***SPOILER WARNING – THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS WORDS***
Much like the genetic scientists who attempted to recreate dinosaurs on screen, several filmmakers (including Spielberg himself) have been attempting to recreate the magic of Jurassic Park but have been unable to find the right DNA strands since the film’s debut in 1993. The first sequel, 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park and 2001’s less creatively titled Jurassic Park III, were received with generally mixed opinions from both critics and fans at the time of their respective releases and the qualities of both are debated even today. One thing they could agree on was this: the screenwriters (and Crichton, too – he doesn’t get out of this! He wrote The Lost World) were so preoccupied with whether or not they could make sequels they didn’t stop to think if they should.
The irony of how this franchise’s progress has mirrored the plot of the films is almost palpable: with each new film, the filmmakers have attempt to open the imaginations of the viewers by sending them back to this wonderful place with walking dinosaurs which only results in disaster! The same path could be an analogy for the results of each successive film in the franchise as each has been more of a disaster than the film before it, the filmmakers (like the designers of the park) never learning their lessons, and both sequels containing scenes or sequences loathed by fans, including:
But now, we have Jurassic World. It’s a meta piece of pseudo remake/reboot, popcorn blockbuster movie-making that, for the most part, does what it intends to do:
- Be a solid, fun sequel and a soft reboot a gold mine of a franchise
- Satiate a rabid group of fans who have yet to see the sequel they feel they deserve
- Make garbage trucks full of money that the Universal executives are probably going to liquidize so that they can swim in it
The story and characters make many passing references (nothing direct) to the 1993 original without beating you over the head with them. While this can be disjointing at times, it makes for some entertaining moments (some played for laughs, others for serious business) giving fans those warm and fuzzy feelings they have been yearning to see for over 20 years. There are almost zero references to the second and third films of any kind, which can be good or bad depending on how you view those particular films. This means you can choose to debate the eternal argument of whether talking raptors are worse than gymnasts kicking raptors. Spoiler alert, they are.
As stated, it’s a soft reboot and borderline remake of the first film. The park opens up and is intending to impress new clients and investors, but while attempting to demonstrate some new attractions to said investors disaster strikes conveniently while the head of the park’s young relatives are visiting and are caught in the maelstrom of dino-danger. Sound familiar? It should, because its essentials are almost identical to that of the first film. Throw in some timely updates, new characters, some new dinosaurs, and Chris Pratt (he’s so hot right now) and you have a movie that’s 1 parts sequel, 2 parts reboot, and 1 parts remake.