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Reviews say 'Jurassic World' is meh, surveys say you'll see it anyway

"Jurassic World" had a monstrous opening weekend, blowing the releases of the two previous installments out of the water like a breaching mosasaur. It accrued $208.8 million just barely inching past the the "Avengers" opening record to become the biggest release in the U.S. in the history of cinema.

And you'd never know it by the look of the reviews.

Odds are, you'll think the movie is... decent
All that raging success, and the reviews paint "Jurassic World" as nothing all that special. No, a reasonable audience wouldn't call it a bad movie, but some might say it lacks the wow factor of what should be a stellar record-breaking movie. To put things into the perspective, it's the Internet Movie Database equivalent of "Kung Fu Panda" - certainly not bad but not exactly a game-changer. 

Although, that may not be a fair estimation. After all, IMDb is just one review source. Here's the breakdown from a few others.

  • Rotten Tomatoes - 71 percent
  • Metacritic - 59 
  • Common Sense Media - 3 out of 5 stars

To give those scores a little more texture, consider this. In The Guardian's review of the movie, the news source titled the story "Jurassic World review – nice dinosaurs, shame about the plot." Not four sentences into the synopsis, The Guardian claims the movie brings bigger, badder and more jaw-dropping dinos onto the screen, but the characters and drama don't have nearly same bite. Overall, it makes for a movie experience may leave more to be desired, but that won't stop you from attending.

Forget the plot - think of the dinosaurs!
Who needs plots and character development when you have the world's cutting edge visual effects artists crafting four-story-tall carnivores?  The reviews may place "Jurassic World" in the middle of the spectrum, but viewers are crawling over each other to see it nonetheless.

According to an Opinion Outpost poll, nearly three quarters of about 3,400 respondents say they've either already seen the movie or they intend to see it shortly. Only 27 percent of respondents had no intention of seeing it in theaters.

The question critics might ask themselves now is, is this the new standard for movie success? Do plot, character development and skillful writing take a backseat to pouring movie budgets into post production and developing eye-popping graphics? In reality, the movie-making formula probably can't be condensed to so few ingredients, but it's an interesting concept.

Perhaps it's the fact that "Jurassic World" is a sequel. Many of the viewers are likely fans of the original "Jurassic Park." However, that may set an even more dangerous precedent for movie fans. If all it takes is a reboot and glossy graphics to draw attention, it creates a winning recipe - at least in terms of theater money-making - for movies like "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace." In all fairness, that prequel, largely hailed as George Lucas' greatest failure, is the fifth-highest grossing movie in the U.S. box office, according to IMDb. 

Here's to hoping "The Force Awakens" breaks that mold.

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