OK, this is definitely spoiler-free if you have seen any of the movies in the franchise before. The only spoiler here is that there is no spoiler. Jurassic World is exactly what you think it will be: visually stunning, and apparently written in cooperation between a pre-teen fan fiction beginner and an Internet bot.
Yes, that’s what I expected. No, I had not intended on paying money to see it in theatre, but after a shitty week I felt like seeing dinosaurs smashing stuff, so I changed my mind and woke my poor husband early-ish on a Saturday to catch the matinee. I had fun, but in exactly the way I was expecting. Here is my quick-score overview, all rated from 0 to 5 for worst to best:
- Visuals and special effects: 5. It looks really sharp throughout.
- Musical score: 2. John Williams on his slowest day, cloying Disney theme-park soundtrack.
- Writing: 0. It’s profoundly derivative, inconsistent, and the dialogue makes George Lucas at his worst sound like Joss Whedon on a good day.
- Casting: 3. Eh, it’s OK.
- Direction: 0. The characters are weather vanes and it’s damned windy. “What’s my motivation?”
- Editing: 3.5. Not bad, but could have been greatly improved by cutting out all the spoken lines.
- Property Destruction: 4. Not a Pacific Rim or a Mars Attacks!, but respectable. However, I would have liked more buildings smashed and fewer extras chomped.
- Diversity: 2. It has some intriguing non-white characters but only in support roles and without much agency.
- Feminism: 0. It has no redeeming feature in this regard.
- Carrie Fisher Award for salvaging dignity (a mere shred) despite awful lines goes to Chris Pratt.
- Steven Seagal Award for inexplicably exiting the movie early goes to Irrfan Khan, who probably decided partway through that he had to save his career from this movie.
In short, you should only see this movie if, like me, you are really in the mood for this: