Check out Josh and Violet’s male vs. female perspective reviews of Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow, and starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Vincent D’Onofrio! Also, following Josh and Violet’s reviews, our guest writers David and Tamara share their male vs. female perspective reviews as well! Both male reviews are on the left side, and the female reviews are on the right. We keep it all mostly spoiler-free. If there are any spoilers, there will be a warning.
Josh’s Movie Review of
It’s been about 22 years since we were first taken to Jurassic Park, where John Hammond wanted to bring these ancient beasts back from the dead. Like the dinosaurs, Jurassic Park seemed to be a movie franchise that had gone extinct. But Universal decided to try to resurrect it, and it looks like it paid off. Box office estimates as of Monday put Jurassic World at $208.8 million for its domestic opening weekend, and $315 million internationally, toppling both The Avengers for highest grossing domestic film and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 for highest grossing international for opening weekend. Apparently everybody and their brother, sister, uncle, niece, nephew, third aunt, once-removed decided to see the movie. The big question is—How was it?
Well, if you trust Rotten Tomatoes, critics have rated it as a moderate 70%. Not bad. Users are rating it as 85% “liked it,” also not bad at all. But enough of what critics and ‘other people” think! It is my turn to talk about it!
So, unfortunately Steven Spielberg did not come back to direct Jurassic World. He did “Executively Produce” though, whatever that exactly means. The director was Colin Trevorrow, who seems to be fairly new to directing. He didn’t have anything I was familiar with on his IDMB page. It also starred Chris Pratt (known for Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil), and two kids Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3), and Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer).
The story in Jurassic World revolves around a dinosaur park finally opening, on the island John Hammond (the entrepreneur who wanted to open Jurassic Park) originally wanted his park to open on. Apparently while the audience was “away,” someone was able to get this park (relatively) safely off the ground, and it has been going on for a number of years. But now, the “focus groups” the park has been interviewing are getting bored with “just “ dinosaurs, so the scientists at the park decide to genetically engineer their own dinosaurs—and make them “bigger and badder” than before.
Meanwhile, an animal trainer named Owen (Chris Pratt) is working with velociraptors, trying to train them without being eaten himself, as he is overseen by Ingen employee, “Hoskins,” who has his own agenda for the raptors.
And finally, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) are two kids on trip to Jurassic World to visit their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is a workaholic.
All of these characters have their own little side stories going on, which is all well and good, but let’s face reality here: Everyone here to watch this movie is here because they want to see dinosaurs. Or see dinosaurs eat people. Or see dinosaurs fight other dinosaurs. If the story was at least somewhat believable, and the special effects were done well enough, and there was some cool dinosaur action going on, the movie would be great. Well, it turns out, that is exactly what we got.
(Warning of minor spoilers below!)
I think the biggest weakness of Jurassic World is the story though. It seemed a little unnecessarily overcomplicated, and some parts were just left underdeveloped. For example, we find out about half way through the movie that the reason the two kids re visiting their aunt at Jurassic World is because their parents are getting a divorce, and didn’t want the kids around to hear all of the litigation. Within the film, this is barely touched on, and if the few scenes revolving around that aspect of the film were removed, the film would not be affected in anyway. In reality, it would probably be a little better. Do we have to feel sad for these kids in a movie that is supposed to be about dinosaurs?
Another story issue I had revolved around how their newest creation gets lose. It seems that there are a lot of incompetent people working this place, including Aunt Claire, who is basically running the place. I was a little surprised there wasn’t one of those “No accidents in XX” signs lying around, and the number would be less than a week old. Firstly, as Violet brought up to me, when the “Big Guy” first gets “loose” why wouldn’t anyone check the tracker as the very first order of business? Apparently the best idea was to wait until later, when the dinosaur has already torn out its tracker. That brings up another problem: why is the tracker in a place the dinosaur has the ability to tear it out? Wouldn’t you put it in a place, like in the back of the neck, where it can’t reach it?
I have another big problem with the movie’s storyline involving Chris Pratt and his raptor, but it is a pretty big spoiler. I will just leave it at the following: I had a hard time buying how the raptors played into the story.
I also had a problem with the character Irrfan Khan (Simon Masrani). I really didn’t understand this character’s motives at all. At times in the movie, he seemed like a great guy; a guy who wanted to see John Hammond’s dreams come true. On the other hand, he seemed to only care about money, and didn’t really put too much concern into the development of these genetically engineered dinosaurs until it was too late. I just wasn’t really able to understand him. Also, the fact he tries to save the day flying a helicopter made no sense. We already saw how terrible he is at flying a helicopter. Why would any soldiers fly with him?
Let’s talk about the positives though: the special effects! These were amazing. Jurassic Park was a big step forward in CGI, and I have to say, Jurassic World really stepped it up this time around as well. There were so many times in the movie where I was trying to figure out what was CG and what were practical effects. I came to the conclusion 99% of the effects were CGI, but if someone where to tell me that a specific scene in the movie was practical, I would probably believe them, because I couldn’t tell the difference.
Jurassic World’s acting was for the most part, very well done. I enjoyed the performances by Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and a lot of the staff within Jurassic World provided some great comedic timing. I had a little hard time with the performances of Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson, but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t overlook. There really wasn’t anything to complain about here.
So, after all this, would I recommend this movie for anyone to see? One world sums it up: “Absolutely!” Despite my critical look at the film, and having some major issues with the story points, it all comes down to nostalgia. Every kid, especially boys, had a fascination with dinosaurs. Jurassic Park scratched that itch when I was 11. Jurassic World has done this again. Seeing this Park finally operational almost gave me a satisfaction that a fictional character, John Hammond, finally got to see his dreams come true. Combining that with how well the special effects were done, it is hard to nitpick other aspects of the movie. And besides, who doesn’t want to see big dinosaurs taking each other on? Overall, I would give the movie a 7.5 out of 10.
David’s Movie Review of
Jurassic World is the 2015 entry in the Jurassic Park series, including Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), and Jurassic Park III (2001). With the exception of the original Jurassic Park, don’t worry too much if you haven’t seen any of the other sequels, you can still enjoy this film just fine without them.
Jurassic World takes place 20 years after the events of the original Jurassic Park. The dinosaur based theme park/zoo that John Hammond has always dreamt of has been opened for several years. However, much like any amusement attraction, after several years, the audience has grown tired of seeing the same old thing. So the park’s owners, including Bryce Dallas Howard as the park’s operation manager, and geneticists have engineered a new breed of dinosaur, bigger, meaner, and “cooler,” to quote the film. But when all hell breaks lose and every tourist on the island’s life is in danger, it’s up to Chris Pratt as a velociraptor expert and trainer to save everybody, including Howard’s two teenage nephews who are touring the park at the time.
Let me start off by saying that there’s a lot of stuff to like about this movie. I thought this idea was interesting when I first heard the synopsis, and it felt like a natural direction for the series to go in. As much as I hate to admit it, if there actually was a dinosaur amusement park, it would be exciting at first (and probably for a long while, I’d imagine), but after a while, they would probably have to come up with bigger and better “attractions” to keep the public interested. I won’t lie, I have been thinking about what an actual Jurassic Park would be like if it was actually open and fully operational, and this had everything I would have imagined and more, including a cute dinosaur petting zoo for the kids to ride and hand-feed the baby herbivores.
I liked most of the actors, and thought they turn in good performances (notice I said I liked most of the actors, not the characters, more on that later.) Chris Pratt does a usually great job. Unlike most of his performances thus far, he plays this one pretty straight and serious. I liked seeing him show a little bit of diversity in his acting. Hopefully he won’t get typecast as “Star Lord” in all his future movies. I think he’s a good enough actor to break out of that mold and really have a wide array of performances. However, it was not completely without a few moments of the humor and charisma that make Chris one of the most sought after actors working today. Dallas Bryce Howard also turned in an expectedly good performance. She was one of the bright spots in the otherwise disappointing, The Village. The two teenage nephews, however, I didn’t really care for. It’s not that I don’t like child actors either. If they’re good, they’re good. I don’t really subscribe to the notion of “give them a break, they’re just kids.” I hold them by the same standard of acting as I do an adult actor, and these kids just didn’t really do it for me.
The music was good. As good as the original? Not by a long shot! John Williams is a master. There’s a reason he’s composed some of the most memorable and longest-lasting film scores of all time, including Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, Home Alone, and Harry Potter. The samples taken from the original score were the best musical moments in the movie. That being said, the score for this film was not bad, in fact, it was good. There just wasn’t really anything memorable about it, it didn’t leave you walking out of the theater with anything new to humming, like the original did. That’s actually one of the problems with the film.. well, let’s just get into it…
This movie had two big things going against it going into it. First, the original Jurassic Park was so unique in its time. It pushed the boundaries of special effects and animatronics, as well as the audience’s imagination. For the first time, we believed that dinosaurs could actually exist. We believed we could walk amongst them, and seeing them on the big screen for the first time in all their prehistoric majesty was beyond words. Unfortunately for this film, there have been 2 other Jurassic Park movies and numerous others that featured dinosaurs, monsters, dragons, kaiju, and countless other enormous, scaly creatures, and much like the characters in the movie, we’ve seen it before, it’s no longer new and original, and we’ve grown callus of its inspiring effects. The other obstacle this movie had to face right out the gate is the palpable absence of Steven Spielberg, or at least his direction. To me, that is the number one thing that made the original Jurassic Park such a classic. Would it have been successful if someone else had directed it? Probably. Would it have been as timeless and monumental? Definitely not! One thing that Spielberg brings to his movie, like no one else (or very few can), is heart. Much like John Williams, there’s a reason Spielberg has directed some of the greatest films of all time.
Oh, and the thing earlier about the characters. Like I said, the actors were good, but the characters were a bit too stereotypical of their types for my liking. Dallas Bryce Howard was the organized, regimented, orderly aunt. Chris Pratt was the Southern, all-American military tough-as-nails survivalist, and Vincent D’Onofrio was probably the worst, as the evil, government, head of an evil organization, bad guy. The only thing he was missing was a mustache to twirl. And the relationships between most of the characters were mostly superficial, if existent at all.
Overall, I try my best to judge a movie strictly on its own merits, without comparing it to the original Jurassic World, but it’s damn near impossible. To me, Jurassic Park was a masterpiece, in all senses of the word. The story was imaginative and original, the musical score was timeless and memorable, the actors turned in great performances, the characters and relationships were realistic, deep, engaging and interesting, it revolutionized the world of special effects, and it brought the audience into a world of imagination where 40 foot dinosaurs actually exist, and it was both magical and terrifying at the same time, like only Steven Spielberg could deliver. So it’s not really fair to compare it to a film like that, and judging it strictly on its own merits, I feel like I sound like I was more down on the film than I actually was. I had a really good time with this movie! The plot was interesting, the action was fun and exciting (probably some of my favorite moments in the whole movie), the music was good, the actors mostly turned in good performances, even though the characters they’re playing were more stereotypical archetypes than actual characters, and it had big shoes to fill, which it inevitably was unable to fill (although the failure of the last 2 movies definitely softened the blow a little). I’d give Jurassic World an 8 out of 10.
Violet’s Movie Review of Jurassic World:
Jurassic World roared into theaters this past weekend, making $208.8 million domestically, beating out The Avengers to become movie with the highest opening weekend in the United States ever, and taking in $524.4 million worldwide to also have the highest global opening weekend of all time. The film, directed by Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed), stars Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), and Ty Simpkins (Insidious).
The film is the fourth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, the original having been released in 1993, with the sequels The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III being released in 1997 and 2001, respectively. It has been nearly 14 years since the most recent film in the franchise was released.
In this sequel, Jurassic World has opened on Isla Nublar, the same island off the coast of Costa Rica where the original park was supposed to open. However, Jurassic World has been opened for awhile, and the novelty of dinosaurs has worn off, so the scientists have experimented with genetically modifying dinosaurs to make a hybrid, in order to make sure that they keep the public’s attention. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, Claire, is in charge of operations at the park, and tries to make sure things run smoothly. One weekend, her two nephews come to visit her, though she is quite busy with working, as she is very ambitious and career-driven, so the boys end up going off on their own and getting into some mischief. Coincidentally, this is the same weekend that they discover there’s more to the hybrid dinosaur, which they call the “Indominus Rex,” than they realized, and it ends up escaping. Claire recruits Chris Pratt’s character, Owen, who trains Velociraptors, to help her find her nephews, as chaos erupts in the park.
Having been a big fan of Jurassic Park growing up (I was 9 when it came out, and we owned it and watched it over and over again), I had been pretty excited about Jurassic World for awhile. But I felt like the second one, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, was not as great, and I remember not really liking Jurassic Park III very much, so I wasn’t sure if yet another sequel would be a letdown. I re-watched the first film a few weeks ago for the first time in years, and rediscovered how much I loved it. However, I went into Jurassic World with relatively low expectations.
Maybe that’s part of why I loved it so much, because I wasn’t expecting to. That’s not to say that the movie was without any flaws, because there were some. I thought it was a bit illogical how the Indominus Rex got out in the first place, given how on top of things Claire seemed to be. Then there were just a few little things here and there throughout, but I can’t think of anything that really stood out. The ending, however, was just plain ridiculous and didn’t make sense why a lot of things would happen that way. Yet, it was ridiculous in an enjoyable way, with great action scenes. It was just plain fun overall, and as a result, I was able to look past the flaws and just go with it.
Jurassic World was able to invoke the nostalgia that those who are now adults who saw the original felt about that film when they first saw it all those years ago and grew up watching, yet at the same time created a new world for a new generation of children. It felt like a sequel and a reboot at the same time. As a Jurassic Park child, it was amazing to see the park open, and to see all these throwbacks to the original film. All the nostalgia and hopes that I’d had for the park as a child came rushing back. Additionally, Jurassic World was able to make you feel an emotional connection to the dinosaurs in a way that Jurassic Park never had the chance to. It’s a shame that Richard Attenborough, who played Jurassic Park’s creator John Hammond, died before he was able to see the park brought to life. But rest assured, the film does pay tribute to his memory.
I was a little afraid that Chris Pratt’s character would be just a repeat of Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy, but that turned out not to be true, as he was able to hold his own as a much different character here. While I would have liked to have seen Jeff Goldblum or Sam Neill make a return, I feel like Chris Pratt did a good job picking up the reins as the lead male character, and I’m comfortable with him doing so in any future Jurassic World films. It would have also been nice to see Laura Dern again as well, but Bryce Dallas Howard ended up doing a good job as female lead. I thought the acting all around was great, even the kids, which I don’t often find to be the case.
As far as graphics go, I thought the CGI was great, and everything looked real. I don’t recall being taken out of the movie once by anything that looked fake.
Overall, though not without its flaws, Jurassic World was a fun and enjoyable movie that is satisfying to fans of the original, surpassing the other two sequels as best sequel, and serves as “the” dinosaur movie for a new generation.
My rating: 8.5/10
Tamara’s Movie Review of Jurassic World:
The Jurassic Park franchise started when I was just a small child back in 1993. I don’t remember the first time I actually sat down and watched it for the first time but I’ve grown up with the knowledge of the movie for as long as I can remember. The score alone can shock me back to childhood and visions of dinosaurs roaming open land. The first time I saw the trailer for Jurassic World I had goose bumps and tears in my eyes. The park was open. I have always dreamt about what the park would be like if it were open and I never thought I would see it happen. It was a beautiful thing. The tug of nostalgia was almost too much for me to handle while we waited for the movie to start.
Over twenty years later the park is finally open and the late Dr. Hammond has left Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) in charge as the operations manager. While the park is struggling to try to keep the now jaded public entertained, the lab creates a new hybrid dinosaur, bigger and more terrifying than ever imagined. When things get out of hand, Claire is forced to bring in help from raptor trainer, Owen (Chris Pratt) to lead the charge in getting the situation under control while trying to keep her nephews safe.
The movie had a lot to live up to for me and I came out of it with a smile from ear to ear. The things I liked? I am a huge animal lover and have always feared what would happen if we actually brought extinct animals back into our dollar driven world. This movie touched on that part of my heart in all the right ways. The characters felt realistic to me even when it was obvious the story was trying to make a point about our society. There was heartfelt development and tearful moments. There were plenty of laughs and exciting triumphant moments. While you might find yourself missing Jeff Goldblum’s wits and charm, Chris Pratt did a great job filling that hole. Pratt was as funny as he normally is, but not quite as bumbling as he can be. He was smooth and serious when the scene called for it. Bryce Dallas Howard was a great contrast to him and her character development was my favorite. Jake Johnson (Nick from New Girl) and Lauren Lapkus (Susan Fischer from Orange is the New Black) were nice additions to find in the control room and had a few silly moments together that worked really well.
Now lets talk about the big baddy. The Indominus Rex. From the moment this thing was introduced, my heart never stopped racing. Every scene with it played out perfectly. It was kept hidden just enough to keep me terrified and satisfied all at once. The final showdown was such an exciting surprise. I didn’t know what was going to happen, and that’s always a plus for me.
The things I felt it lacked? Steven Spielberg. You could definitely feel that this wasn’t his movie. There was still lots of heart but Spielberg has such a unique way of getting that emotion out of each and every scene. The score in the original by John Williams is touched on a few times throughout but not quite at the right times. It never gave me those epic chills. Some of the characters like Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) felt a little too forced and sometimes silly, making stupid judgments that were really only there to move the story along or to get the point across.
Overall, this movie was nicely paced and cheesy at all the right moments. I loved seeing the park in full glory. This was awe inspiring and nightmare inducing all at the same time. You get a new look at the psychology of these creatures and the limits this theme park is willing to push. Don’t forget to keep your eye out for all the Easter eggs! There are so many throw backs to the old movies seamlessly woven in, it’s hard to keep up if you aren’t paying attention. This is an adrenaline inducing ride and a great addition to the Jurassic Park name. I would rate it an 8.5 out of 10.