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Quote:

Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Film Review: JURASSIC WORLD (2015)



I will definitely be in the minority when I say I did not enjoy the film Jurassic World (2015).  The forth film in a franchise thought dead, this new film is a means to expand and reboot the franchise for a new audience.  The only problem is that it recycles the plot from the previous films without adding anything new. 

In the new film they actually (finally) got the park open to the public and people visit it like they do Walt Disney World.  Every dinosaur is a major attraction but even though it is highly successful, the shareholders want more and now the scientists who brought the dinosaurs back from extinction have genetically something new that no one has ever seen before.  This new dinosaur is bigger, stronger, and smarter than anything anyone has ever seen and once it gets lose in the part it is up to rogue velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and his boss Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to save the day (and her two nephews who have managed to get themselves lost in the park).

The film’s biggest problem is that it borrows entire plot and themes from the original film but does it less effectively.  Whereas the original film had the pleasure of being the first and inspiring awe and wonder in audiences this film has none of that and has a feeling and tone of “having been there and done it before.”  Two kids get trapped behind enemy lines and have to be saved only these two brothers (who are Claire’s nephews) are not nearly as interesting as the kids in the original film and come off as very clich√© for the most part.  Howard as Claire seems miscast from the very beginning as she has little chemistry with Pratt and really doesn’t come into her own until half way into the film when the dinosaurs are more interesting than she is.  Speaking of Pratt, he’s not given as much freedom as he had in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) so his performance seems as if he’s holding something back.  There is a welcomed return for character actor B.D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu from the original film who created the technology to clone dinosaurs.  He’s given more screen time in this film as this is the beginning of a new franchise that hints at more things to come.  Irrfan Khan (so memorable in The Namesake and Life of Pi) is underused as Simon Masrani, this film’s version of John Hammond, who runs the park, and Vincent D’Onofrio is slumming it as Hoskins, the N-Gen representative looking to militarize the velociraptors.

This film has more short-comings than all the other films combined and they manage to masque most of them with flashier SFX and more dinosaurs but the heart of the original film is long gone and replacement with an extended fight sequence between man and many dinosaurs for the finale.  I thought I was watching one of Michael Bay’s insipid Transformer films by the way in which what could have been a good film is turned into a franchise starting entertainment mess.  Unfortunately, that’s what audiences crave in this time of summer (as indicative of the huge Box Office opening of the film) so instead of a film that will stand the test of time Jurassic World is another (in a long line) highly forgettable SFX extravaganza with nothing new to say.

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