Updated: Jan 20, 2019
This Friday, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will hit theaters and will serve as the sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World. In celebration of Fallen Kingdom’s release, here is a review on the fifth most successful film of all time. Jurassic World is an impressive resurrection of the Steven Spielberg classic, but unfortunately can’t become anything more than a resurrection due to weak character dialogue, clichéd moments, and multiple suspensions of disbelief.
The biggest issue with Jurassic World is its screenplay. Ultimately, the four screenwriters, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, and Derek Connolly, create characters that are clichéd and repetitive. Characters like Gary and Zach feel out of place in the film and make each moment where they fill the screen feel unnecessary and even boring. There is little to no characterization for any of the characters. These characters ultimately drag down this film and cause it to feel messy and uneven. It quickly becomes apparent that the best characters in the film, are the dinosaurs who have less characterization. The film makes hard attempts to develop its characters, primarily with Gary and Zach. However, it is clear that the screen writers do not know how to properly accomplish characterization as constantly, the usage of peril is meant to serve as characterization. In addition, the screenplay also features similar flaws to films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film does not innovate upon the plot given by previous films and instead retreads them with little differences. Fans of the original classic will note the extreme similarities between Trevorrow’s rendition and Jurassic Park. There are also multiple examples of suspensions of disbelief. Certain aspects and moments of the film make no sense and had audiences scratching their heads at previous moments even during wildly exciting action sequences. However, there is one redeeming quality for the screenplay…its pacing. The film is well-paced and generally never lets up. Each moment is at least somewhat entertaining and fulfilling even if it isn’t always necessary.
Even though the characters are weakly written with the screenplay, the cast somewhat tries to do the best with it. Chris Pratt delivers a charismatic and humorous performance even though his lines are repetitive. Jake Johnson as Lowery proves to serve as one of the best examples of comic relief, even though not of all his jokes landed and the comic relief felt forced and overused. But Pratt and Lowery are the only two actors who deliver notable performances. Actors Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, and Omar Sy deliver their lines stiffly and have little range with their emotions. Vincent D’Onofrio as the overdone Hoskins delivers his lines with some emotion and charisma, however any attempts to create a good performance are quickly overwritten by the poor screenplay. Bryce Dallas Howard finds herself in the same situation, a performance marred by weak lines.
Ultimately, the reason why Jurassic World, past weak writing and somewhat disappointing performances, succeeds is due to the strong direction that Trevorrow provides. Each action sequence felt thrilling and I even found myself on the edge of the seat during certain sequences. John Schwartzman makes the film thrilling to watch with his first person and overhead style of cinematography. He even removes the shaky cam cliché that litters so many recent blockbusters. Kevin Stitt, even though the editing causes abundances of plot holes, is able to keep the film exciting and entertaining through his mild cuts and limited uses of fast cuts.
As a whole, Jurassic World is an uneven experience that features strong direction and technical achievements but also features structural issues and mostly weak performances. Even so, it ultimately rallies as a success and proves to be one of the best films in the franchise.
Score: 6.1 out of 10