I’m sure by now you’ve all seen my review (ad if you haven’t here it is
) but if your on a plane, train or automobile and can’t watch it here’s a more in depth read.
Jurassic World/ How to Train Your Raptors
This could have been so much worse, the script has been in development since 2005 and was originally meant to have human/dinosaur soldiers in it. In fact, I still want to see a film with those in but I digress.
Jurassic World is the first blockbuster from Colin Trevorrow, who’s last film (Safety Not Guaranteed) was made for less than a million dollars and grossed less than 5 but he does a competent job, although at times he seems a little overwhelmed.
Going in, I promised myself I wasn’t going to compare this to the original, but sadly its one that I broke. Not because I couldn’t find things to talk about, no, but because THIS film seems to be comparing itself to the original on an almost constant basis. I don’t mind the odd reference, but this film keeps going on about Jurassic Park to such an extent that it’s the most dangerous drinking game since Withnail and I it makes no sense. This is a good fun move but compared to the first? It’s a McDonalds hamburger comparing itself to a steak. And there’s only one winner in that.
The plot is pretty simple: Jurassic World is now open for business and numbers are starting to decline so “corporate” decided to create a super-mega dinosaur with DNA from any animal that can advance the plot. It escapes, proves to be virtually unstoppable, killing everything that it sees on an island with thousands of trapped people.
That’s the main story, sadly, it also has about 250 subplots that slow the action down. These include a pair of child actors with parents (who’s name we never learn) re getting divorced, Vincent D’Onofrio (Wilson Fisk in Daredevil) sole topic of conversation is about selling the dinosaurs to the military which I feel is a hangover from the earlier drafts and should have been cut down.
Chris Pratt (still basically playing Star Lord) plays Owen,/the Raptor Whisperer, and is fine. In fact, he’s the only character who seems like a PERSON, everybody else is stock, cardboard, boring. According to IMDB, almost no character has a surname and that’s not a good thing. Bryce Dallas Howard does what she can with her character but her ark seems arbitrary, forced, and none of the other characters change at all. Except into lunch.
The film has pacing issues, it goes straight into action but also has quiet scenes, tracking shots, and character moments all in no particular order. We never get to learn anything about the cardboard that we are supposed to root for (I was rooting for the main dinosaur to scoff the lot of them.) What dialogue there is poorly written and the “humor” is woeful.
The main issue for me going in (aside from wondering why this film exists) was it’s treatment of the raptors, going from the monsters of the first to semi-trained dogs in this one. And it treats it OK. I’d still rather it wasn’t there and it feeds again into that stupid military subplot, but it was there and hopefully won’t come back in the (inevitable) sequels.
But lets get onto the main issue, the dinosaurs. They look great. For CGI. Where the original mixed puppets with CGI to amazing effect There’s nothing close to the tense claustrophobic kitchen scene or that awesome scene where you first see the T Rex, but its fine. It gets the pulse going and there are some tense scenes but sometimes they look like cartoons and if it looks fake now imagine how they will look in 5, 10 ,15 years?
The moral debates from the first one have mostly vanished. mentioned in passing but never dwelled upon.
Summing up, this is a good fun popcorn film. It’s a monster film. That’s all it is. That’s all it ever will be. A monster trying to eat cardboard that uses everything they can to stop the monster. It’s better than it could have been, but it could have been more.
Now if you’ll excuse me i’m off to write Dinosoldier