Yesterday afternoon I decided to go see Jurassic World. I didn’t really have much interest but felt a bit of professional obligation due to the recent box office record nabbed – it holds the title for biggest domestic opening weekend of all time.
But, what was I thinking about? Dinosaurs? Adventure? No. Grandchildren.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my son is ready for that for awhile – and I guess I’m not either – but movies like this will make more sense to me when little people give me some big reasons to watch. Okay, maybe not big reasons…but some reasons anyway!
My son was two when I took him to his first movie, The Lion King, and he sat quietly on my lap for a movie we both enjoyed. Three years before, I took my niece to her first movie, and she sat quietly on my lap for Beauty and the Beast, another film we both enjoyed.
I went to Jurassic World by myself (as I often do) with lowered expectations. I’m not sure whether or not the half dozen other people in the theater enjoyed it (none of them sat very close to me let alone on my lap, so I couldn’t gauge their responses), but I was frequently bored.
This probably explains why I sat there feeling irritated by Claire’s (Bryce Dallas Howard) high heels and started pondering whether or not I would enjoy the film, even somewhat, if I had grandchildren with me and, thus, motivation to try to see the movie through their eyes with secondhand childhood wonder.
The story is pretty simple. Jurassic World is a theme park built around dinosaurs and other attractions on a lush island. Corporate interests encourage risks ten years after the park has opened to boost lagging attendance, and chaos follows.
Corporate climber Claire has set the twitterverse on fire with her costuming – not the shoulder pads inside her blouse so much as her high heels. How does she run from dinosaurs in those things? That’s some movie magic that would be implausible in flats let alone stilettos, and it is not conducive to willing suspension of disbelief.
The whole movie seems about that silly to me.
What about that white clothing that stays white until Claire is ready to strip some of it off and snap into action? Ridiculous.
I admit it, her costar Owen (Chris Pratt) is appealing, but there’s not much chemistry between them not to mention no sign of the fresh writing that made him a star and made Guardians of the Galaxy such a fun romp last summer.
Everything about the film feels dated, including the various stereotypes that make me want to throw popcorn at the screen.
This would be a spoiler if the film weren’t so predictable: characters who look like models for the L.L. Bean catalogue survive.