Jurassic World: spoiler-free review

Before 1993’s Jurassic Park,  velociraptors were low down in the dinosaur pecking order. Most of us had barely heard of them, but inspired by new discoveries and cutting-edge research of the time, the Spielberg movie pushed the vicious little pack monsters into the limelight.

It’s shame that Jurassic World‘s producers didn’t also try to capture the latest research in that we now believe that most dinosaurs were feathered. The animals inhabiting the theme park are still shown just as they were twenty years ago. It’s a bit like future occupants of earth making a movie about our times with all the birds looking like a plucked turkey.

Likewise, the movie doesn’t really engage with current debate about how and when we should keep animals in captivity. The finest piece of animation is the aquatic Mososaur, a huge creature that lives a solitary existence in a glass tank. The Mososaur performs Sea World-esque shows for the public (although no one is insane enough to ride on its back) but not one character ever questions whether this is a right or wrong. With all the criticism floating about of this kind of attraction, for example, in the documentary Blackfish, this lack of ethical debate is a missed opportunity.

The movie also feels a bit Jurassic in its attitudes to male and female characters. There are very few of the latter and the two main victims-in-waiting this time around are a teenage pair of brothers. Jurassic Park had a brother and sister, which worked much better in terms of family entertainment. Don’t girls have the right to go on adventures too?

Those gripes aside, Jurassic World is a fun, all-action runabout. The dinosaurs slaughter characters pretty indiscriminately, and its always fun to see someone tumbling into a monster’s gaping maw.

The casting is also terrific, with Chris Pratt showing that he can be the Harrison Ford of his generation. After his great starring role in Guardians of the Galaxy, he once again shows his ironic sense of humour along with all the stunts and drama.

Jurassic World is top-notch family entertainment, but it also suffers from the same affliction that let down Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In both cases, a safe remake of one of the original films is being used as a way of re-energising interest in the brand. Both movies are thus the holotype from which future sequels will show some sort of differentiation.

The system clearly works, because both films were hits. It would be nice to see more original ideas, but we will have to wait for future films before we see anything really new. This is the triumph of Jurassic World, that it returned the investment, and ensured that those future films will actually get made.

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15 responses to “Jurassic World: spoiler-free review

    • Pluto will always be a planet to me, Walt.
      Apparently, it’s pretty much agreed that most dinos had some sort of feather covering, although they don’t seem to survive as fossils.

  1. “Chris Pratt showing that he can be the Harrison Ford of his generation. After his great starring role in Guardians of the Galaxy, he once again shows his ironic sense of humour along with all the stunts and drama.” – I saw him for the first time in Guardian of the Galaxy and immediately thought the same re Harrison Ford. He could (and there are rumours he may well) take over the role of Indiana Jones once Harrison has hung up his whip, and I’ve not thought this of any actor I have previously seen.

    I didn’t enjoy any of the Jurrasic Park series to be honest, but I’d give this a go because he’s in the lead and will be entertaining for sure. Good points made above re the feathers and the caged animals too. I agree, a missed opportunity which would have gained much more publicity whilst promoting a good cause.

    – esme upon the Cloud

    • I think Pratt could be a fantastic Indiana Jones too. Maybe they’ll create a new character for him that he can take on and own.
      I always found it a bit weird that Indiana Jones was written with Tom Selleck in mind.

  2. Dinos have feathers?! Goodness. See, I was thinking there should’ve been 9 brothers or so. Imagine that. A whole gang. They could’ve hunted down raptors or something. You know, like hunters,I suppose.

  3. Thank you for your consideration, but I’ll happily leave it up to the boys to be eaten by dinsoaurs – they seem ideally suited for the role. However if they ever do a re-make of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…

  4. I wasn’t to impressed by the film, there wasn’t much in the way of evolution of the formula, I agree that it would have been nice to have something more up to date on our screens and less of the inevitable kids doing their own thing and being in danger. I liked the awkward office romance though.

    • That was Jake Johnson from New Girl, wasn’t it? He’s a great comic actor. They need someone like that in the film. I always liked Wayne Knight in the original Jurassic Park for that reason (he played the large treacherous park employee).

  5. Ah, ah, ah, you didn’t say the magic word! He was awesome, he should have got his own spin off, trapped on the island, it would have been amazing and then he could have turned up on Lost and really messed up the fans’ minds.

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