They Spared No Expense

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imageIf you’ve read or watched anything about Jurassic World on our site, you’ll know that we really didn’t have high hopes for it. We thought it would end up being a poor imitation of the original film, which relied too much upon CGI and one-dimensional (not even two-dimensional) stereotypes.

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Well, after the first five to ten minutes of the film, after I felt my hair stand on end as the camera soared over the huge expanse of the park with the classic theme accompanying it, all I could think was

“I think we were wrong, Ben. God this looks incredible.”

However, within the next twenty minutes the film started to batter me with stereotypes, ridiculous plot points, and those one-dimensional characters I mentioned.

“Forget what I said, Ben. We were right the first time.”

I really wanted this film to be good. I wanted it to change my preconceptions and to show me that just because the trailer looked bad, doesn’t mean the film had to be. Unfortunately though, it kinda was, guys. It turned out to be on a par with those Syfy monster films but without their most important aspect, the irony. They gave that amount of money to a script worthy of the Syfy channel. And you know what? I bet it would’ve turned out better if it had been a low budget monster-comedy.

Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t any good parts. In fact I think this film had the potential to be absolutely brilliant- the sequel its 1990s predecessor deserved. It’s just that the bad parts completely smothered those aspects until all I could see was a giant mess of cheesy occurrences, bad dialogue, and ridiculous characters that were so stupid I didn’t even consider them to be the bad guys.

I’m not going to dwell on those too much though, because who wants to read a review like that? You know my standing on it, and I personally believe that your money would be much better spent going to see a different film this weekend, one that won’t leave you as bitterly disappointed as an awkward one-night-stand (not that I’ve ever done that). Instead, I’ll go over some of the more positive aspects of this giant steaming pile of dinosa-

No. Nope. I said that I’d be positive about it. No more faecal imagery.

Right.

The park itself looks almost real in the way it’s laid out, resembling today’s zoos and theme parks (as you’d imagine). It feels real, although not as real as the original park. I think this had a lot to do with the shear amount of special effects being thrown at your eyeballs as you struggled to take it all in. This spectacle was a big bonus for the first half an hour or so, because it covered up a lot of the crap that was to come.

One thing that stood out for me at the beginning was the way Gray (Ty Simpkins) sprints from exhibit to exhibit, dragging his incredibly disinterested older brother, Zach (Nick Robinson), with him.

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It captures the pure amazement and enthusiasm you would feel being in such a place. Watching those scenes reminded me of being a kid at zoos and the Natural History Museum, trying to see everything at once, never stopping to rest until you’ve seen all there is to see. These few scenes were very close to saving the film for me. In fact, most scenes featuring the two brothers were pretty damn good, even if it did border on cheese at times. Their characters were solid and believable, even if there were a few clumsy attempts at character development that were brushed aside as bluntly as they appeared. Those are on the writers though, not these two very talented actors.

Speaking of acting, I honestly didn’t have an issue with any of the main cast’s performances. They all did the best they could with the writing, and the acting was probably the highlight of the film for me. Chris Pratt was as likeable as ever, even if his character, Owen, didn’t quite live up to the Dr Grant standard. Bryce Dallas Howard performed well too, in spite of the horrifically stereotyped 1970s era character she played (a character that has caused quite a few grumbles within Hollywood).

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My favourite, however, has to be Simon Masrani (the new owner of the Park, played by Irrfan Khan). He is the most ridiculously cheesy, semi-badass, philanthropist you could possibly create. I’m not sure what they were trying to do with him, but I doubt he turned out the way they wanted him too; truly hilarious.

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The CGI and special effects… Well, it’s certainly a spectacle, there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s not the most visually spectacular film I’ve seen, even if it had every opportunity to be. I personally found Mad Max: Fury Road to look better and more visually impressive… and that’s set in a desert wasteland! Basically, there are a lot of cool shots, but none that shocked me with their ingenuity or beauty.

All our favourite dinosaurs are given some screen time, but to be honest the “stars” of the show were Chris Pratt’s stupid ‘Raptors that belonged more in a kids show called “Raptor Squad” or some shit like that. Along with these guys, we get the “Indominus Rex”. Which really isn’t that impressive, and also another really dumb idea. (I think you can tell how pissed off I am about this film. Trying to be positive about it is killing me).

I know I said that I was going to try and make this a fairly positive review, but I can’t finish without mentioning the writing and dialogue. How did this script get approved? There’s better dialogue in Commando for christs-sake! I mean COME ON. As for the writing itself; never has a film made put my head in my hands because I was embarrassed to be watching it. Until now. The end fight was absolutely great before a certain something is introduced. I’m not going to tell you what that thing is because, well, spoilers. But you’ll know… you’ll know…

Anyway, I’m sorry for writing such a depressingly angry piece on this, but it really doesn’t deserve much better.

I’ll tell you what though. If you want to go see a film this weekend, and you don’t want it to be particularly heavy going, just an easy to watch, cheesy piece of entertainment, then I guess I recommend this. Because, if it did nothing else for me, parts of it did remind me of what is was like to be a kid seeing Jurassic Park for the first time, which felt pretty awesome.

-Lewis

*A friend and I also have an idea for a parody-sequel that would be just slightly less stupid than what the writers will inevitably come up with. I might do something with it.

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