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Review: Jurassic World

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in Universal Pictures' "Jurassic World"

It’s important that expectations be tempered with Jurassic World and understand that the likelihood of it being anywhere near as great as Jurassic Park are slim. The reason? Expecting depth and great quality across all facets of any particular film these days is asking for more than what anybody seems to want to give. Honestly, I was just hoping that was able to provide great value for fans of the series. Doing that doesn’t seem that difficult, and it would automatically put it ahead of the other two sequels that came before it.

Just by looking at the environment that surrounds the characters, audiences will notice an advanced and prehistoric zoo of sorts for the dinosaurs who were brought back from extinction by some highly intelligent people to live in. It’s considered to be much safer and stable than the original as well as being much larger in numbers and actual size. That’s all fine, but there’s a constant need for growth as the prospects of seeing dinosaurs has lost a bit of its luster since they’ve been around for so long.

Since even the most fantastic spectacle loses a bit of its shine over time, there’s a need for the people behind Jurassic World to continue down the road that sees innovation as key. In doing so, what started out as bringing known creatures back to life, becomes something else when their latest attraction is developed in their labs in the form of a genetic hybrid that could ultimately spell doom for the park and everyone else involved.

Predictably, a few features that were utilized in Jurassic Park are thrown at us in Jurassic World. The lack of originality from that standpoint isn’t encouraging since the film that’s being borrowed from was released way back in 1993, but it can serve as nostalgia for some and excitement for younger viewers who haven’t experienced it before. For myself, I wasn’t turned off by the use of events that we’ve already seen, because they still managed to add to the fun that’s here to be had.

That fun in Jurassic World obviously comes from the dinosaurs breaking lose and causing havoc as they threaten the lives of civilians looking to have a good time at an amusement park. After some slow moments in the early going, these scenes bring out the excitement on multiple occasions. For many of its viewers, this will be more than enough to satisfy their appetite as they may be moved by some of this stuff and leave the theater feeling as though they got what they were looking for.

One thing that needs to be said ahead of time for those looking to see it is that while Jurassic World carries a rating of PG-13, it’s hard to say that it’s for kids. There’s a small but serious amount of hard language in terms of profanity and there’s surprisingly a good deal of blood as we’re seeing humans and dinosaurs being ripped apart with our own eyes. Add to the fact that it’s essentially a horror film, and there’s a chance that it may make at least some parents regret bringing their kids along for the ride.

Outside of the action being brought about by some out of control dinosaurs, there isn’t much else to be enthusiastic about. Trying to think back to the experience that I had watching this, I can’t remember too many memorable things coming from anything other than some of the action. Not only does the story not offer anything, but every character is also completely forgettable in every way imaginable.

Yes, that includes Chris Pratt, an actor who’s seen his profile catapult into the realm of stars in basically just a year or so. As you may find out for yourself if you choose to see this movie, Pratt is severely underused even though he gets plenty of screen time. He’s known for having quite the personality, but here, much of that appears to have been left off camera.

It’s weird, but he’s pretty much just another guy through the vast majority of Jurassic World. I guess the way he’s handled can be compared to how 2014’s Godzilla uses Aaron Taylor-Johnson. I can understand why he was used that way. Taylor-Johnson is a bland actor who manages to disappear no matter what role he is given, so asking him to do more probably wouldn’t be a wise thing to do.

Pratt however, has the shown the ability to add character to the films that he stars in, so it makes no sense to have him not really doing much outside of essentially being a name they can put at the top of the list of cast members. Since he’s the only relevant name in Jurassic World that will get anybody’s attention, it’s clear why that may be important to the people behind this film even though he isn’t actually required to do much of anything during its duration.

While it clearly (and predictably) fails to come close to Jurassic Park, Jurassic World does manage to provide a great deal of entertainment for those of us who are interested. Pratt could have been given more to do and giving us some more enhancements as far as plot would have elevated it, but the majority will most likely leave theaters satisfied afterward. After watching it, I did find it to be worthwhile myself even if it’s nothing more than the usual summer movie.

I’ll exit this review by pointing out an interesting little tidbit that came to mind. In a movie about an attempt to innovate failing, one can say that Jurassic World also offers an honest look at what Hollywood has become. While many of us hope for honest innovation, it’s obvious that we’re simply not going to get it. Why? Because that would mean taking risks that might end up seeing them face disaster of their own. I’m not saying this was done on purpose, but it’s an intriguing thought that popped into my head.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Chris Pratt
Bryce Dallas Howard
Vincent D’Onofrio
Nick Robinson
Ty Simpkins
Irrfan Khan
Omar Sy
B.D. Wong

Film Length: 123 minutes

Release Date: June 12, 2015

Distributor: Universal Pictures

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