What the critics are saying: ‘Jurassic World’

TORONTO — One the most anticipated movies of the summer movie season has arrived in cinemas: Jurassic World.

The fourth movie in the franchise based on characters created by Michael Crichton comes 22 years after Steven Spielberg’s original. This time, Colin Trevorrow is directing.

Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio and Nick Robinson — along with a lot of dinosaurs.

Does it deserve to be the massive blockbuster it’s expected to be? Here’s a look at what some of the reviews.

Jurassic World is a giant, hideous mess,” wrote Oliver Franklin-Wallis of Wired.

“The dialogue is wooden, forgettable and sometimes downright hilariously bad,” he added.

“The one-dimensional characters go from underwritten clichés to parodies [and the] obsession with the original film goes from nostalgic to borderline exploitative.”
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Franklin-Wallis also complained about the portrayal of women, which he described as “bordering on prehistoric.”

Postmedia reviewer Chris Knight opined that Jurassic World “sets feminism back about 50 years.”

But, he added, “you don’t go to Jurassic World for up-to-date gender politics — or even for scientific accuracy.”

Knight said the movie is “the epitome of a summer popcorn movie.”

READ MORE: What the critics are saying about other recent movies

At the The New York Times, Manohla Dargis described Howard’s character as “a corporate stooge whose idiocy is partly telegraphed by her towering heels.”

Calling the movie “dumbed-down,” Dargis wrote: “Blowing minds rather than, you know, telling a good story is the driving imperative in Jurassic World.”

Bruce Kirkland of the QMI Agency seemed to agree.

Jurassic World is loud, long, big and stupid,” he wrote.

“Compared to Steven Spielberg’s much-loved original, this fourth instalment in the franchise is a cruel joke … it is second-rate in terms of imagination; the mad science is totally ridiculous and an insult to paleontology; and the dialogue that is stuffed so awkwardly into all the actors’ mouths is even worse.”

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Kirkland gave credit to the special effects and said the movie has an “occasional outburst of off-beat humour.”

At the New Zealand Herald, Russell Baillie declared Jurassic World “the best sequel of the bunch.”

He wrote: “It’s frequently exciting, happily, forgivably ludicrous if a little too pumped-up for its own good and less than memorable.

Baillie noted a lack of suspense.

A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club said the movie is “never remotely terrifying.”

But, at Mashable, Josh Dickey called Jurassic World “a grisly, highly stylized slasher film dressed up in computer-generated raptor hide.”

Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly concluded the movie offers “breathless summer entertainment.”

He wrote: “While the new Jurassic World pales next to the awe-inspiring spectacle of the original, it’s easily the franchise’s most thrilling sequel yet.

“It’s not deep. There aren’t new lessons to be learned. And the film’s flesh-and-blood actors are basically glamorized extras. But when it comes to serving up a smorgasbord of bloody dino mayhem, it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do beautifully.”

At The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw described Jurassic World as “a terrifically enjoyable and exciting summer spectacular.”

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He called it “savvy, funny, ridiculous in just the right way.”

Also a fan was Philippa Hawker of the Sydney Morning Herald, who called it “a smart, vivid action movie that understands the pitfalls and pleasures of the prehistoric fantasy.”

Scott Mendelson of Forbes said Jurassic World is a “gorgeous, exciting, and mostly entertaining monster movie.”

He wrote: “The film isn’t remotely scary or suspenseful, to the point where I may be able to bring my two very young kids to a matinee over the next few weeks.

“The film looks absolutely gorgeous, richly colourful and genuinely awe-inspiring at times, with perfectly convincing effects work to boot.”

Mendelson said the movie manages to never fully become “an empty-headed spectacle.”

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