Clashing great CGI and over amped monstrous match ups replace the magic and wonder that ‘Jurassic Park’ held so well. This update to Isla Nublar’s grand design is by no means terrible, in fact the film is enjoyable, entertaining and has heart but the sandwiching beginning and end are so uninventive and threaten to ruin what could have been a much better addition to the Jurassic series.
Jurassic World has now opened and on the island, new dinosaur attractions are keeping visitors flooding in, though scientists and park manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) have come to create a hybrid creature that could frighten both kids and adults. Arriving to the resort are Claire’s nephews Gray and Zach (Ty Simpkins & Nick Robinson) who find themselves getting caught up in madness as the new dinosaur escapes. It’s a time that calls for help from raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to maintain the situation and aid Claire as much as possible.
As with all Steven Spielberg productions, the theme of family is evident, though his usual absent father trademark doesn’t really flare up. It’s more a bonding experience of brothers and absent minded work focused relations that bring about the family tension that gift the film it’s beating heart. Honestly, the hefty middle of the film is fantastic, suspenseful sequences, emotional threats and character progressions all echo of the charm the 1993 original possessed. He may have only been executive producer but Spielberg carries his dominance and directorial stamp on this fun family flick.
Colin Trevorrow steps up to the mantle for clearly his biggest film yet and on the most part he handles it well. There are a few cliches, the end wafts off into B-movie ‘Sharknado’/Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus’ craziness and the general scope of cooking up hybrid creations is utter madness…who’d honestly think a park with actual dinosaurs to be seen would be boring, a T-Rex would have been more than fine as the central animal antagonist. Trevorrow does manage to give the action moments plenty of energy and visual fancy, the dinosaurs do come at an alarming rate, really making you understand the grand world from the movie’s title.
Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver come up with an average story, a simple enough reason basically to bring back the franchise. Expanded to be a tourist hot spot and have zones wide enough to cater for massive beasts, it’s clear something needed to be done to suit the modern audiences of today. It sort of works, the screenplay from their story makes room for views of military belief concerning usage of dinosaurs, it utilises on family cracks and romancing relationships. The best parts of the movie are when it’s referencing ‘Jurassic Park’. The closed off section with the jeeps, the Hammond statue, the new Rexy creeping along like the T-Rex scene in the first movie and more besides manage to keep the magic from over 20 years ago flowing into this fun watch.
The film jumps on the iconic score with great delight, Michael Giacchino uses the building brilliance of John William’s music quite a bit. It works though as everyone knows it and it stirs up those feelings to resonate from when you first remember seeing these million year old animals on screen. It twinkles away almost ominously in the background when Zach and Gray enter the dusty abandoned visitors center. The rest of the score isn’t anything hugely memorable but works when watching the scenes unfold.
Visually this movie has a lot going for it, from the many dinos to the park itself ‘Jurassic World’ will entrance a whole new audience of people. The concept of inclusions like the lowering spectator deck for the Mosasaur, the Gyrosphere moments are fantastic, the camouflaged design of the Indominus Rex makes for a chilling extra layer of deathly attack quality, in general however dumb it is making a new threat, this new beast is a mighty thing to behold and her movements boom around the IMAX in thunderous fashion.
Chris Pratt is an unquestionable movie hero now, he’s just as slick and badass in this as he was portraying Star-Lord. The way he gives Owen a sense of meaning, the alpha doggedness to train and appreciate the Velociraptors could have been stupid but it’s watchable thanks to Pratt making Owen a likable and knowledgeable character to believe in. Bryce Dallas Howard is confident and no nonsense as the head of this new park, her boss lady attitude is ripe for the unfamiliarity she has with things she should know about. She gives what could have been a pretty flat character something to engage with and by the end she’s a thinking helpful women wanting to be close to people. Jake Johnson singlehandedly gives the film most of its comedy dazzle from desk top figurines, T-shirt memorabilia to attempting a farewell romance. The two young lads are great in holding the film’s more careful message of sticking together, Simpkins and Robinson both give each brother the designated behaviour for their ages and are never annoying which in some big films, child actors can definitely be.
Apart from the beginning which jumps straight in and gives us an unnecessary world of new and trained dinosaurs and the ending which is on the ridiculous scale of computer tomfoolery with Dino tag teams, the main portion of this prehistoric picture is big and fun.