Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jurassic World

Plot: Two kids,  Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), go on vacation at Jurassic World where their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) works along with dinosaur trainer Owen (Chris Pratt.) Jurassic World is the fully realized theme park contemplated in the original Jurassic Park movie. 

As soon as they get there, guess what? Dinosaurs escape, and they are meaner and bigger than ever. Monster movie action ensues. [imdb]    [photos]

Review:  I liked it. It was predictable and simply a monster movie, but it was fun. A good monster movie. It has a lot in common with San Andreas, last week's action flick.

I also liked Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt who played entertaining and imperfect people. 

The special effects are flawless, and there were enough references to the original movie to be interested without being stupid. The pre-disaster scenes of the tourists milling around with the dinosaurs was jarringly realistic -- so much that it seemed like animal abuse.

Being the fourth movie in the series, it is not surprising that the wonder of bringing dinosaurs back from the past is gone. That was the best part of the original. The science was for the kids, for a roomful of nameless white-garbed minions, and for the morally questionable scientist. 

It is fun to compare Chris Pratt with San Andreas' Dwayne Johnson. Chris is the reluctant hero -- more emotive and a more bad ass. Dwayne is the eager hero -- all duty & honor overlaid with concern for his kids. In Jurassic World, concern for kids was with Bryce. Bryce was on the screen as much as Chris, where as San Andreas' Carla Gigano's part was smaller.

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt

Directed by: Colin Trevorrow

The Music: Great. Like the original John Williams score, but not exactly.

The Visuals: Great. It looks like dinosaurs. Especially the multiplicity of dinosaurs interacting with people.

Rating: 2.5 stars: fun to watch; well made. As I left the theater, I was thinking 3 stars, but the next morning -- I am thinking Jurassic World is a little forgettable. The characters aren't memorable and there were no any big ideas. 

More: The message was a little more anti-military and anti-corporate, rather than straight anti-science and Luddite. I see that as an improvement.

Even More: A lot has been written about the sound design for earlier Jurassic movies -- how the sounds were composites of many animals designed to be evocative and emotive. Three times I was thinking how the roaring was suggestive of words. I wonder if that was really in there -- I bet it was. 

Yet More: It is pretty obvious a sequel is coming.