Spoiler free means spoiler free. I won't spoil plots, specific scenes, or give out any specific details or fates of any of the characters, humans or dinosaurs. I hope you enjoy!
Right before I went to see this film, I read a fairly unflattering review of it myself. With a little hesitation, I took my seat, ordered a brownie dessert (I was at a Movie Tavern, as if it matters), and braced myself. Truth be told, I quite enjoyed myself. Sure, like the other films of its franchise, there were some fairly unbelievable moments that jar my immersion with the film, but I quickly reminded myself that the whole premise is taking dino-DNA out of mosquitos trapped in amber and connecting the dots with some amphibian DNA to create eggs to hatch the fantastic dinosaurs.
In other words, you shouldn't see this film if you have a problem with taking things too literally.
That's not to say the film is based on silly rules, but I guarantee you that it makes watching the movie a little easier when it comes to the bumpy parts.
The Plot and Synopsis
It's twenty years after the first Jurassic Park and its events, namely the power going out due to sabotage and the dinosaurs being released. This time around, the company has been much more cautious and developed many more dinos. We're introduced to the new park while it's in full swing. In fact, the park is developing a new dinosaur, called the Indominus Rex with further genetic manipulation to make it bigger and scarier (as the park's customer numbers skyrocket every time a new carnivore is introduced). The park's manager (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) is being visited by her new nephews while the park is in this state.
Furthermore, there are other parties interested in the park, from Own Grady (played by Chris Pine) is a velociraptor trainer who has issues with how the park is ran, while Vic Hoskins (played by Vincent D'Onofrio) has an interest in weaponizing the dinosaurs. There's also the returning character from the first Jurassic Park Dr. Henry Wu (played by B. D. Wong) is also back and is chiefly responsible for the creation of the Indominus Rex.
Casting and Performance
Aside from the plot (which you've got to give a little disbelief for), the writing and performance is probably the weakest part of the film. You probably won't care much about the characters, feeling far more empathetic for some of the less than fortunate dinosaurs. Then again, what did you come to Jurassic World to expect? No one, not the writers or the audience, really cares about the human cast and it kinda shows.
Chris Pratt doesn't have a lot of his charm you've seen in his more recent works and his romance with Bryce Dallas Howard's character lacks any real depth. The older of the brothers/nephews is insufferable, D'Onofrio's character is a constant nagging force, and the film goes way out of its way to label Howard's character as an uptight, over-controlling, emotionless manager. To the human cast and its very archetypical performance, I give it an, 'Eh.' But, truth be told, they really don't detract from the film.
Visual Effects/ Dinosaurs
Imagine, or remember, the first time you saw Jurassic Park, especially when it was first released. The animatronics and CGI were unbelievable and beyond belief. Since then , we've gotten some pretty substantial CGi and animatronics has greatly lessened. This film brings it all back.
Not only are the CGI dinosaurs thoroughly realistic in presentation, they meld well with the actors on screen without a break in realism. But the CGI really shines during the large scale battles between dinosaurs. There are multiple times when dinosaurs face off, and these are by far the best moments in the film. There was a little bit of these in the previous films, but not nearly as much nor as good. If there's one thing this film brings to the franchise, it's these interactions.
It's a movie about a dinosaur theme park where, everyone knows, eventually one or more dinosaurs break free and start eating people. So, get this, the rating is for the violence and scenes of people being eaten (although you never see the remains of a half eaten human or missing limb, as you saw Samuel L. Jackson's limb in the original film).
There is some profanity as well, but if you're worried for the use of drugs, nudity, or sex rest assured there's none of that here.
As an Entry to the 'Jurassic' line of films
To be truthful, the first Jurassic Park film was one of the best films of all time. Combining animatronics and CGI was nearly flawless, especially when examining it in its own time of release, all of the human characters were finely played to their roles and had depth to them, and the plot (aside from the pseudo-science of creating dinosaurs through mosquito blood DNA and fusing it with amphibians) is well paced with tons of terrifying moments and smart lines. The film itself could be viewed as a benchmark for the film industry itself.
Then, by popular opinion, the second and third films fell off and didn't measure up nearly as well.
This film is a much worthy successor to the original work. It's not quite as good or flawless as the first, but it's leagues above The Lost World and Jurassic Park III. This is fitting since this film barely acknowledges the first and second sequels. The science in this film builds on what was previously established in regards to genetic manipulation and raptor behavior. It's incredibly conscious of the series and it shows in spades.
So, how does Jurassic World stack up to its predecessors? Much better than 2 and 3, and not quite as good as the first, but admittedly that's hard to do. In regards to other summer flicks? I found it to be quite fantastic. Yes, there are several moments that do break the immersion of the film but I found those situations soothed over with the fact that the entire premise of Jurassic Park on shoddy science but it's still fun.
The film also incorporates a scary atmosphere again, delivering some jump scares here and there, but the main villain has a few surprises to it as well that are revealed as the film goes on (and then, unfortunately forgotten after one use). There's a little bit of mystery to its origins that, once revealed, will cause the audience to attempt to figure out while they see the creature in action. Some of the best scenes aren't on par with say, the raptors in the kitchen in the original film, or the raptors in the tall grass in The Lost World, but when you're in the moment you won't notice.
All in all, it's a great film and a lot of fun. I would gladly recommend it to most people with very few exceptions. It's a strong example of how a good summer blockbuster should be, and I'm glad the franchise was handled as well as it was with this installment.
- The worthiest sequel to the original Jurassic Park
- Some of the best CGI in the business
- Lackluster human characters
- A plot made to honor the original, while still building on the history and lore of the Jurassic lore
- Not quite as good as the original Jurassic Park, but easily one of the best summer flicks of 2015
Check out some of my other reviews of summer films in 2015.