by Brad Nelson 6/16/15
One of my favorite moments in the movie, Liar Liar, is when Jim Carrey, struggling to do otherwise, strains out “I…can’t…lie.” Well, neither can I regarding cinema.
Michael Medved gave a capsule review of Jurassic World on his radio program yesterday. This is the fourth movie in the franchise. He made it sound pretty good (giving it a thumbs-up of 3-stars) by saying that although the characters were kind of dumb (which one would expect, particularly given the first movie), the action and CGI were very good and made the movie worth watching.
However, this movie is so bad, I can’t help but think that Michael gave it a pass because, well, if you shot down all the crap coming out of Hollywood, always giving negative reviews, perhaps one would think one would be drifting into cultural irrelevance.
But I have no problem camping out there permanently if need be. This movie is unambiguously a turkey. This is about as stupid and illogical as they come. But I had to see it, especially given the positive review by Medved, if only because I’ve been following this franchise and very much enjoyed the first book (perhaps Crichton’s finest). The original Jurassic Park is one of the few movies I ever bothered seeing in a theatre, and it was a fun ride.
But the original movie wasn’t flawless. The two kids were annoying, with cheesy dialogue often stuffed into their mouths. And the two major premises of the film were flawed:
1) Man can’t control nature
2) Nature will find a way
Well, given how successful we have been at domesticating plants and animals, I’d say we’ve done pretty good. And as for “nature will find a way,” that idea can be forgiven for reflecting prevailing naive Darwinian beliefs that animals can just magically add features and body parts because they need them.
But these somewhat lame ideas were given life when uttered by the eccentric character played by Jeff Goldblum. It was a fine cast all around and a believable concept in terms of science fiction. Given the premises, the movie played them out well. It even threw in some nice humor from time to time.
But Jurassic World is little more than a remake of Jurassic Park without the least attempt to make sense or do anything original: They open a dinosaur theme park (on the same island, presumably by the same people), a dinosaur escapes, and all hell breaks loose. That’s it. What humor there is is mostly unintentional. And if all you want is to see CGI dinosaurs eating people, that might be enough for you. Go spend your money and don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
Barely a minute goes by when something stupid or implausible doesn’t happen. If you must see this, bring a friend who enjoys Mystery Science Theatre 3000. This is a movie that should be a howl to make fun of. But it’s also sad. When I heard the somber strings of John William’s classic original theme for this movie, they seemed out of place — used and abused by people who are little more than hacks. Still, you can bet this will make a lot of money. The tastes of American society have been severely corroded by years of this kind of thoughtless garbage.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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