** out of ****
The forth film in the Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World, is reasonably entertaining I guess, but it's longish with a messy, over-baked script. The first half is surprisingly good, but when all hell breaks loose with rampaging dinosaurs, the movie goes off the rails with a monster rally finale that is utterly ridiculous.
It has been twenty-two years since the tragic events that occurred on Isla Nublar, but hey, let bygones be bygones – the theme park with real dinosaurs is open! What could possibly go wrong, especially when an all new bigger, scarier super-carnivore is created?
Yes, the creature – Indominous Rex – gets loose and it must be stopped before it eats the tourists. Two dull brothers, who are the nephews of park's operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), are in the most danger. Dinosaur whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is called in to help.
Partially shot in Baton Rouge, Jurassic World is refreshing in the sense that it has more plot than the previous two sequels, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001), and isn't just a rehash of the first film. Still, the first one is still by far the best. It was a tightly constructed roller coaster ride, while Jurassic World moves in fits and starts.
Colin Trevorrow's film does make it plausible that Pratt's character is a Velociraptor whisperer, but when the dinosaurs are communicating with each other to team up and fight the Indominous it gets too silly. I was almost expecting subtitles at that point. That scene was like something out of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) when robot Jet Jaguar tries to convince the big G to help fight against the bad guys.
Jurassic World does have a rather cruel death scene of a character who is mildly snobbish and not totally sympathetic, but clearly not a villain. The fact that none of the other characters have any reaction to this demise, and that it is just there for the amusement of the audience, makes it even more disturbing. I remember The Lost World: Jurassic Park violently murdered a heroic character by having two T-Rexes tear him apart. I don't get it. Why not reserve these gruesome and imaginative deaths for the villains of the films?
And speaking of villains, Jurassic World's Vincent D'Onofrio plays a useless character. His scenes are repetitive and his evil plan involving Raptors is, well, stupid.
Had Jurassic World trimmed some of the unnecessary repetition, it could have been a lean, mean monster mash. As is, it's barely serviceable.