Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Movie Review: JURASSIC WORLD

"The key to a happy life is to accept you are never actually in control."
-- Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan)

"Hey, don't give me that shit."
-- Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to one member of his Raptor Squad

"Monster is a relative term. To a canary, a cat is a monster. We're just used to being the cat."
-- Henry Wu (BD Wong)


Jurassic World has accomplished what only a few short months ago seemed an impossible feat--besting Marvel's Avengers' record-breaking box office opening weekend. At $208, 806,270.00 it has barely squeezed into the number one spot (Avengers made $207,438,708.00). Does it deserve the top spot? See it for yourself and decide!

The fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise may not have the same sense of awe the original gave audiences more than twenty years ago (hey, it was the first time we got to see genetically engineered dinosaurs!), but the special effects are far better, the park itself is much more high-tech, and this film has Chris Pratt, who in my opinion is the new alpha of action stars. He reminds me in many ways of Harrison Ford. 'Nuff said.


I disagree with the reviewers who say the film lacks character development. It may not have as much as I'd like, but I believe action reveals a great deal about character, and if there's one thing this film doesn't lack, it's action. Pratt's dino-wrangler Owen Grady is a Navy man who has a vaguely-referenced history with Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire. He's something of a swashbuckler, living in a ramshackle trailer (at least I think there was a trailer under that mess) and riding an old motorcycle. Claire, on the other hand, is a polished corporate professional who ends up looking pretty silly trying to escape rampaging dinosaurs in her high heels. What could these two possibly have in common? Hmmm....

 
John Hammond, who first conceived the idea of a dinosaur theme park is gone now, having left his dream in the hands of the very wealthy Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), who shows more concern for the welfare of the dinosaurs than anyone else in the movie with the exception of Owen. Sir Richard Attenborough, along with Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern are sorely missed, as well as Julianne Moore from Jurassic Park: The Lost World.

The requisite villains in this installment are Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong, who appeared in Jurassic Park), the geneticist who's missing the conscience gene, and an InGen security chief named Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), who has plans of his own for the dinosaurs--specifically, Owen's team of raptors. Owen doesn't trust him, and with good reason. I kept hoping one of them would eat him. 



You can tell the Jurassic movies are geared toward a family audience, because there are always kids in them. This time around, the kids are Claire's nephews, Gray and Zach (Ty Simpkins, who was Tony Stark's young sidekick in Iron Man 3, and Nick Robinson), who were sent to Claire for a visit while their parents dealt with an impending divorce. As always, the kids are bright and resourceful.


But to me, the real star of the Jurassic films has always been T-Rex, and when he finally does make an appearance, he delivers. There's a saying in Hollywood: never make a movie with kids or animals. Making a movie with a scenery (and actor) chewing T-Rex could be added to that caution!

Do I recommend it? Definitely--and if you want a second opinion, check out William Kendall's review over at Speak of the Devil.... 

(Also posted at Rotten Tomatoes and at Amazon.)






21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was! But I have to confess...I was cheering for the dinosaurs!

      Delete
  2. Nice review! I may have to go see it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Missing the conscience gene is a vast understatement! Good review!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Terrific review. I just might have to break my rule and go to a movie theater to see this one.
    I miss Jeff the most, best lines and dry delivery !
    I took root for the dinos !

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should go see it, Gayle--this is one of those movies that demands to be seen (for the first time, at least) on a very large screen!

      Delete
  5. Great review, Norma! I was going to wait for it to come out on DVD, but now I think a trip to the theater is in order;).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll be glad you did, Maria. It's one wild white-knuckle ride!

      Delete
  6. Fab review Norma.. what can I say, Aimee and P looooooooooved it, especially as they saw it in Gold Class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Collin would have preferred 3D, but with only one good eye, I can only get 2.5D!

      Delete
  7. Enjoyed your review AND Williams too. Not sure if I'm ready to head into the world of dinosaurs just yet--give me some time to catch up with the current times. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to skip this post because I don't want to know ANYTHING but like with William's post, I still wanted to say hi.

    Hi.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It;s not one of my favorite flicks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it just depends on what kind of movies you like. I love movies with a lot of action and or humor.

      Delete

Disagreements are welcome; trolls and spammers are not. Any and all comments by either of the latter two will be immediately deleted.