Turns out there’s NOT always a bigger fish

The park is open. Blaring the magnificence of composer John Williams’ Jurassic Park theme, the sights begin dropping in droves. There’s Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in the corner. A licensed gift shop to the left. Corporately named restaurants following up the street. Coupled with the identifiable theme, Jurassic World seems to be celebrating itself. How odd.

That is corporate culture though. Bloated, self-indulgent. “Look what we made with our money.” Jurassic Park is like that. Here’s a CG dinosaur eating someone. We made that. Here’s another. Made that one too. Cost a ton, spared no expense. It’s a rally of reptile feasting and human bloodshed. In short, two full hours of extinct, digitally formed creatures munching on an island of tourists, including those who wish to save their $20 booze while being dive bombed by Pteranodons.

All of the majesty is gone. John Williams’ work is no longer igniting the passion of seeing “live” dinosaurs. It’s only doing it for product placements for corporate tie-ins. How self-aware this movie can be.


Jurassic World is dinographic – dino porn – twisting and perverting the once purposeful, well-meaning fear mongering over genetics for something resembling a SyFy Channel special, much like Jurassic Park III. Genetics here are but a catalyst. They barely matter.

Characters fall into place because the film needs them too. Jurassic World needs two kids lost in a forest being trampled by the new Indominus Rex for tension and spectacle. It needs Chris Pratt’s ex-Navy vet training Velociraptors because Raptors. Bryce Dallas Howard? The corporate/socially aware convert. And Vincent D’Onforio because implausibly naive corporate go-getters are always crowd pleasers, no development needed.

Jurassic Park always carried a body count. Never has it featured one to this extreme.

Besides, most of these people are targets anyway. Carry a gun in this movie and chances are high you’ll be eaten. Actually, the guns are not even necessary. Jurassic Park always carried a body count. Never has it featured one to this extreme. The Terminator killed fewer people.

There are plenty of little things to consider. The dinosaurs talk. Not English, but they communicate. Jurassic Park III established the plausibility (and Pratt’s dino training exercises to some extent) although Jurassic World extends this to cross-species bickering. This is a lightly funny blockbuster (they all are, mostly), but seeing a T-Rex and a Raptor make good on their 22-year feud after the original is camp gold. $150 million of camp.


Through it all though, Jurassic World gives viewers everything. Dinosaurs are shot at with rocket launchers. Special ops teams chase the creatures down. Helicopters bombard cinema’s latest genetic freak. Carnivores and herbivores face-off in wild, pointlessly exploitative action scenes. (There’s a slew of those) Even carnivores and carnivores brawl, because what could be more spectacular? The entire finale would make Godzilla wince at the destruction. This is utterly, totally a monster movie now. Not sci-fi. Not a parable over cloning principles or God complexes. Morals have long since been sold and marketed, slapped onto a plastic lunchbox.

People bored of dinosaurs, so they stopped making Jurassic Park movies. This entire film is a response to Jurassic Park III’s box office. So self-aware, this movie is. Jurassic World is Jaws 3, but bigger. Better too. That clarification is probably important.

This entire film is a response to Jurassic Park III’s box office.

And the nostalgia… if anyone has forgotten Jurassic Park released an unbelievable 22 years ago, Jurassic World will act as a reminder. Kids wander through recreated sets where the red and yellow JP logos are permanent fixtures while piano keys softly type out the theme. Entire scenes are revisited, touched too. They drive the iconic jeeps and helicopters fly onto the island from a familiar coastline. This is all building to that raucous finish which is so egregiously coated in nostalgic fan service, it should be embarrassed with itself. But just go along with it. The moment to come is shamelessly worth it and so is every bit of Jurassic World in the end.

All of the tropes (a waterfall leap), instances of plot predictability (yes, the new dinosaur escapes), and brainless character arcs (the villain killed by his own plan) cannot crunch the sheer splendor of witnessing the blood-soaked enjoyability. Gone is the awe and the wonder, but that was lost forever ago during the 334th viewing of the original. Jurassic World could never get that back. So off it goes, full on, without any apologies. Be stupid. Be gloriously stupid Jurassic World and the people will keep coming back. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Movie]


4 thoughts on "Jurassic World Review"

  1. usacomp2k3 says:

    Loved it. Saw it twice. Like you said, is much more of a popcorn flick, but still very enjoyable. The public seems to like it as well. $500M opening weekend…

    1. Matt Paprocki says:

      It’s definitely getting a sequel, and hope this in tandem with Godzilla’s box office brings about a resurgence of giant monsters/dinos at the theater.

  2. TheMantaBluRay says:

    I just watched “Jurassic World” last night and while I didn’t love the movie
    (except for DAT ONE scene which I’ll get to) it’s definitely A LOT better than
    the other 2 JP sequels.

    +While the protagonists weren’t anything to write home about at least they’re
    tolerable this time around. Jake Johnson’s character is my favorite and has the
    best lines in all of the movie. I liked Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas
    Howard, the kids were okay, and that’s about it.
    +Really clever call backs to the original film. Dr. Wong (who is the ONE
    character that comes back from the first movie) serves a really pivotal role
    that brings the entire concept of Jurassic Park to full circle.
    +DAT ending: HOLY MOSES was that climax spectacular and a big middle finger to
    JPIII. I won’t spoil what it is (though anyone watching this movie would’ve
    figured it out) and I SO want to rave about it but I don’t think I should spoil
    it here. It may go down as one of the best scenes in any of the Jurassic Park
    movies. It’s THAT good.

    –I thought the F/X were a HUGE downgrade from the other movies. As much as I
    didn’t like Lost World and JPIII, the CGI in those films STILL look believable
    and awe-inspiring. Anytime the dinosaurs weren’t doing cool stuff (like DAT
    ending) I just tuned out of this movie because they looked so unremarkable. They might as well be the dots on sticks used to guide the actors into thinking they’re dinosaurs.
    –Vincent D’Onofrio’s character was the most eye-rollingly clichéd part of the
    movie. Even in a movie as wacky as Jurassic World, he feels like he belongs in
    a much different movie.

    I’d give this movie 3.5/5. It’s worth a watch and the best JP sequel yet. This video sums up my reaction about DAT
    ending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUTNjnm5I4w

    1. Matt Paprocki says:

      I’ll say this WAS a 3/5 review until the morning when I woke up, and with a clear head, the ending was the most amazing thing ever.

      It’s a dumb, dumb movie. It’s Jaws 3 with dinosaurs. The effects are disappointing (no animatronics), the characters are awful, the concept is wafer thin, and predictability is stupidly high. I’m a huge defender of JPIII and liked it more than World. Both movies know exactly what they are though, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that we will NEVER see another dinosaur movie with the sheer majesty of Jurassic Park. So, if that’s the case, it might as well be an all-out dinosaur melee.

      One note on D’Fornio’s character: He’s basically a stand-in for the original Jurassic Park 4 script which had mercenaries weaponizing the dinos. It’s hilarious in that context.

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