I am a Jurassic Park fanboy. The original is one of my favorite movies of all-time, one of the movies I can and will stop to watch any time, and enjoy it as much as the first. I've only seen the 2nd and 3rd installments once or twice each, and they failed to inspire as much fervor. As with a majority of films in the recent reboot genre, I had low expectations.

The events of "Jurassic World" take place in real-time after those of the previous Jurassic movies. The park has been streamlined and supposedly foolproofed, and has become a massive tourist attraction. Imagine a Six Flags, a Disneyworld, and multiply it by a million. The cost is incredible, and in order to attract new and repeat customers, the park has taken to enhancing their dinosaurs to be bigger, faster, and scarier.

Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the park operations manager, and her two nephews are sent to visit. Of course, they wander off from the tour, get lost, and require the services of dino-trainer Owen (Chris Pratt). I hated just about every moment that involved the two kids. They are about 15 and 11, but the older one acts more mature (which I guess is actually accurate for a high-schooler) while the younger reacts to everything like a toddler. I don't care how disaffected a brooding teen can be, if you're getting a free vacation to a tropical island where you get to see EFFING DINOSAURS you can take five seconds to put down your phone. And for the younger, I'm glad you're excited but you don't need to be skipping around wearing a fannypack. Even the backstory surrounding the impending divorce of their parents bothered me, it just felt like an unnecessary tack-on plot point. The mother (Claire's sister) complains that Claire passed the boys off to her assistant; does it not occur to you that Claire is running the biggest theme park in the world, and might have some pressing issues that prevent her from babysitting a mopey teen and a spastic tween?

If I could strip away all of that, I was actually pleased with the movie. The meat of the plot kicks in when a newly created dinosaur, made by mixing DNA from various other animals, shows incredible intelligence and manages to escape, wreaking havoc across the park. Things move quickly and snowball out of control as the escaped Indominus Rex starts killing anything that moves. The action is intense, the CGI is great, and the events are as realistic as can be expected concerning reanimated dinosaurs. The plot points follow a basic playbook, including the typical "proper girl falls for the bad boy" love story, the "bickering siblings remember family comes first" story, and the "corporations are evil and nature should rule itself" story. I actually liked that last part, with Vincent D'Onofrio nailing his role as a sleazy InGen employee determined to use raptors as military weapons.

Ignoring the kids, the story was fine. I understand that the original JP featured precocious kids that needed saving, but those kids bothered me a hell of a lot less than the ones in JW. The CGI was great, and Pratt & D'Onofrio made up for some subpar acting from Howard. Nothing can match "Jurassic Park" in my book, but "Jurassic World" was an acceptable attempt at paying homage while starting something new.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Jurassic World" gets a 6 out of 10.




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