“Jurassic World” is a Box Office Smash
By Austin Vicars
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Twenty-two years ago the world was exposed to Director Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” based off of the novel by Michael Crichton. After much speculation, years of waiting and Internet rumor, fans finally have the fourth “Jurassic Park” film they have been craving. “Jurassic World” is thus far the biggest blockbuster of the summer, scoring the highest opening week of all time, netting $208.8 million, dethroning “The Avengers” previous record of $207.4 million.
The film showcases former park CEO Dr. Hammond’s visions of a dinosaur amusement park come to life. There are even a few moments in this movie that have Easter eggs to the past films that long-time fans will appreciate.
The park has now been open for ten years and is starting the see a decline in guests. In attempt to attract visitors, scientists create the genetically modified hybrid dinosaur Indominus Rex. All is well in the park until Indominus Rex, escapes and runs a muck. The formula, while predictable, suffices as an excuse to forward the movie into the action, which is quite possibly the best aspect of the film. The dinosaurs look so realistic, it is hard to imagine that they are actually computer-generated imagery rather than live animals captured on screen, and watching the dinosaurs interact with one another and the visitors on the island is thrilling throughout.
However, this heavy reliance on action is what ultimately kills the film. Rather than establishing strong characters and plot, director Colin Trevorrow relies on constant action. While these scenes are entertaining, they end up as cover for the lack of story or character development.
Apart from Owen (Chris Pratt) or as fans call him, “the raptor whisperer,” who is a former Navy Seal training the raptors and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who oversees operations at Jurassic World and serves as the love interest of the film, there is much to be desired by this film’s characters. While Pratt and Dallas Howard give solid performances, they are far from stellar. Pratt and Dallas Howard have a good dynamic between them and are easily the best characters of the film, but they play too stereotypically into their roles to spawn any greatness of sort.
Other characters include Claire’s nephews, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), who are uninspired and a bore to watch. Both nephews are “just there” instead of being characters audience members feel attached to. Another soulless character is military man, Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), who is searching for a way to train and weaponize Owen’s raptors. He is predictable and flat character that serves nearly no purpose in the main story. All of these characters and the subplots they bring to the table are a waste of time and leave audiences wondering, “Who cares?”
Between a modified hybrid dinosaur and trained velociraptors, “Jurassic World” at times feels flat out ridiculous. While “Jurassic Park” has never been a series to take a realistic approach to the action, this time it went too far. It’s diificult to watch the genetically engineered Indominus Rex wreak havoc without scratching one’s head. Indominus Rex is so “smart” that the dino has the intelligence to rip out the tracking device scientist implanted under its skin. This is just one of many far fetched abilities that Indominus Rex showcases throughout the movie. While the lab rat dino does not shoot lasers out of its eyes, it can seemingly do everything else. Not only is Indominus Rex an indominus abomination, but the raptors are ruined too. Instead of being the unpredictable pack hunters they were in previous films, “Jurassic World” has them tamed down and under the control of Owen like well trained dogs. These issues are best summed up by a scene in the film in which Owen says, “They’re dinosaurs, wow enough.”
Despite its many flaws, “Jurassic World” is not a terrible movie. Even with its weak characters and an over the top plot, watching dinosaurs on the loose is still as entertaining as ever. “Jurassic World” may not be the best movie of the year, but it is still an exhilarating ride for fans new and old.