- Directed by Colin Trevorrow
- May 29, 2015 (Le Grand Rex) / June 12, 2015 (US)
Jurassic World has operated on the island for of Isla Nublar for years, but the park plunges into chaos when a new type of dinosaur escapes from its enclosure and goes on a rampage.
20 years after the events of the first three films Jurassic World is a thriving tourist destination and is surprisingly still in business. Seriously. Realistically InGen might be able to survive one or two accidental deaths but you would think that the number of deaths connected to what they did on Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar might cause their stock prices to plummet and make investors skittish but not in this fictional world. The number of dead bodies-seen and implied-would be enough to staff a whole separate InGen.
Jurassic World manages to re-capture the “Wow!” factor of seeing dinosaurs on the screen. Jurassic Park III didn’t have that feeling and that’s an important part of the Jurassic Park formula. You need to feel how cool it is to see the dinosaurs. These people are impressed by them and you should be impressed by them as well.
Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is much more of an action hero in the traditional mold than any of his predecessors were. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are not traditional action characters. They were the nerds that helped the action stars. In Jurassic World we get someone more traditional.
Grady is a Navy veteran and ethologist as well as being a Velociraptor expert and handler at Jurassic World. What does he need anybody else for when dealing with dinosaurs when they go a snackin’? Seriously. Pratt is good in the part but like too many films the main character has all the skills necessary to deal with the situation giving them not much to overcome.
And what’s a film without a lot of interest? Bryce Dallas Howard takes on that role as Claire Dearing who is the Jurassic World operations manager. She’s a career driven woman that went out on a single date with Grady and they never quite clicked. There’s an attraction between them but it takes on an antagonistic aspect until Owen shows how macho he is when the dinosaurs start munching on the human buffet InGen has provided. The first half is the setup to a Lifetime movie. The latter makes it watchable.
Children have been an important part of the story formula and our kids here are Claire’s two nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson). The children’s parents are going through a divorce and the trip to Jurassic World seems to be a bit of a vacation to the coolest place on Earth to take their minds off of that fact. Claire is completely unprepared for children which puts the kids in danger when the dinosaurs get out. This really is feeling like a Lifetime movie.
Career woman. Kids in danger. Hunky manly man. Mismatched individuals who are meant for each other but will not admit it. Dinosaurs eating people. Everything but that last part. All we are missing is the rustic hometown.
Zara (Katie McGrath), Claire’s personal assistant, is tasked with minding the kids while Claire is working. She gets one of the worst screen deaths since Shazza (Claudia Black) in the film Pitch Black. Zara gets tossed around and pecked at by pterosaurs before falling in the water and getting eaten by a Mosasaur while getting eaten by a pterosaur. That is seriously harsh.
T-Rex is gone as the big bad and so are the raptors. Both species by the end get a bit of a redemption here. In their place we get a new creature called the Indominus Rex which is a transgenic dinosaur. One thing they got right was that this hybrid appears to have physical aspects of the creatures it was combined with which also serves as one of the major plot points towards the end.
The problems here are caused by an ignorance of what they truly have. They’re newly created creature is a pastiche of different animals, and they are not aware of the extent of not only its abilities but its intelligence. The latter should be a big hint as to one of the major elements but it’s dropped in and you won’t pick up on it. I love what movies do that. It’s a skill that’s too often lost on people. The lazy way is to highlight it. The more creative bit is to slip it in casually.
There appears to be a lot more CGI used to create the dinosaurs that in any of the previous films. Then again CGI has advanced a great deal since the original movies came and went. It’s a bit noticeable in how the actors react. In the previous film you can tell when there was the animatronic there or a puppet or the guy in a costume or whatever was actually there and they reacted to it but there is something a little off when it’s CGI and people have to react to nothing. Some actors can pull off, but most cannot.
Jurassic World does much of what the original film did but put a fresh spin on it so to say. It’s a bit of a retread without feeling like a bit of a retread. No small accomplishment. As reboots for franchises go, Jurassic World is perhaps among the best of them. It reinvigorates what had become a tired film universe. It doesn’t ignore what came before and what worked before but connects with them in a new and fresh way.
Jurassic World is a great start to a new film series in the Jurassic Park universe. It’s exciting and filled with cool dinosaurs and a good story. If you haven’t seen this yet you should. You will not be disappointed!
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