Beastly Reviews: Jurassic World

We got steamy shots of Chris Pratt fixing a motorcycle while wearing a dusty, sweat-soaked shirt — very Tom of Finland. But as raptor-tamer Owen, he was little more than a useful plot device necessary to get this whole catastrophe rolling.

He was that one necessary character in every Jurassic Park movie that bodes doom, who thinks that maybe bringing dinosaurs to life is not such a good idea. When things go wrong, as they are wont to do in Jurassic Park films, Owen becomes the action hero saving and kissing Bryce Dallas Howard.

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The whole story takes place over the course of one day, which makes the disaster-porn of the whole thing feel both conveniently quick and painfully predictable. You’ve seen the trailer, so you know the premise (and by extension, the movie). Jurassic World — a bigger, grander vision that its original — is open and making a killing. Claire (Howard) sells corporate investment options to potential donors.

The attractions (boat rides with brontosauruses!) are awesome to imagine. There have been claims that something like this could really exist, but these have been debunked. Sorry, Universal.

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When Claire explains that park designers are being pushed to create bigger and better attractions to generate interest and revenue, it rings true to anyone’s who’s watched the Disney World of old disappear beneath bigger rides and grander tech. One such bigger, better attraction is a new genetically-engineered dinosaur, the “Indominus Rex,” which is a spliced-together composite of the park’s most dangerous predators. Owen goes to check out the new beastie, and everything goes terribly wrong.

Yes, it feels too easy — perfectly orchestrated disaster. With all the presumed billions being funneled into a park like this, would they really not be prepared for something like this? There isn’t a self-destruct bomb implanted in every dinosaur in case of breakouts? How does this keep happening?

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I suspect that, somewhere along the way, the filmmakers realized the film was a bit ridiculous. To keep it from degenerating and taking itself too seriously, comedy suddenly appears along with some out-of-place romance between Owen and Claire.

And now let’s move on to costuming. Claire wears the most indestructible white heels possible, and she wears them the entire movie, even when running from a tyrannosaurus rex.

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I was hoping the storyline would be different, maybe even darker, than the Jurassic Park formula. I was hoping to see something like a deeper discussion of Jeff Goldblum’s chaos theory played out onscreen — maybe even an elegant, action-packed debate of the ethical implications of bringing something to life — but I guess I’ll have to go reread Frankenstein for that. What’s delivered is a fun, thrilling movie and nothing less — or more.

Beastly

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