There are some fun moments scattered about the two hour running time of the shiny, new Jurassic World; mostly clever deaths of secondary characters. The rest of the film is a pretty empty experience mostly because there isn’t one character that rises above the simple function they serve in the recycled plotline (hey! lets build another park!).
Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire, the park’s operations manager. She is rigid, career-minded, fiercely formal and consistently annoying to not only us the viewers but to everyone else in the film (it should be noted that I have never seen a haircut that projected a character’s personality so clearly). Chris Pratt plays Owen Grady. He trains raptors but mostly he runs around in a vest looking like Han Solo. He also works on his motorcycle outside of his Jim Rockford-looking place there on the island. This is so that when he flirts and eventually hooks up with Claire it will be such a big surprise seeing as how different they are from one another and everything. Claire’s nephews (Nick Robinson and Ty Simkins) have arrived at Jurassic World for a visit but she doesn’t have the time and sends them out into the park with an assistant. Eventually the two brothers get to zoom around in a gerbil ball and admire all of the expensive cgi work before they are thrown into harms way and having the obligatory conversation about their parents’ immanent divorce because Steven Spielberg has, I think, made that a law for all card carrying screenwriters. There is Irrfan Khan as Simon Masrani, owner of Jurassic World. He is an updated John Hammond with much better clothes. I don’t want to leave out Vincent D’Onofrio who chews a little scenery as security guru Vic Hoskins who, for some reason, was given a shirt one size too small from wardrobe. I love that his name is Vic.
None of the silly plot really matters; especially the whole training raptors and the military wanting them for war thing. Even as plots go in these sorts of movies, this one is just layers and layers of dumb. But who cares when there are swooping Pterosaurs grabbing tourists and throwing them this way and that? And though there are a plenty of dinosaur scenes to satisfy, it was depressing how many (lots) were complete lifts from the the first film; blatantly mirroring whole moments and shots. The film seems uncomfortably obligated to keep calling back to the 1993 juggernaut. Did I mention they have a skinny computer guy this time but he wears the same glasses as the fat computer guy from JP? Did I also mention that the two brothers somehow hotwire and then drive (because gas stays fresh for 22 years) a 1993 jeep from the first JP? Lots and lots of callbacks. I was almost expecting Ralph Edwards to come out from behind a tree with that big book and start interviewing the T-rex.