surprisingly good though, and their dynamic is the root of most of the funny moments in the movie, as well as the love story that you can see coming from a mile away. Who gives a shit though, it's actually kinda cute. Jurassic World also weaves in most of the staple preachy bullshit that most action and comedy films seem to be so obsessed with adding. There's a sub-plot about the virtues of family over career, hard lessons about technology, and a stern warning to anyone who pays more attention to their cell-phone than to their task at hand. Thankfully it's all done in entertaining fashion, and the movie doesn't really lose steam at any point.
Jurassic World culminates with a final battle scene that borders on epic, which his high praise coming from a guy like me who grew up in the 80's and 90's watching all the best action films ever made. It's a fitting ending that ties everything up Hollywood style, yet still leaves you with no doubt that a sequel is on the way.