Jurassic World Review: A Fossil of a Story

Emmanuel Gonzalez, Managing Editor

Chris Praptor, attempting to tame dinosaurs or about to be food?
Chris Praptor, attempting to tame dinosaurs or about to be food?

In excavating an old favorite, Colin Trevorrow, the director of Jurassic World has proved the discovery that dinosaur theme park plotlines are extinct.

While proving to be aesthetically entertaining with the plunge of thrill here and there, Jurassic World has an ancient formula that holds the minimal substance that only once satisfied the nostalgic generation that fell in love with the 1993 classic. The generation grew, CGI is no longer satisfactory in and of itself, and the audience craves more than just the cookie-cutter personas.

Ironically, this is the case in the movie’s story. Twenty-two years after the original theme park closed down, it has reopened boasting “fourteen news species” cooked up in the labs to reconcile falling attendee numbers, but of course viewers only get to see six. And of course, just like the other film, the problem arises when suddenly the big bad dinosaur breaks loose and starts wreaking havoc on the theme park. (Who would’ve suspected playing mad scientist would lead to insufferable consequences? Obviously in the universe that is the Jurassic World, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein has not been written.)

Though Trevorrow is not to blame, how else could thrilling conflict arise in a dinosaur theme park? In fact, one of the movie’s largest disappointments are the characters and their dialogue. Cheddar, mozzarella, it’s a four-cheese combination for disaster, any real depth the characters have is buried under the layers of cheesiness. Even star of the show, Chris Pratt.

No longer falling in pits (Parks and Rec, Pratt at his best, am I right?), Pratt went to go lose weight fighting interstellar crime in Guardians of the Galaxy and came back to the island of Costa Rica (the location of the Jurassic series, because you know, when white people have money and crazy ideas it’s always best to go across the sea with it) as a class A machista. His macho strut is not limited to solving his problems with violence and intercourse. No, really, Pratt’s character, Owen is placed under tension by the female lead, Claire, and of course the best way to relieve the tension is to invite her to sex, although she declines, the coy mistress comes around at the end. (Spoiler alert: There is no actual coitus in the film) Although the character Owen is full of the I-don’t-care-attitude and has an aggressive nature, he ends up being the most sensible character and likable for it, through him audience can catch a glimpse of a bigger meaning about respecting nature but it’s quickly brushed back under the dirt with more running.

Running that the female lead mentioned earlier did in high heels throughout the whole film. Okay, not only is this impractical and impossible, and just downright ridiculous (‘T-Rex can’t catch me if I’m wearing my designer heels’), but what kind of convoluted statement lies here about the female identity? Perhaps it suggests that a woman’s strengths knows no boundaries, though there is also a suggestion of the old trope, “woman must kick butt and look hot while doing it,” which seems more plausible. Zach and Gray, arguably the real leads of the film aren’t recognized as so because they are the most dull characters of the bunch despite having the most face-time on screen. It’s a cliché as old as roller skates: big brother hates annoying little brother, annoying little brother is vulnerable and needing his big brother brings him closer, an overwhelming challenge seals the deal. In this case, an impending parental divorce is what made the little brother vulnerable, no need to worry though, after having almost lost their children the problems in their relationship are magically fixed.

At the end of it all, you leave the theatre satisfied if you went in with no expectations. It’s best an audience members forgets what they know of the past characters, which were a little more complex, and come into this film with fresh eyes. Dinosaur enthusiasts still get a good helping of dinosaur action and can expect to have a couple chuckles along the way. Enjoying this aged story with an aged beverage might help, however.