Flashback Friday 2015: Jurassic World

Coming June 12- JURASSIC WORLD

I’d love to pretend that I am above this. That I recognize this franchise is past its sell-by date and I won’t be suckered into it. But maaaan, dinosaurs are so cool, you know?

That, of course, is not the only interesting thing about JURASSIC WORLD though, thankfully. I am excited to see what relatively inexperienced director Colin Trevorrow does with the material, especially as I quite liked his Safety Not Guaranteed (even if I always think of Happy Accidents first when someone mentions Safety).

And speaking of Happy Accidents, the cast has me excited as well. I consider Vincent D’Onofrio an actor who’s performances I will always at least give a glance and this is his first role post-Kingpin so I am especially inclined to that perspective now. I am interested in Chris Pratt’s continued leading man evolution in a role that looks as if it shades more serious than Guardians of the Galaxy or, obviously, Parks and Recreation. (Sidenote: remember when Vince Vaughan was in a Jurassic Park movie?) Even Bryce Dallas Howard, who has not quite found work equal to her talent yet, makes me take notice. Oh and, wow, just noticed Judy Greer and Lauren Lapkus are in this. So, yes, very excited about the cast.

 The cast of Jurassic Park III, taken as they watch a showing of Lost World. (photo from cinetropolis.net)

The cast of Jurassic Park III, taken as they watch a showing of Lost World. (photo from cinetropolis.net)

Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park III is a movie, for better and worse, that has no pretentions about what it is. It is setting out to be a tight thrill ride piece, nothing more, nothing less. And for its 90 minute running time that’s pretty much all it is. So while it never hits the virtuoso grace of the first Park, it also avoid feeling like the bloated, self-serious, narratively incoherent Lost World.

Joe Johnston is a competent journeyman who does not set the world on fire, but does a nice job of building tension and makes the CGI feel a part of the scene, not just overlaid on the natural backdrops.

The big problem is the characters could not be thinner. Oh and the movie is way too in love with the idea of raptors as uber-dinosaurs, something Lost World and, even the first Park a bit, also suffered from. But the characters are…well, they exist. Again though, the movie makes no excuses about why it exists. It wants to get your heart pumping. If you cared about the characters you might be more interested, of course, but it wants thrills above all else and, in that way, it generally achieves its goals.