Jurassic World Breaking the Box Office, but is it Good?

The much anticipated dinosaur epic ‘Jurassic World’ busted open the box office during its opening weekend, raking in an estimated $511.8 million around the world, making it the highest-grossing global opening ever (CNN).

Like many, I wanted to see ‘Jurassic World,’ because I was mesmerized by the original Steven Spielberg ‘Jurassic Park’ when I was younger. It was scary, entertaining and all the characters were interesting. Spielberg is a genius. This is the movie that introduced me to Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam L Jackson, actors who are still considered top notch.

Fast forward over 20 years, Director Colin Trevorrow takes a stab at reintroducing the Jurassic world to new movie fans. I’m not forgetting that there was a Jurassic Park II and III, but those are greatly ignored when it comes to criticism of ‘Jurassic World,’ because ‘World’ is presented as a sequel to ‘Jurassic Park.’ If you’ve not seen Jurassic Park II and III, you’re not missing anything and you won’t be confused going into ‘Jurassic World.’

Twenty-two years after the incidents of ‘Jurassic Park,’ the dinosaur theme park ‘Jurassic World’ is built (they obviously did not learn their lesson). Sponsors want to see bigger and badder dinosaurs so the park’s scientists whip up a genetically modified dinosaur called the Indominus Rex. She’s so bad, she ate her sibling. Unfortunately, the scientists weren’t entirely sure how the Indominus would behave with the recipe of DNA they gave her. Turns out, she’s super smart and no one is sure how to stop the feeding frenzy she goes on, leaving the park’s 20,000 visitors running for their lives.

One of Spielberg’s many talents is knowing that big monsters and special effects does not make a great movie. It’s only when these elements are coupled with great actors, plot and character development–which are lacking in ‘Jurassic World.’ Many of the scenes in ‘World’ are frenzied–characters running panicked.

jurassic park
Jurassic Park

Despite not watching ‘Jurassic Park’ in years, scenes from the movie are forever branded in my mind–like the image to the right of Lex Murphy hurriedly eating Jello, because she’s starving and the jello jiggles subtly, signifying an encroaching dinosaur or Laura Dern thinking she is being comforted by Sam L Jackson’s hand on her shoulder only to find out there isn’t an arm attached to it…I could go on.

‘Jurassic World’ lacks the build-up that Spielberg has become famous for. To be fair, I shouldn’t compare ‘World’ to the original as I believe movies should stand on their own, but it’s really hard not to be nostalgic about ‘Jurassic Park,’ as it was such a monumental film when it was released.

‘World’ does have good elements. It delivers on special effects and big outrageous dinosaur fight scenes and is the definition of a summer action flick. Chris Pratt is funny, like he always is. Child actor Ty Simpkins, who you may recognize from ‘Iron Man 3,’ does a fantastic job playing the emotional tween Gray, who is constantly trying to bond with his older brother and is worried his parents will get divorced.

A reviewer at The Guardian perfectly summed up ‘Jurassic World’ in 6 words: “It has scales but no soul.”

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