Note: Yes, this review is late. But you know why. If you don’t know why, scroll down two posts to ‘Susan Vs. The Velociraptor.’ Since this is running late, and since apparently everyone has already seen it, this review will be more spoiler-filled than usual. You have been warned.
When I was a lad we were told that dinosaurs weren’t very smart. They had brains the size of peas, you see, and the big ones were so dumb they had an extra brain in their rear to control their back legs and tail.
At least, that was the thinking in the ’60s. Paleontologists change their minds frequently, so that may have changed.
Personally, I think we should get up every day and thank that meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs. Because if we had to coexist with them, we would not be long for this world.
I mean, it’s hard to believe that dinosaurs could ever be as stupid as the humans who inhabit “Jurassic World.” But we’ll get to that in a minute.
On the “Jurassic Movies” scale, the current installment is much, much better than the 3rd, much better than the 2nd, and on par with the first. The dinosaurs are spectacular, the humans less so, the story is, well, another variation on the same story Michael Crichton dreamed up and published in 1990.
There’s a formula to this franchise that director Colin Trevorrow follows pretty closely. “Jurassic Park” movies have:
1. A lead male who knows better than everyone else and has the wits to survive and defeat the dinos.
2. The female lead (in 1 and 2) is a fellow scientist and equal to the male. In the current version the female is the career-obsessed park administrator who learns a lesson. The third one had Tia Leoni as a shrill, desperate mother.
3. A kid or kids. Because kids love dinosaurs and the leads always need kids to worry about.
4. Some evil or misguided stooge who wants to exploit the dinosaurs.
5. About 10 minutes of screen time for the herbivores, who wander in open fields and don’t get to do anything.
6. Raptors, raptors, raptors.
7. A T-Rex who gets to play both hero and villain.
By the third movie, they realized they were in a rut and added:
8. Dinosaur that is bigger and badder than T-Rex to be the main antagonist.
Where “Jurassic World” comes out ahead is in the casting of Chris Pratt as the heroic guy who understands dinosaurs. Pratt is considerably more charismatic than Sam Neill. (Jeff Goldblum is just as interesting as Pratt, but “The Lost World” had issues that even Goldblum couldn’t overcome.) Pratt brings a much needed sense of fun to the proceedings.
Bryce Dallas Howard is always entertaining even when given such a tired, cliché role as she is here. The rest of the cast fill their roles adequately.
As to the story, well, it seems that despite the disaster that was Jurassic Park, InGen somehow got the go-ahead to make a dinosaur amusement park. It’s been quite successful, as you’d expect, but people are fickle and want newer, more dangerous dinos. So InGen mixes up some dino genes and creates the Indominus Rex! I-Rex escapes and wrecks havoc on the island.
“Jurassic World” is a fun, popcorn adventure filled with exciting action scenes that wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if the people involved weren’t so stupid. Which brings us to our summary:
Top 6 Reasons Why Humans Are Dumber Than Dinosaurs
6. You can’t ride a motorcycle in thick jungle terrain
5. You can’t run from dinosaurs, run in thick jungle terrain, or run on pavement from Pteranodons while wearing high heels
4. You can’t turn raptors into soldiers. Sure, it would probably be fun and effective to drop a pack of raptors into a terrorist training camp and sit back and watch what happens, but evil military guy in the movie actually thinks you can train wild animals to fight combat style.
3. Don’t go off the park-approved trail. Especially in a park filled with dinosaurs.
2. If your sister leaves you in charge of her sons, and they’ve just barely escaped being eaten by dinosaurs, take them to a secure place like the control room. Do not take them out to the thick of the I-Rex hunt and think they’ll be safe in a truck.
1. If you’re standing outdoors in a pedestrian mall and pterodactyls come swooping down from the hills — GET INSIDE. Why are you running down the middle of the street? Do you want to be snatched and eaten by flying dinosaurs? There are open buildings on both sides of you!
The only smart guy is the one in the Dairy Queen commercial, and he’s not in the movie.