…and I have thoughts.
The special effects are amazing, and I enjoyed the way the film pokes fun at theme parks everywhere – the splash zone at the mosasaur exhibit, the bored teenager running the gyroscope ride, the restaurants and shops with dinosaurs splashed on every conceivable object. But compared to Jurassic Park, Jurassic World is just… soulless.
Don’t get me wrong. Jurassic Park had its flaws, most notably (to me at least), this one. But Jurassic Park was about something. It tapped into our childhood fascination with dinosaurs and showed us the joy and wonder we’d experience if they still existed. It asked hard questions about the morality of scientific progress, with real discussion of the answers. It had deep characterization, even of secondary characters, and it allowed scientists to be the heroes – to use their knowledge and their courage to find a way to survive when everything goes wrong.
It was also completely terrifying.
In comparison, Jurassic World is a slick and shallow monster flick. It’s two hours of thrills and chills, provided you don’t think too hard about the science, or even the logic of the plot. And unlike Jurassic Park, which I purchased on VHS and then on DVD, and re-watch about once a year despite its flaws, Jurassic World is forgettable – a fluffy summer diversion with no lasting impact.
I’ve never written a dinosaur book, but since the dino DNA in the Jurassic Park films comes from insects preserved in amber, I give you my bug book, Locust Migration, for ages 6-9. Recommended for kids who like their science a bit on the gross side!