Peter's Spoiler-Free 'Jurassic World' Review: "The Best Jurassic Park Film Since The Original"

I got an opportunity to visit Jurassic World last week and lived to tell you about it. After the jump you will find my virtually spoiler-free Jurassic World review, which gives you an idea of what to expect, what was good, and what was not, without spoiling anything that couldn't otherwise be learned from the marketing.

Jurassic World

Jurassic World Is the Best Jurassic Park Film Since the Original

Jurassic World is the best Jurassic Park movie since Steven Spielberg's original 1993 film. You might say thats easy because the sequels weren't that great, but remember one of those movies was directed by Steven Spielberg himself.  Jurassic World can't compete with the original, which is a modern day classic, but its a fun ride perfect for the summer blockbuster season. And lets forget about those sequels anyway. This movie certainly does.

Colin Trevorrow captures some of Spielberg's former early Amblin magic, especially in the sequences which involve the two kids played by Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3) and Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer). I almost wish the film spent more time from the point of view of the youngsters, off by themselves, alone and in peril.

Jurassic World - Bryce Dallas Howard

We Don't Care About the Film's Main Protagonist

While the marketing would have you believe the film is about Chris Pratt's character Owen, the story actually centers on Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire, who unfortunately is far less interesting. She often relays exposition and over-dramatically responds to whats going on as her dinosaur theme park begins to crumble in her hands. Her character is disconnected from her family and humanity, she plays up the coldness of the character so much that I'm not sure I even care if she lives or dies.

Jurassic World early buzz

Chris Pratt Isn't Just Star-Lord in a Vest Riding With Raptors

One of the worries with Pratt is that he would basically be playing the same lovable but funny hero we've seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Pratt shows he can handle a different range with this role. Seeing him as Owen also has me much more excited about the prospect of him taking over the Indiana Jones franchise, even if that is just an internet rumor at this point.

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The Action Is Thrilling and Fun

Jurassic World really shines in the moments of action. The set pieces are reminiscent of the big moments of the first film but without feeling like they are just trying to recapture the same beats. I would love to talk more about the setpieces but I would rather let you experience them yourself.

Jake Johnson Almost Steals the Show

Jake Johnson, who previously worked with Trevorrow on Safety Not Guaranteed, steals the screen in every scene he appears in. Not only does he get to be the cynical voice of the audience which is over reboots, sequels and over commercialized world we live in, but he brings some much needed humor to the war room that is the Jurassic World security command center.

International Jurassic World Trailer

The Film Still Has a Couple Surprises Up Its Sleeve

What surprises me is how much of the film is not shown or hinted at in the trailers. There are whole action sequences omitted and protected from any of the marketing I've seen thus far. This movie has had many leaks, with a lot of information making its way online during production, yet there are a couple unanticipated major plot turns which I did not expect and thoroughly enjoyed.

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The Park Is Now Open But the Sense of Wonder Is Missing

I think one of the missed opportunities of Jurassic World is we don't get to see enough of the park in action. We hear John Williams' amazing theme song interpreted through the wonderful mind of Michael Giacchino, but at no point do we feel the sense of wonder that we do when John Hammond welcomes us to Jurassic Park in the original film. We get a glimpse at some of the attractions, but we never really get to bask in the amazement of the park actually open and functional before shit hits the fan.

And when it does hit the fan, we don't get to see enough guests on attractions in danger.

Jurassic Park

Fun Nostalgic Callbacks to the Original That Feel Just Right

There is a certain pressure when rebooting a franchise to feature callbacks to the previous film(s), and that usually results in cringeworthy moments like Tom Felton's "damn dirty apes" line in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. (A fine film despite that line.) Jurassic World features some fun nostalgic callbacks to the original film which don't feel too in your face.

We will see locations we haven't visited in over 20 years, and be reunited with dinosaur friends that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. The great thing about how its all handled is nothing is feels superfluous, everything feels like it has a purpose in the plot and the journey of our characters.

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Sets Up Sequels Without Leaving You Feeling Cheated

Jurassic World is a reboot for the franchise, and Universal is hoping for it to launch a series of new films. But unlike most movies of this type, the film feels whole and doesn't conclude with some huge cliffhanger. (Not always a bad thing, but can leave some audience members feeling like they only saw half the story.) Instead screenwriter Derek Connolly cleverly sets up seeds for the possible further adventures in this world earlier in the film right as the shit really hits the fan. This allows you to leave the theater satisfied giving you time to later remember back and speculate.

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Peter's Final Words

In terms of blockbuster movies, I think Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road have won the summer. Unless you're expecting a film which will rival Spielberg's modern classic, I think most of you will really enjoy this sequel/reboot. While the film certainly isn't perfect, it delivers where most sequels and reboots fail.

I saw the film in IMAX 3D, and while the movie was not shot in 3D, I do think that the post conversion was done right. (It was done by the same company that did the Jurassic Park 3D rerelease, which I also dug.) If you have the extra money, I'd say buy a 3D ticket for this one.

Peter's /Film Rating: 8 out of 10