Jurassic World ★★★

The movie leans too much on dinosaurs being cool and Chris Pratt being likable and cool, the writing is really lackluster. The plotting of the two kids is some lazy second-hand Spielbergism.

The CGI looks great when the camera holds still, but the shots are constantly fast-panning during the action, making the screen a blurry mess. Several scenes seem to be there mostly to have stills of Chris Pratt looking good in front of a motorcycle, on a motorcycle, with a gun, etc.

It also has a dearth of solid female characters when compared to the original. In the original, Laura Dern played a scientist who was attractive but not sexualized, in this it's Bryce Dallas Howard, a neglectful ice queen administrator who just needs to chill out and let Chris Pratt kiss her already. Judy Greer is mostly wasted as a mom who's sad all the time.

There's some real horror movie cell-phone-itis going on, not sure why they didn't just write them out as not working on the island.

Need two children to fix up a car that hasn't run in over 20 years as part of the plot? Guess you better have one of them say "good thing we just fixed up that old car, right?" What do you mean that takes days of dedicated labor? Leave it in, the people need their nostalgia moment!

Jurassic World has its moments to be sure, but it's very pandering to the blend of kids and fans of the original, lacking much substance beyond that. In a way it's just like its dinosaurs: a weird hybrid mutant designed for audience marketability, while other concerns take a back seat.

I liked Colin Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed, hopefully we'll still see some of that kind of work out of him even if this makes $1B.

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