Review Round-Up: Jurassic World Is No Jurassic Park, But It's the Best Sequel in the Franchise

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 - 9:46AM
Jurassic World
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 - 9:46AM
Review Round-Up: Jurassic World Is No Jurassic Park, But It's the Best Sequel in the Franchise
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The first reviews for Jurassic World are in, and by all accounts, the sequel/reboot can't nearly live up to the awe-inspiring original, but is handily better than either The Lost World or Jurassic Park III. This latter feat is not very difficult, however, and critics agree that the film has its flaws. The plot is as predictable as one would expect, the characters are paper-thin, and there's a missing sense of wonder. But the action sequences are thrilling, the Indominus Rex is a terrifying villain, and most of all, the movie does what it sets out to do: provide fun blockbuster entertainment that pays homage to the original and doesn't embarrass itself like the last two sequels.

Bigger but not better, shock but no awe

While the new Jurassic World pales next to the awe-inspiring spectacle of the original, it's easily the franchise's most thrilling sequel yet.EW

Bigger, scarier, cooler" is a series of words spoken in the film about the "real" park, but you could say the same about the film itself... [But] I didn't feel as if the true wonder of the park was accurately presented. - The Mary Sue

Designed as a cautionary tale about the dangers of building a meaner, badder monster purely for the sake of profits, Jurassic World works equally well as a cautionary tale about doing the same thing in movies. All of the rationalizations provided by Jurassic World's employees - "Consumers want them bigger, louder, more teeth." "Somebody's gotta make sure this company has a future!" - could have been taken directly out of the mouths of the studio executives who approved this gene splice of a reboot and a sequel.Screencrush

Trevorrow may never quite match some of the classic scares of Jurassic Park – the blood is kept to a few splatters on the wall in this 12A – but it's an electrifying watch, capped by a superb smackdown of a finale every bit as beastly as Godzilla or Pacific Rim. - Games Radar

No one's impressed by a dinosaur anymore," notes one character early on in "Jurassic World," and it's easy to imagine the same words having passed through the lips of more than one Universal Studios executive... What they've engineered is an undeniably vigorous assault of jaw-chomping jolts and Spielbergian family bonding that nevertheless captures only a fraction of the original film's overflowing awe and wonderment.Variety

In 1993, Jurassic Park's groundbreaking CG dinosaurs were a major component of the film's appeal. Twenty-two years later, the dinosaurs still look pretty magnificent, but now that we live in a movie universe over-run with digital effects, these hulking beasts can no longer astound the way they once did. - Screen Daily

The park's back open, but you won't be awestruck like before. Another theme park, another bunch of knuckleheaded scientists cloned from the same strand of foresight-impaired DNA. Jurassic World has absolutely no reason for being (except for the obvious one), but at least it chomps your time painlessly.Time Out New York

Mission accomplished

A movie like Jurassic World must pass one basic test: Stay diverting, if not spectacularly entertaining, even through the most ridiculous scenarios. Mission accomplished... There's plenty to gape at in Jurassic World.Guide Live

Jurassic World is a blockbuster of its moment. It's not deep. There aren't new lessons to be learned. And the film's flesh-and-blood actors are basically glamorized extras. But when it comes to serving up a smorgasbord of bloody dino mayhem, it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do beautifully.EW

The human characters are glorified extras

All of the human characters are so thinly developed and jaw-droppingly stupid (and often so directly responsible for their own potential deaths), that it's hard to care about any of them.Screencrush

What's particularly crippling about Jurassic World is that Trevorrow and his three fellow co-writers populate the film with stock human characters who barely have more personality than their cunning dinosaur foe.Screen Daily

With her severe bob, towering heels, and ever-present cell phone, we know right away that whatever chaos is about to unfold will turn her into a better, more nurturing person (ugh). Playing off of her opposites-attract-style is Chris Pratt's game warden, who with his macho safari shirt, sarcasm, and animal lover's compassion telegraphs that he's both the movie's savior and its conscience (double ugh). As you've probably guessed, Jurassic World doesn't have much interest in giving these characters third-or even second-dimensions.EW

Indominus Rex is the only developed female character

All these dinosaurs are female, which incidentally puts Jurassic World in the clear as far as the Bechdel test is concerned.The Guardian

Howard, who's part is like a third-generation xerox of the high-strung damsels-in-distress played by Kathleen Turner in "Romancing the Stone" and Kate Capshaw in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." ... Indominus rex [is] arguably the movie's most well-developed female character. - Variety

Given [Howard's] arc – cold-hearted careerist who must find her soul en route to survival – it's not hard to see why Joss Whedon tweeted that early footage of her made him think of "70s era sexism". It doesn't help that, rather ridiculously, she spends the entire film in high heels (even sprinting in them, in one slow-mo sequence). Games Radar

Jurassic Park was populated with just two female characters, but while those two shined brightly, the one main female character in Jurassic World is not so fortunate... When Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire discusses her aversion to having children, it's to show the audience she's a no-nonsense business woman who doesn't have time for that sort of distraction. But boy, can she run through the jungle in heels! I might even argue the female dinosaurs get better development than Howard's Claire. - The Mary Sue

The performances are great, if wasted

Pratt is effortlessly engaging here, doing a minor-key variation on the stoner-surfer Indiana Jones routine he deployed to fine effect in last summer's "Guardians of the Galaxy."Variety

If Guardians Of The Galaxy's Peter Quill was Pratt's Han Solo, then Grady is his Indiana Jones.Games Radar

Chris Pratt gives a tremendously likeable performance as Owen: easy-going, relaxed, somewhere on a continuum between Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks. Bryce Dallas Howard... is also very good: coiffured and groomed and composed as Claire, this actor brings her kind of intense presence to the part. The Guardian

While the reviews may not be as glowing as they were when audiences were first wowed by Jurassic Park in 1993, there is still a great deal for fans of the franchise to feel optimistic about. When you go to watch a movie about genetically modified dinosaurs ripping up a fictional theme park, you're generally looking for two things. Big budget action, and thrills galore. Jurassic World offers these up in spades, and while some character development might have been nice, the "glorified extras" are unlikely to take away from Jurassic World's greater spectacle.

Jurassic World hits theaters on June 12th.
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