Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jurassic World 3D review

I got a feeling of deja vu watching Jurassic World. I've seen the first three Jurassic Park movies in the franchise and there is a formula to making these films. Jurassic World has the um... DNA of the earlier movies. It goes something like this. One, precocious children in danger. Check. Two, stupid humans who believe they can control dinosaurs. Check. Three, A really big bad dinosaur. Check. And of course, dinosaurs chomping on people. Check.

The movie starts out with two brothers, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) Mitchell being sent to spend time with their aunt, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) who runs Jurassic World. The park is the descendant of Jurassic Park, which was designed to be a theme park where people could see dinosaurs brought to life through cloning. Okay, I have to stop here. In the first film, Jurassic Park (1993), it was clearly a bad idea to finish the park since the dinosaurs ate some of the employees. So why is it still a good idea?

Claire is too busy trying to make the park a success. You see she supports InGen, the corporation that owns the park and their idea to develop a super predator created originally from the DNA of various dinosaurs and animals. The purpose was that since people had gotten use to seeing the dinosaurs, they needed to see something new which is bigger and more spectacular. Is this plot point a metaphor for this sequel? But I digress. The new dinosaur is called Indominus Rex. You didn't think they would call it Barney, did you?

Owen Grady, (Chris Pratt) the park's velociraptor trainer, is brought in to evaluate the Indominus Rex' s security situation. He's also a love interest for Claire because we have to have a romance in here somewhere. Owen's got his own problems with an InGen executive Vic Hoskins, (Vincent D'Onofrio) who wants to militarize the velociraptors. Well during Owen's visit to Indominus Rex's enclosure, it tricks the humans and escapes. It then proceeds to murder all the people in the park, thus ending the movie in five minutes. Okay, that doesn't happen.

The acting performances are very good. Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins are believable as two brothers who have family issues back at home. Bryce Dallas Howard makes her Claire, a cold executive evolve into a caring aunt. It's kind of difficult given the limited exposition she's got to work with. And no, I did not get the feeling she needed a man to become more human as some critics have pointed out as sexist. Unfortunately, Chris Pratt comes off as sort of a stereotype. He's a macho GI Joe model. But it's Vincent D' Onofrio who turns in the best performance of the movie. He's driven, result based, greedy villain. And with any good villain, D'Onofrio shows the motivation behind his character. It's part patriotism and capitalism.

It's the screenplay that holds back Jurassic World from being a great film. Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly and director Colin Trevorrow. There are gaps in character development. This could be due to editing and a desire to keep the movie under two hours. It comes in at 2 hours and ten minutes. But it's still a problem. I mean we get a hint that the boys love their aunt but don't know why. It would only take a few lines to develop this. Second, the movie is basically the first one. It's only bigger. Dinosaurs are developed for the theme park. The big monster escapes and eats people. Been there and done that. The militarization of the dinosaurs might be a better movie and perhaps should be in the next one.

However, Jurassic World is not bad movie. It's a good one. Director Trevorrow handles actions sequences beautifully. In all of his shots, you know what is happening. It's also a well lit film. His direction has no confusion and you will sit there being entertained by the exciting action. While the dinosaurs are still rendered as CGI creatures, the're still good enough to make you believe they exist. It would be impractical to build robots. But perhaps the best special effect is the ability of Bryce Dallas Howard to run in high heels. I mean that's got to hurt the poor woman.

As for seeing this movie in 3D, I've got to note that it's a conversion from 2D. So it's not shot with a 3D camera rig. That means you don't get all the nooks and crannies of a shot in 3D. It will be more like a pop up book. First, the movie does not suffer from light issues, i.e., it's not too dark. However, there's no popping effect and very little depth. Nothing in this movie made me think I was watching it in 3D. It's not special in 3D. Save your money and see this movie in 2D.

Jurassic World is a well made but cliched movie. You've got to suspend your disbelief that a company would open a park with predator dinosaurs but it's a good movie for the summer. The grade is B.



1 comment:

Shawn Deny said...

And with any good villain, D'Onofrio shows the motivation behind his character. It's part patriotism and capitalism.
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