“Jurassic World” is to “Jurassic Park” what “Evil Dead 2” was to “The Evil Dead” — a remake masquerading as a sequel. Albeit one that, like “Evil Dead 2”, benefits from more money and superior technology to make the stage larger.
It follows that, while “Jurassic World” adds nothing of substance to the “Jurassic Park” universe, there is no good reason why someone who enjoyed “Jurassic Park” would not enjoy ?“Jurassic World”.
“Jurassic World” takes place in the present day, 20 years after the original Jurassic Park was aborted due to the slight “technical difficulties” that we saw in the first film.
The newly rebranded “Jurassic World” is, by the time of the film, doing capital business as a theme park and seems to be functional. Hell, Chris Pratt’s character, Owen Grady, has come as close as anybody could hope to making man and velociraptor coexist. All seems to be going well.
Predictably, this harmony cannot and does not last past the second act.
InGen, the corporation behind Jurassic World, thought it would be a good idea to make a fully hybrid dinosaur attraction which, it turns out, is smarter than your average prehistoric land dweller.
Unsurprisingly for any discerning member of the audience, she’s smart enough to fool her human captors and break free from her paddock and wreak all sorts of havoc on the rest of ?Jurassic World.
As with the previous installments in the franchise, our roller coaster ride through the misadventures of “Jurassic World” is guided by a host of recognizable, albeit likable and occasionally entertaining character types that we see quite often.
There is the moody, brooding teenager whose parents are getting a divorce, the emotional, ditzy working woman, the impossibly competent ex-military man who can do it all, the pragmatic-to-a-fault scientist, the overly ambitious military contractor, etc.
There are in fact plenty of great moments between these characters, mostly in the film’s first half. The tension between velociraptor trainer Grady and military contractor Vince Hoskins and their many arguments, while familiar and done-to-death by other movies, are particularly engaging. The movie executes these simple moments better than most ones.
Unfortunately, “Jurassic World,” being essentially a remake of the original “Jurassic Park,” falls into the same pitfalls as its predecessor and fellow sequels.
As the late Roger Ebert observed of “Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic World” quickly devolves into a monster movie once the hybrid dinosaur, which by the way, does not look that much different from a T-Rex, breaks free and disaster ensues.
It’s unfortunate because the movie’s best moments are the early ones. The moments when we experience the wonder of the dinosaurs through the eyes of the excited tourists visiting ?Jurassic World.
To again echo Ebert’s sentiments, there is something quite sad in Hollywood’s seeming belief that its audience can have no interest in these creatures save when they are engaged in combat or causing mayhem for humans.
Since it wouldn’t be fair to judge a movie like “Jurassic World” against what any one audience member wishes it could have been, I’ll award the film a B-. If it helps, I would probably award “Jurassic Park” a B+ in a similar review. Therefore, if “Jurassic Park” is an A+ in your book, you’re probably in for a ?helluva ride.