Jurassic World Movie Review: The Return of Your Favorite Dinosaurs!


One of the most fascinating thematic aspects of the Jurassic Park franchise has always been its exploration of man vs. nature–about man’s delusions in actually believing they can control nature for the sake of (artificial) progress. How can we turn any natural facet to our own advantage–for war, for food, for simple amusement?  The latest entry in the series, Jurassic World, has finally arrived after fourteen years of dinosaur-less cinema, and I’m proud to say that it’s distinct enough from its predecessors.  It chooses to go even deeper into the idea of not only genetically creating dinosaurs, but also genetically modifying them to the point where we begin to  see hybrids of two different species.

Following the severe mishap that was Jurassic Park because of–again–man’s delusions (in that case, good-intentioned but seriously mistaken John Hammond), a new theme park has been built on the same island of Isla Nublar that seems to be working just fine and accepting thousands and thousands of visitors.  It’s Disney World except with dinosaurs–my god, how cool would that be?  Aquariums, vast dinosaur-populated plains for touring, and other fun rides make up the majority of what this magical place has to offer.  Of course, with such an ambitious idea, something terrible is always bound to transpire at one point or another.  Suddenly, the boundaries we thought could easily keep humans safe from those spine-chilling carnivores are somehow demolished, and in comes chaos.

Ha! That guy's pretending like he has any chance
Ha! That guy’s pretending like he has any chance

This time around, instead of series favorites like Sam Neill as Dr. Grant or Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm, we have 2014-born-movie-star Chris Pratt in the lead role as a  muscular Velociraptor expert/trainer with the return of Bryce Dallas Howard as well (seriously, what happened to her?  I thought The Help and Spider-Man 3 were financially successful).  The two charismatic actors are surrounded by astounding production design and dazzling visual effects.  You can whine about the pervasiveness of CGI all you want, but I’ve revisited the first film–Jurassic Park–a few days ago.  Aside from the T-Rex, let’s just say that those dinosaurs haven’t been exactly aging well.  In this film, I thought all of them looked completely believable and impressively-conceived; so I’m not complaining for the next few years (we’ll see how it looks two decades down the road), especially when you get some amazing dino-versus-dino sequences.  I won’t spoil anything, but I’m sure you’ve always dreamed of seeing your favorite dinosaur species fiercely fighting it out and ripping each other to shreds with one’s strength and the other’s speed and calculation.

Unlike The Lost World where the first half honestly bored me to a point where I was crazily yearning for some dinosaurs to finally pop up on-screen, Jurassic World presents you with such an immaculately-designed amusement park, using its two adolescent characters {13-year-old  Gray (Ty Simpkins) and 20-year-old Zach (Nick Robinson)} to navigate through the various spellbinding museums and park tours while intercutting with the scientific/corporate storyline that shows us what’s really going on behind all that awe and wonder.  You’re entertained from the get-go, and the long build-up to the appearance of the first killer dinosaur only excites you that much more.

Man, Chris Pratt gets more badass with every new movie!
Man, Chris Pratt gets cooler with every new movie!

Now, the highest points of the series have always come in those times of real suspense and fright.  That’s precisely why I enjoyed Jurassic Park III a lot more than everyone else; almost everything in that forest was incredibly menacing and every step the characters took in whatever direction might’ve been their very last.  I loved that dark, horror element. Unfortunately, save for one very particular end to a character, the deaths here are hardly creative and impactful.  Very little blood and gore is shown in comparison to the last two movies (which were rated PG-13 too), and there’s nothing that can show the sheer danger of an approaching carnivore more than the amount of damage it inflicts on human flesh. No, the villains are killed off rather quickly, and most of the major characters with a given name make it through alive.  In sum, Jurassic World is definitely one of the lightest and most humorous entries in the franchise for better or worse.  It’s undoubtedly a lot of fun even when the situations turn to obvious implausibility.

For future reference though, please, filmmakers–just please–stop this trend of self-awareness.  Your movie isn’t magically better and cooler just because you make some subtle remark about how you’re a sequel/remake in today’s heavily corporate Hollywood. “Get it, guys?  We’re on the same page!”  No, just stop…  Jurassic World does as much as it can to get all of those original fans back with pleasure; every moment seems to be carefully guiding itself along without upsetting and offending the viewers with unexpected, outlandish dinosaur segments like the “Alan!” dream in Jurassic Park III or the T-Rex’s King Kong-style rampage across San Diego in The Lost World.  Of course, I just know that as I say this, some hardcore nitpickers, who have no sense of what lightening up and purely enjoying blockbuster entertainment means, will be ripping this film apart as well.  I guess some people will have to get used to the fact that future sequels will never capture the magic in seeing dinosaurs on the big screen for the first time like the original did.  That can only be accomplished once.  Duh!  Anyway, I fully commend the series for constantly reinventing and keeping each entry unique from the others.

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Forget about the implausibilities and odd character decisions; we finally see the return of amazingly-designed dinosaurs back on the big screen after 14 long years along with a beautiful and fascinating new amusement park! Jurassic World is a lot of undeniable fun!

About The Author

My name's Edward, and I'm a huge cinephile. I'm fine with any single genre as long as the film interests me. I love writing novels/short stories, screenplays, and movie reviews. Check out my website moviemuscle.net