Quality: This score indicates entertainment value.
0 stars is horrible, while 5 stars is spectacular.
Political: This score addresses political messaging.
0 stars is aggressively anti-Conservative, while 5 stars is highly pro-Conservative. 3 stars is apolitical.
Moral/Religious (M/R): This score addresses moral and religious messaging.
0 stars is either intensely immoral or all-out, needless assault on Christianity. 5 stars is either great moral messaging or highly pro-Christian. 3 stars is inoffensive either way.
Quality – 2.5 stars, Political – 1.5 star, M/R – 3 stars
“Dental hygiene’s important, y’know. Lemme see if I can reach that back row.”
“No!” yell people in the audience. “Chainsaws! Chainsaws!”
My point? While the action races and the CGI dazzles, this movie’s plot and characters appear to have been drawn in crayon.
Take Vic, for instance (played by Vincent D’Onofrio). As a rich, powerful dude who wants to sell raptors as military weapons, he’s Hollywood’s vision of every Republican. So gee, waddya think happens to him? Chainsaws!
Comedic super-hunk Chris Pratt plays Owen, a raptor trainer who tells Vic he’s crazy. Nevertheless, Vic sends Owen to Jurassic World—the dinosaur island that is now an elaborate theme park (I assume “Jurassic Land” and “Six Jurassic Flags” were taken). Owen is the classic example of “handsome expert with military training talking sense to the rich moron.” So gee, think he’ll be the action hero? You win again!
Note to director Colin Trevorrow: When we know exactly what will happen to character types we’ve seen a million times, it’s less fun watching them go through it.
In another ultra-formulaic setup, lead female character Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is an uptight, corporate-style, park operations manager. Claire’s two teen nephews are visiting, but while she’s supposed to show them around, she’s too business-absorbed and dispassionate to care about “bonding.” So gee, waddya think happens when all their lives are in danger? Might the uptight businesswoman find her inner nurturer? Will this be “Baby Boom” with dinosaurs? Will she also wind up with Owen? Will all this occur while her uptight outfit becomes more revealing? Yep, yep, yep, you betcha!
Note to Trevorrow: When we know exactly how relational subplots will play out, it’s less fun watching them play out.
The storyline itself is a picture of the Jurassic series: Audiences tire of the same old dinosaurs, so Jurassic’s lab must concoct a more ferocious model--Indominus Rex. And not only do they make Indominus bigger and meaner, but smarter as well. So Indominus plans. He communicates. In his spare time, he enriches uranium. This is one smart super-predator. Oh, and lest we accuse Trevorrow of doing anything new with this plotline, it was all done with sharks in “Deep Blue Sea”—a better movie.
Note to Trevorrow: When we know exactly how a genetically enhanced dinosaur…aw, forget it.
The moral of “Jurassic World” (outside of the usual, “Greed and military are bad!”) is no different from the moral of all Jurassic movies: “Stop trying to control nature; it’s bigger than you.” Maybe this is why these movies never really connect. Sure, we like the action. And sure, we love the special effects. But how many of us are mad scientists trying to control nature, whose ambitions can only be curbed by preachy movies? Ummm…virtually no one. As much as I enjoy a good monster flick, it’s weird hearing a sermon that could never apply to me.
So there you have it. Though good popcorn fun, “Jurassic World” has characters doing what you’d expect in a story going where you’d expect, all while teaching a lesson you’ll never use. This movie is a rock skipping across the water while leaving no rings—but I enjoyed watching it skip.
Do you like that Geico commercial? Then watch this movie. Chainsaws!