It's impossible to review Jurassic World without the Original Jurassic Park in mind. Heck, I refer to the current movie as the prior quite frequently.
The original Jurassic Park is an easy A in my book. The sights, sounds, and music hook the viewer from the beginning and takes them on a believable, incredible journey.
I might be all over the place with this review, bear with me.
Jurassic Park inspired awe of the dinosaurs and the science very quickly. The dinosaurs' enormity and the park's awesomeness are front and center. This is not the case with Jurassic World, for who knows what reason, the focus is constantly driven to the two brothers. One of whom is a girl crazy teenager and the other an academic all-star. A scene discussing their parents impending divorce is used to entice the user to relate to these two boys, but I didn't pay $7.75 to watch a divorce story. There is an early fly-over of the park, but honestly it felt small on screen compared to the maps and surrounding jungle. Classic Jurassic Park scores are pumped into the movie and those brought back memories, but Jurassic World is new, the directors should have expanded or enhanced the prior score.
Jurassic Park hits peak action early in the show, the T-Rex is loose and everyone is in danger - children and kids might die, who knows! Mr. Gennaro (lawyer) is plucked off the pot as a midnight snack setting the viewer up for an, "any character might die moment." Nedry (computer security/Newman) is setup as the bad guy stealing embryos, but through a series of unfortunate events is killed by Dilophosaurus. Those dinosaurs may not have been able to projectile spit tar, but the viewer doesn't know or care. There was drama and death to important characters. Jurassic World does none of this - security guards and private contractors of whom the viewers knows nothing are gobbled up.
Jurassic Park is all about the dinosaurs and the suspense. Jurassic World mixes in a weird combo of a love story, brotherhood, anti-corporation, and evil science. None of them stick and none of the story lines evolve enough to draw users into the story. I never felt as though any main character was truly in danger. There is no Jurassic Park-esque kitchen scene of velociraptors opening doors trying to eat children.
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World - Owen) lives in a world somewhere between everyday voice and overly excited. That works for Parks and Recreation, but it doesn't work for Jurassic World. He never seems frightened or excited. Just a little extra happy. Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire) plays a work-work-work aunt with a surprising lack of worry as her colleagues are gobbled up, talking, and worrying. I don't blame her, but her character's role and lines were not well done. I couldn't handle that she wore heels the whole show and her dress went from perfectly clean to a tattered mess in one scene break. The two brothers were played just fine, but I don't think their characters were well done. I didn't need their parents' divorce story or really much, just them being scared to death and occasionally bonding. Vincent D'Onofrio plays the private contractor (bad guy) and his role and acting are brutal. He's not supposed to be likable and I get that, but his role is more irritating than engaging. He, as an actor, is pretty flat as well. I compare him to poachers in "The Lost World", in "The Lost World" the bad guys are despicable, and you can cheer against them, but they are believable and truly take on their role.
If you've made it this far, thanks. I've complained a lot and I have one more - what is the story in Jurassic World? Is it brotherhood? That wasn't written well and didn't progress realistically. Was it anti-genetics? I could have gone for an anti-new creation vs bringing back what existed prior, but this wasn't developed. Was it anti-corporation? The island owner was all over the place with his thoughts and actions. Was it anti-army? This was dwelled on, but seemed like a ripoff from "The Lost World." I just wasn't sure where this movie was going or why it was going there.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Here we are, and I've been tearing apart Jurassic World for 7 paragraphs.
The CGI was incredible. I never felt as though the dinosaurs were green screened or drawn in like most TV and movies today. This was Jurassic World's saving grace, because I went to see Jurassic World to see dinosaurs doing awesome things.
The evolution of Indominus (the lab created, giant T-Rex) was great. I loved the twist and turns of her character. Can a created dinosaur win best actress?
There has been some buzz online about the product placement in Jurassic World, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. If there were to be an actual Jurassic World it would be a corporate mess, but in a movie it seems overly distracting. It pulls the viewer's eyes from the middle of the screen to the edges - distracting them from the beauty to be seen.
I'll give a little credit for not totally screwing things up, but Jurassic World fell way short of my expectations. Final Grade: B- simply for the visuals.
PS: The trailer gives away most of the visuals in short form.