I really wanted to like this movie, but it wouldn’t make it easy for me.
When Jurassic World was out in cinemas, I was actually sad that I didn’t get around to seeing it. Now, thanks to VOD, I finally had the opportunity to catch up—and boy, am I happy not to have wasted any money on the DVD or a trip to the theater. I’m consequently going to do what this movie deserves and make short work of it: Here’s what’s wrong with Jurassic World—in 10 sentences.
The film’s very premiss is, of course, completely ridiculous—that they would have managed to open what’s essentially a vamped-up version of the original Jurassic Park after the catastrophe that happened there—and on the same island, no less. Speaking about vamped-up, no amount of self-referential criticizing the entertainment industry’s bigger-is-better mentality will hide the fact that this is the very impulse that Jurassic World (just like the movie’s Jurassic World) is based on. Worse still, it seems like the writers were aware of the problem in that prevailing attitude even while feeding it, making Jurassic World a contender for the prize of most intellectually dishonest blockbuster ever. This applies, too, of course, to the fact that the entirety of the plot and characters are stolen either from the original film series, or from every other action movie ever made. The evil military man wanting to weaponize an otherwise completely scientific and civil enterprise—seriously? If only that guy was the sole walking cliché in Jurassic World, though: No, by far the most troubling case of stereotyping can be found in the gender department, where the motto seems to be “Back to the roots!”. Chris Pratt’s character is defined by being rough and tough and cool (yet caring when it comes to dinos!), by knowing how to drive and fix motorcycles, and generally by being a kickass hero. The film’s female protagonist, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is portrayed as a cold, self-centered careerist who should up and take the kids and hide in a van when disaster strikes, and who generally needs to start working on her underdeveloped nurturing side if she wants to be a good woman. Add to the mix a bunch of surprisingly toyish and lovelessly composed CGI creatures, and you have the ingredients for one of the most disappointing money-making movies of all times.
Jurassic World (US 2015). Directed by Colin Trevorrow. Written by Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Cinematography: John Schwartzman. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Omar Sy and Irrfan Khan. 124 min.