Monkey Movie Review – Jurassic World (2015)

Summary: Jurassic World is entertaining enough to make it worth seeing.  Best viewed in the theater for its special effects and action.  The movie is somewhat predictable, but the acting is good and there are plenty of thrills.  Chris Pratt is his likable self.  Like most action movies nowadays, but unlike the original Jurassic Park, this movie relies to much on CGI with only a few “puppets”.  Monkey says, check it out.

Directed by a relative unknown, Colin Trevorrow and starring Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Parenthood, The Village, and daughter or Ron Howard), Jurassic World is a reboot of the movies based on Michael Crichton’s novels.  The movie actually started production in 2004 but apparently went through a number of massive rewrites that culminated in this film.

As usual, the Monkey’s reviews have no spoilers. Do not worry, kids!

The movie revolves around an updated park on the island of Isla Nubar (same island as the original movies) that includes many new dinosaurs and even some that never existed in pre-historic times.  This is a result of cross-breeding of dinosaurs and even including adding some modern day DNA.  As you might imagine, this can’t turn out well.

The park’s operational manager is Claire Dearing (Howard), and is visited by her two nephews Zach and Gray.  But Claire is too busy for them, too busy for any family, and assigns her to an assistant.  In the meantime, Owen Grady (Pratt) is in charge of training the animals in the park.  He’s handsome but a loner, living on the outskirts of the park in a rustic building with a motorcycle he’s been trying to fix up. The scientists in the park have devised a brand new dinosaur (named Indominus) that shares the traits of the T-Rex and other meat-eating predators from then and now.  This of course concerns Grady.  The government is interested in Grady’s animal training techniques for purposes that are self serving.

Grady has trained a group of four raptors, and this training and the fact that Indominous shares DNA with raptors plays into the plot of the movie.

The movie is surprisingly similar to the original movie, and the message is pretty much the same as Goldblum muttered quietly in the original movie.  The movie suffers from too much CGI, in my opinion.  The original movie had a nice balance of animated puppets that cut to CGI that added to the realism.  Spielberg understood how to leverage both to add a dose of realism.   But the CGI in this movie is well done.

Pratt is buff and his usual wry, funny self.  He laughs once and it’s the same laugh naturally he has – and reminded me of Parks and Rec.  I actually chuckled because it’s a goofy laugh.  Listen for it, my fellow monkeys!

The plot is generally predictable, with Bryce Dallas Howard eschewing relationships and not having time for family and children. The nephews are forced to wander out on their own, mixed in with the good and bad dinosaurs.  The Indominous gets loose – who will search for them?  Aw, you know!  There’s a subplot that seems superfluous as the kids parents are getting a divorce.  Not sure why that’s relevant other than perhaps most kids’ parents are getting a divorce nowadays – but it only leads to some sniping between the parents that was actually sort of depressing to see.

The child actors are good – not over emotive or annoying.  And there are some fun parts in the movie (what you see in the trailer of Pratt on his motorcycle leading his Raptors is very entertaining).

The Monkey is sure this will spawn a number of sequels.  I’m sure you’ve read how content zoo organizations around the world are with respect to how Pratt manages his dinosaurs.  And how unhappy paleontologists are with the look of the dinosaurs not being updated to some of the more recent knowledge regarding most being covered with feathers and having bright colors.

All that notwithstanding, it’s a solid action/thriller, with some humor and likable characters.  And certain unlikable ones are satisfyingly dispatched.   There’s the “corporations and the government is bad” theme again.  And of course there’s the “humans messing with nature” caution.  But it all plays out well.

On a scale of one Raptor to five T-Rex’s, Monkey gives this movie one solid Pratt.  Check it out on video!

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