Stuff I Ran Out of Space to Say in My Just-Posted NPR Review of Jurassic World:
1) Yeah, the sense of wonder that still comes through in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original comes back, fleetingly, a little, just in the opening act. I think that’s mostly down to Michael Giacchino’s score, which interpolates John Williams’ stately, noble Jurassic Park theme the way John Ottman’s music for Superman Returns interpolated Williams’ march from Superman.
1a) I haven’t been able to stop humming Williams’ “Theme from Jurassic Park” in the two days since I saw the new one. Giacchino is the busiest and probably best composer in the blockbuster game these days, as ubiquitous as Williams was 30 or 25 years ago. But I can’t recall any of his original Jurassic World music.
2) This movie, while enjoyable, is even better if you imagine there are subtitles under all the shots of dinosaurs’ faces, like when dog and bear confer in Anchorman.
3) The great Judy Greer was at least allowed to pick her butt and groom herself in last year’s terrific Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. (She played an ape, okay? Calm down.) In Jurassic World, pretty much all she gets to do is cry into her iPhone, though I do like the part where she tells her two boys, whom she’s packing off to visit their aunt at Jurassic World, “If something chases you, run.”
4) The only Jurassic Park sequel set on Isla Nublar, the fictional island off of Costa Rica where the original movie took place, Jurassic World tells us several times that 20,000 people are onsite, most of them admission-paying visitors to the park. That’s an interesting new wrinkle — remember the subplot in Jaws about how the mayor didn’t want to close the beach on Amityville because its merchants need the tourist income from Independence Day weekend to survive? But save for its one The Birds-homage aerial assault, Jurassic World sort of remembers these many hot, thirsty, bored, hungry, eventually terrified masses and forgets them again at its convenience. In a real crisis situation requiring these people to sit still and do as they’re told, they would likely pose as much a threat as those hungry, hungry dinosaurs.
5) Jurassic World was written by Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, though they were subsequently rewritten by director Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, who wrote Trevorrow’s one prior feature, Safety Not Guaranteed. All of the films I’ve named in this paragraph are better than Jurassic World.
Again, my review, absent these items, is here.