Film Face-Off: 'Jurassic Park' vs 'Jurassic World'

Film Face-Off: 'Jurassic Park' vs 'Jurassic World'

Jun 17, 2015

Welcome back to Jurassic Park/World!

It's been 22 years since Jurassic Park stomped all over our collective imaginations (in a good way). Now, let's ignore The Lost World and Jurassic Park III, since the new film, Jurassic World, seems to do just that. Things have changed. The awe of science has been replaced by corporate greed. The park features a petting zoo, water park, and gyrospheres. Don't worry, there are still plenty of foolish humans, making rash decisions, which means eventually dinosaurs run amok. In this week's Film Face-off we'll put Jurassic World's amoking and more against Steven Spielberg's original Jurassic Park.


The (Human) Chemistry

Jurassic Park

Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) have a clear mutual love and respect for one another. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) flirts with everyone. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) wants the best minds to love his creation.

Jurassic World

Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) went on one date a while ago and it didn't work out. Masrani (Irrfan Khan) owns Jurassic World and wants Claire, the park operations manager, to stop and smell the dinosaurs.

Winner: Jurassic Park. At some point studio executives must have had a conversation about the lack of chemistry between Pratt and Howard, then decided to just move on. Their past (date gone wrong) is weak. It's like they created an out-dated slightly misogynistic Romancing the Stone relationship without anything good (except attractive people). We never have to question Ellie's affection for Alan, even when Ian is laying it on pretty thick with her in the jeep. John is clearly crushed when all of the scientists question his ethics, and Masrani never comes close to having a moment like that.


The Purposely Annoying People

Jurassic Park

Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) risks his job to steal dinosaur embryos for a rival company. Things go wrong when he sticks to his plan during a storm.

Jurassic World

Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) is the head of security operations for InGen. He wants dinosaurs in the military, but they might not be ready.

Winner: Jurassic Park. Nedry is even more annoying than Newman (Knight's iconic Seinfeld character). He is selfish, loud, sloppy, and cocky. These are not winning combinations. On top of everything, he keeps making terrible decisions by sticking to his original plan. When he finally gets his, at the hands of a Dilophosaurus, we are thrilled we get to enjoy a dinosaur killing someone. He deserves it. On the other hand, Hoskins observes two moments with the slightly trained Raptors, and decides to leap to the conclusion that everything will be great if MORE deadly dinosaurs run free in the theme park. It feels like every blockbuster action movie has a Hoskins (military man who pushes too far, too fast).


The Kids

Jurassic Park

Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello) are Hammond's grandchildren.

Jurassic World

Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) are Claire's nephews.

Winner: Jurassic Park. This category is a little closer than the previous two. The main problem with the World characters is that they don't play off of the adults all that well. In Park, Lex oddly wants to hold Alan's hand when they first meet. Tim is a kid genius who considered Alan a hero. Plus, with Alan hating children, there are plenty of dynamics to play with. In World, Zach wants to awkwardly stare at girls after leaving his girlfriend behind. Worse than that, Gray jumps up and down saying, "Come on!" while dashing around the theme park until finally settling in to being a scared kid. Zach and Gray are in awe of Owen, which makes sense. Claire doesn't think much of her nephews until she realizes it would suck explaining their death to her sister.


The Non-Dinosaur Action

Jurassic Park

There's a terrible storm causing Nedry to crash a jeep. Another jeep falls down a tree. Tim climbs over an electric fence, leading to CPR.

Jurassic World

The rich park owner, Masrani, took some helicopter lessons. He's not the best pilot, but that doesn't stop him from trying to save the day.

Winner: Jurassic Park. The non-dinosaur action in Park is tense. Sometimes it feels like to could be deleted, but it definitely serves the purpose of Alan bonding with the children. With Masrani's helicopter, it gives this character something to do, and that's about it. Plus, the non-dino action scenes in Park leave us wanting more dino action, which helps our desire for repeat viewing/franchises/sequels.


The Dinosaur Action

Jurassic Park

The Dilophosaurus spit, the Raptors chase and eat, plus there is a T-Rex which wreaks havoc.

Jurassic World

Indominus Rex is bigger and badder, the Raptors chase and eat, plus T-Rex and Mosasaurus show up.

Winner: Jurassic Park. This is tough on a few levels. It's kind of like trying to judge the lightsaber battle of The Phantom Menace versus what we saw in the originally trilogy. Technically, the action is better, but it doesn't feel as important. There are tons of action scenes in World that work really well. When Gray and Zach are trapped in gyrosphere versus the Indominus Rex, I was nervous. Plus, there are too many dinosaurs to count, as I haven't even mentioned all of the flying versions. Jurassic World doesn't suffer from leaving us wanting more, especially with an over-the-top ending. The CGI looks good in World, but still doesn't translate weight. The animatronics in Park remain some of the best we've ever seen on the big screen.


OVERALL WINNER: Jurassic Park defeats Jurassic World 5-0

The concept with the theme park in Jurassic World is that everything must be bigger, even if it's not a real (from the prehistoric) dinosaur. The odd thing is there is no irony with the film. The theme park needs to be over-the-top and the movie has the same attitude. We live in a movie universe where one superhero in a film isn't enough, and now the T-Rex isn't good enough either. We need Indominus, which is more like Godzilla then dinosaur. This, plus the lack of character chemistry doesn't mean it's a bad movie, but it definitely deserves to get swept by the still impressive Jurassic Park.

Categories: Features, Sci-Fi, In Theaters
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