Monday, May 09, 2016

Jurassic World

Jurassic World
 Jurassic World isn't a prefect movie, but it is far more entertaining than the second and third movies in the franchise. With some respectable action scenes, you might enjoy this movie. The movie tries its best to invoke the first movie and succeeds in that aspect. The movie has some major flaws and most of them are the same exact problems that plagued the first movie. It feels like two scripts were shoehorned into one, but many parts are entertaining. It doesn't have the fresh coat of paint the the Star Wars had, but it is still damn fun.
In this follow up, JP has turned into a Disney World park and is much bigger than even Hammond envisioned. It is no longer a small park with dinosaurs on the island, but JW is a huge place with various dinos and other projects. If you wanted to see a fully realized park, this movie shows it to you. I think the movie truly captures the Park/World feeling with all the activities and people rolling around the park. It is truly a nice callback to the first movie, and I love that the park/world is profitable with all its merchandise. We finally get to see what a dinosaur park would look like that we were promised in the first movie. However, here is where the first issue arises.
Bryce Dallas Howard's character is problematic. She is a frustrating character because she is both a hero and a villain character at the same time. She makes some grave mistakes that cause a lot of death and destruction, yet she receives some hero moments too. The movie doesn't know if we're supposed to cheer for or boo for her. Bryce does a pretty good job with the conflicting material and despite the way she is written. And, the love interest between Pratt and her is a bit forced and part of Hollywood 101 writing. I would have been more interested if they weren't a couple brewing.
Chris Pratt does well as the swaggering hero type. He is clearly playing a cross between Star Lord and Han Solo. And, that's fine. While it would have been nice to learn more about his character other than he bonds with a group of raptors, his character is all you need for an action flick.
While JW does pay tribute to the first movie, it has a tone of an action more than a horror movie, which was Spielberg intent with JP
Director Colin Trevorrow does a good impression of Steven Spielberg. He also adds bit of edge to the action scenes, which work almost 95% of the time. He really builds up the main villain dinosaur extremely well with camera shots and editing.
JW is infected with a major flaw as the first and third movies.
The kids are dumb, but not as dumb and annoying as the two kids in the first movie. They figure out ways to get out of situations, but they're stupid actions are what got them in the predicament in the first place. The writers make them dumb and then smart and it is a lazy trap writers get into.
They're not bad, but just a slight improvement on the earlier kids.
The military subplot feels a bit forced, but somewhat entertaining. Here's the thing though; all the military story bits are from another script from an early version of JP4. In that early script, there were concepts of human/dino hybrids due to military foolery. It seems portions of that script and concept were carried over here. Fresh off of playing Kingpin, Vincent D'Onofrio is the face of the concept of the military wanting to use these dinos for world conflicts. And, the big bad dinosaur is the other side of that abandoned script and concept, because this guy is a hybrid of sorts. It is a bit uneven.
The third act is the reason to watch the movie. Now, there is a major heel-turn with certain dinosurs, that seemed bit strange, but the turn to face (good guys) is a nice little double twist.
Spoiler Alert: The T-Rex from the first movie makes a major appearance in the final battle and it is worth the wait. They never really bring him up and you almost feel they're going to cheapen him up like they did in JP3 to make a point. They don't.
The final battle almost makes up for some of the weaker parts of the movie. We get a major drag out Godzilla type of fight between the “good” and “bad” dinos. Do you remember how you felt when the T-Rex appears and becomes the hero in the first movie when it killed the raptors? This third act is even bigger than that with some satisfying CGI and editing. Heck, I even love the victory pose by the hero dinos. Cheesy, yes, but damn fun.
The FX is good as always with these movies, so I don't have much to say.
Michael Giacchino's score is probably one of the brightest moments in this uneven movie. Michael score rises above everything else and gives the movie a grander feel and scope. His score uses the main theme from John Williams' masterfully crafted JP score. And, that makes since JW is supposed to be the direct and true sequel to JP. The score is full and rich with callbacks to Williams' music. MC is clearly from the school of John Williams.
JW feels like, with all the same issues, the first movie just a bit more fleshed out and more victims. The body count is larger, but it does not have that horror feel of the first movie. The main adult characters aren't as complex as the first movie's characters, but that's fine. It is a fun and entertaining movie in the same manner as the Fast and Furious movies. I am in for another sequel.
Grade: C+

"You never heard of Star Lord?"

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