If you're one of the millions who have pre-ordered your tickets to see Jurassic World this weekend, it's doubtful that this review, or the many others, will stop you. Jurassic World is destined for box office gold, regardless of what critics say. The film is as bland as a brontosaurus's diet compared to the original, with characters that aren't engaging and thrills that don't kick in until the final 30 or so minutes. But what does it matter when the movie comes with a built-in audience and virtually no competition at the box office? Jurassic World doesn't have to work at being a box office success. Even if it is a Jurassic bore, the movie will still rake in millions.
You know the story: genetically-modified super dinosaurs are created for tourists to experience life as it was before humans and, of course, chaos ensues. Directed by Colin Trevorrow and executive produced by Steven Spielberg (the film clearly would’ve been a different experience with Spielberg as the director), Jurassic World isn't a terrible film but it is missing that cinematic bite. The first hour is clunky and at times felt like a parody of the original with awkward jokes and references to 1992.
Where Jurassic Park was dark and even a bit morbid, Jurassic World is bright and cheery with G-rated violence. Furthermore, where Jurassic Park broke new ground in special effects, this version is nearly identical to the heap of overly CGI’ed action films from the past ten years. That said, another classic might not be the goal for Jurassic World. Again, why strive for excellence if the audience is already set in stone?
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard as an icy control freak who eventually reveals her heart of gold, the film also includes Chris Pratt as the atypical action hunk and of course there are two children in distress who manage to work themselves out of every dinosaur-chasing scenario. But the characters are secondary to the CGI dinosaurs, which is the root of Jurassic’s problem. In the 1992 original, the characters were as memorable and fun as the T-Rex, which gave the storyline some soul. In 2015, the plot is forgettable and, unlike the original, in a month, the world will have forgotten about Jurassic World. But if you enjoyed the CGI’ed wasteland of Godzilla and Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World will not disappoint.
Jurassic World is in theaters today.
Watch our interview with Samuel L. Jackson, summer box office king and one of the stars of the original Jurassic Park, below:
(Photo: Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)