Plot: Even in the wake of Jurassic Park’s disastrous collapse, the potential for profit in engineered dinosaurs was too rich to ignore, so a new park was constructed and opened as Jurassic World. The park was a huge success and droves of visitors poured in, though over time, the novelty of dinosaurs seemed to wane and as with any theme park, new attractions were needed. This led to additional genetic engineering to create all new, one of a kind dinosaurs, ones that never existed, but are carefully designed to ensure a wave of tourist interest. And of course, people want big, scary dinosaurs and so the latest creation is Indominus Rex, a fearsome creature with a host of specific traits to make sure the crowds turn out. But when their new star attraction begins to display some not so expected behavior, will they be able to iron out the kinks this time or will this new park suffer the same fate as the last one?
Entertainment Value: A soft reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World has some fun dinosaur set pieces, but has little story or character depth, so the movie is drawn out and rather bland in most scenes. I wouldn’t mind the lack of development if the focus was on wild, over the top dinosaur spectacle, but Jurassic World tries to push several underdeveloped threads, such as the raptor/trainer bond and Claire’s choice of business over personal life. The latter is especially strange, since the blueprint is there from the original Jurassic Park, but here we’re just given some minor bits here and there, then expected to accept the unearned emotional beats. The cast is fine, but given little to work with and to me, Jurassic World would have been better off with the dinosaurs as the focal point. When the dinosaurs are the emphasis, the movie is brisk and fun, with some memorable moments and fun sequences. But when the humans are shoehorned in, the movie slows down and becomes forgettable. I do think there’s enough dinosaur fun to recommend this one, however.
The real stars of Jurassic World are the various dinosaurs and we’re given some good ones here, from the classics we know and love to the horrific Indominus Rex, made to cash in the hybrid trend. While the hybrid angle is uninspired, I did like how the movie used the hybrid to turn the classic dinosaurs into almost good guys, a neat little twist. I just wish the dinosaurs had the lion’s share of screen time, as the human threads are paper thin and uninteresting. But at least Jurassic World gives us a decent amount of dinosaur madness, including dino duels and some big, splashy set pieces that look cool, despite some rather mediocre CGI. The human cast has some big names, but no one is really given much to work with aside from Bryce Dallas Howard, who at least has some minor attention to development. She is fine as Claire, in a performance that does what it needs to do, though limited by the material. Chris Pratt plays a generic good guy, while Vincent D’Onofrio supplies a generic bad guy, with BD Wong, Judy Greer, Jake Johnson, and Irrfan Khan also in prominent roles. I wish this was more about the dinosaurs than the forgettable human characters, but even so, Jurassic World is decent fun if you like dinosaur chaos.