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Monday, June 15, 2015

Because I am a Godzilla fan, I get a lot of people who say things like “Well, then you must love those Jurassic Park movies.” I like the Jurassic Park movies, but they are not nearly the same thing as a Toho kaiju movie. But Jurassic World gets close enough where I can honestly say that this Jurassic Park movie has something for Godzilla fans, along with the fans of the Jurassic movies. The problem is that the only original thing about this movie is the way director Colin Trevorrow uses the dinosaurs. Other than that, you have seen this movie already once before.

It feels like they took the original Jurassic Park script and put it on steroids to get Jurassic World. In the new movie, you get:

  • The evil fat guy that everyone wants to see die.
  • The siblings where one is a dinosaur expert.
  • The handsome, young dinosaur expert who thinks that everything being done at the Jurassic facility is wrong.
  • The hot chick who is also really smart.
  • The computer nerd who refuses to leave his post until the problem is solved.
  • The park owner who refuses to believe there is a problem until his park is falling apart around him.
  • The scientist who creates bigger and badder dinosaurs, even though it is a bad idea.
  • Guys with big guns who just want to hunt.
  • Bad guy dinosaur vs. good guy dinosaur.

If all of those elements seem familiar it is because they can all be found in Jurassic Park as well as Jurassic World. The scientist is played by the same actor and is the same character in both movies, but the rest are different characters played by different actors. It was really disappointing to see how close to the original script this movie was.

The other rip-off of Jurassic Park is the plot. Park owner asks scientist to build big dinosaur, scientist does so, and then everyone is surprised when the big dinosaur starts killing people. The main difference is that the park is still under construction in the first movie, but it has been fully operational for years in Jurassic World.

In the real world, would anyone actually be allowed to open another park after what happened in the first movie? That, unfortunately, was a nagging question that ran through my head during the entire movie. What insurance company would actually agree to cover a park like that and what corporation would be dumb enough to re-open it?

I know that computers are supposed to represent progress, but this movie should have used more animatronic dinosaurs and less CGI. The very first scene of the movie is CGI and it looked like a bad cartoon to me. Most of the CGI in this movie is pretty bad and many of the long shots that are created by computer graphics look more like paintings than pictures.

So we have a predictable list of characters, a rehashed plot, and bad CGI – the movie must be awful, right? Nope. Aside from some pretty painful and cheesy dialogue, this movie delivers on the entertainment part. Throughout the movie, characters make constant references to how seeing dinosaurs no longer impresses people. This is an obvious attempt to let the audience know that the producers and director understand that just seeing the dinosaurs in the movie is not going to be enough to carry the film. The problem is that not much else develops during the course of the movie to take over for the bad CGI and the now-boring dinosaurs. The dialogue is good in spots, but there are too many attempts at jokes to hold anything together. The Jurassic movies are not comedies, but this one tries to be and it fails.

Obviously, you will have to really suspend disbelief to be able to enjoy this movie. I mean, really suspend it. Aside from the obvious dinosaurs not being real issues, we have characters getting into situations and doing things that are just physically impossible. For example, after leaping off of what looks to be a 25-foot cliff into a small lake and magically avoiding the jagged rocks that are along the edge of the landing area, a boy is able to pull out a book of matches he had in his pocket and light one. I am not a scientist, but I don’t think wet matches work very well. Yes, it is nit-picky. But you get a lot of these types of things throughout the movie that will make you roll your eyes a little before you can move on to the next scene.

Throughout the movie, there are several Godzilla elements that are used in relation to the big dinosaur we see in the trailer. Hiding the monster until a full reveal is made, following the monster by watching her feet stomp or her tail dragging (They make it pretty clear in the movie that the big dinosaur is female. Godzilla, however, is not female), and the rustling of trees as the monster approaches are all old Toho tricks used in countless Godzilla movies. In Jurassic World, they all lead up to an ending that any Godzilla fan can appreciate.

I am not going to give away the ending, nor will I reveal the real hero of the movie. All I will say is that if this movie accomplishes one thing, it is to make the hero an iconic figure of American cinema and we will need to give him a name. All heroes have names and this hero deserves his own name.

This is not a movie for the younger kids at all. There are some pretty graphic scenes, the dinosaurs are frightening, and the language gets dicey at times. But for those of us old enough to sneak into a PG-13 movie, this is definitely worth a look on the big screen. Even though you have seen this movie before, the way that this one ends definitely makes it fun to watch and a must see at the drive-in.

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5

+George N Root III is a drive-in fanatic who also happens to be a Godzilla fan as well. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, send him an email at, and please join in the conversation about this and other movies on his Facebook movie discussion page at

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