DUMB POPCORN FUN, THAT MAY SEEM HARSH BUT ITS THE BEST AND MOST HUMBLE WAY TO DESCRIBE THE ACTION PACKED, CLICHE LITTERED THRILL RIDE THAT THIS LONG AWAITED SEQUEL DELIVERED. PACKING A GREAT AND CHARISMATIC PERFORMANCE FROM CHRIS PRATT AND EYE POPPING VISUALS, JURASSIC WORLD IS A THE ONLY WORTHY SEQUEL TO HAVE COME OUT THIS LUKEWARM FRANCHISE.
When this film was first announced boy was I excited, Jurassic Park is like many people, one of my favorite films of all time, it was the first film that really scared the living crap outta me and with this sequel announced I was hoping for something that could at the very least give me a glimpse back into that aw inspiring world that Spielberg manage to capture, but as more and more trailers were released I began realizing that the chances of that happening were very, very minuscule.
Jurassic World is the long awaited fourth installment in the dinosaur franchise, after being announced early in 2003 the project has been in development hell. Going through various writers and directors over the years before director Colin Trevorrow and his co writer Derek Connolly were brought on board to write and direct the sequel. With a star studded cast of Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (50/50), Ty Symkins (Iron Man 3), Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil), Nick Robinsion (Kings of Summer) with Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Irrfan Khan (The Amazing Spider-Man).
Ignoring the events of the both The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World picks up 22 years (real time) after the events of the first film, with a now fully functioning park and John Hammond’s dream coming true. Years after its opening, the success of the park has started to wane and the investors got worried… So with attendance dropping steadily the new CEO of InGen and owner of Jurassic World Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) commissions the genetics lab to build a new bigger, badder, and more dangerous dinosaur, enter the Indominous Rex (don’t laugh this is serious), a genetic hybrid mixed with both dinosaur and animal DNA.
All seems to go well until the new baddie escapes from her confines and starts terrorizing the park. Park Manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) reluctantly teams with Velociraptor expert and trainer Owen Brady (Chris Pratt) to help stop the new dinosaur from murdering everyone on the island and save Claire’s nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) who are somewhere on the island, force to fend for themselves.
If some of this seems fimilar that because a lot of its, most of the movie is very much beat for beat the first film. While this film is neither as inventive, sharp and not as interesting as the first film, Jurassic World does work on its own merits and ultimately delivers on it’s promises of big dinosaur action the bad part is all that happens during the last 30 mins.
What proceeds before that is some really cringe worthy dialogue, hamfisted and out of place subplots and really cheesy predictable moments. All of which are the makeup of very generic and basic ingredients for a summer sequel, done very mediocre. That’s not to say the road getting to the epic and awesome final 30 minutes isn’t fun, because it is fun, but it never reaches the heights and thrills of the original movie, nor does it have the original films smarts in fact the more you think about this movie the dumber it becomes.
Yet with all that there is a lot to love with Jurassic World most notably the special effects, although at times they are a little to noticeable and overly CGI, they still consistently deliver on the goods. Bringing the Dinosaurs to life. Trevorrorw and his effects team put in A+ work to fully render and realize the creatures to their full potential, making them a visual treat whenever there is a dinosaur on screen.
A lot of what works about this film are indeed the visual eye candy, downright gorgeous CGI and at times some really beautiful cinematography that help bring the Dinosaurs to life in a way that the original movie never could. Trevorrow also manages to teach old dogs new tricks, showing us fimilar faces but giving a unique spin on them and our perception. Namely the Velociraptors that have been heavily featured in the marketing.
They are awesome and are giving a surprising amount of emotional heft and for anyone like myself that found the notion of trained raptors to be re-god damn-diculous don’t worry the reasoning and execution will ease your skepticism. Plus their relationship with Chris Pratt is oddly enough the most emotionally resonate throughout the film.
Speaking of which, Chris Pratt is on a role as he delivers another greatly entertaining performance and rises above almost everything else as the shining star of the film, besides the titular creatures of course. Pratt’s character is the most fully fleshed out cliche type in the film and is giving the most reasonable reactions and has the best lines (all though many of them are indeed extremely cheesy one liners).
Pratt manages to give an honest and enjoyable performance and get the most out of the stock one dimensional character type that was written for him on the page. However I wish that could be said for the rest of the cast. Mostly everyone else clouds the films momentum and tone with weirdly hamfisted subplots and that throw the movie completely off course.
Bryce Dallas Howard’s character falls victim to one of those stock character types. Claire (her character) is your typical high strung up corporate employee. Fueled by data and company ambitions she is willing to at first endanger thousands of lives once Indominous gets loose, for the sake of preserving the parks image, slowly though she finds her footing through a unbelievably string of oddly comedic circumstances that unfortunately damage the sense of urgency previously set up by the fact that a homicidal dinosaur is murdering other creatures left and right.
Howard does her best with the character but there really isn’t much for her to work with, as the character is just another failed type that get lost in the mixed of CG characters and multiple subplots sewed together to make up what little and predictable story this script has to offer.
Simpkins and Robinson are fine as Gray and Zach two brothers whose adventurous persona (which comes outta no where really) propels them to be a plot device that brings Pratt and Howard’s character together to push along their inevitable story conclusion, there really isn’t no need for them to be in the film except to help remind us how this film and Jurassic Park are similar. The nephews also have the typical divorced parents plot that gets tossed in and then thrown out once the shit hits the fan and their character development stops cold.
All of this are the problems within the script which is as noted many times above really cliche and predictable. The strength that the script offers however is the Indominous Rex, which is the new baddie on the block. Made to be bigger than the T-Rex and is extremely smart, to the point where it’s nearly unbelievable. Some of the stuff this dinosaur pulls reminds me of classic Bond villains Though whenever it’s on it commands the screen and brings a sense of dread and ferocity that has been sorely missing from the other Jurassic sequels.
But while it’s actions are bit cartoonishly evil the Indominous Rex proves itself a bigger threat than the Tyrannosaurus could have ever hoped for. This Dinosaur is really really badass, and it has all the makings of a vicious, heartless and cold blooded killer, kind of like the Predator (from the movie Predator). The Indominous gets most of the wow moments and helps propel the story into it’s monstrous and chaotic third act that will definitely send the audiences in both fits of joy and sheer terror.
So while the film is indeed not as smart, or as entertaining as the original, it’s certainty much more enjoyable than any of the sequels to have come before it and sets up some interesting prospects and ideas for a fifth sequel should the studio want to pursue one (and based on the box office predictions they will). Jurassic World is shot beautifully, with gorgeous cinematic visuals and a great lead in Chris Pratt and has enough scares to satisfy the blockbuster family crowd that this film is sure to draw in for many weeks to come.