“No one is impressed with dinosaurs anymore,” was a line in Jurassic World that pretty much sums up what I was thinking when I heard there was going to be a 4th instalment added to the Jurassic Park series.
So what did the movie scientists and director Colin Trevorrow do? They created a bigger and badder dinosaur to reinvigorate the masses and bring in more dollars. What could go wrong?
There was a bit of trepidation going into this film because I wasn’t totally on board with having another poorly made movie about dinosaurs going crazy in a theme park. But like many of you, I am a sucker and I wanted to see a T-Rex eat someone’s face off. Is that so wrong?
Jurassic World is two hours of prehistoric fun that will have you squirming in your seat and make you care about dinosaurs again. 1993’s Jurassic Park had the same effect and this new addition to the series should have been the sequel. We’ll pretend 1997’s The Lost World and 2001’s Jurassic Park 3 didn’t happen.
This film is fun and has its scary moments. The most impressive part of this big budget summer movie is that it makes you jump out of your seat like the original Steven Spielberg film did.
In fact, I might go one step further and say that Jurassic World is a better film than the original Jurassic Park, but let’s not get carried away. Nobody wants to mess with the classic, but Colin Trevorrow hit the mark and breathed new life into the series, which is a big win for junior paleontologists everywhere.
Yes there are moments of silliness and the movie doesn’t appear to care or take itself too seriously. Jurassic World knows what you want and gives it to you: a theme park full of 20,000 tourists (aka: dino fodder) and a killer mutant dinosaur out for a Sunday stroll and fast food.
There is no Jeff Goldblum which kind of sucked as I wanted to hear more about this chaos theory that never really made any sense, but maybe that is the point of chaos?
But who we do get is Star Lord himself, Chris Pratt, who could stand on one leg and stare blankly at the screen for two hours and people will still flock to the theatre to watch him. That Chris Pratt… he’s really hot right now.
So there is this theme park that happens to be located on Isla Nublar, same place where the original Jurassic Park was located, but this time things seem to be a tad more tourist friendly.There is even a petting zoo!
A billionaire named Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) inherited the island from the late John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) and wants everything to be perfect; just don’t tell him he sucks at flying a helicopter.
Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a corporate lackey who is charge of park operations and taking care of her nephews for a few days. Instead she keeps working and gets her assistant to watch the boys, so you can probably guess what happens. Neglect turns into rebellious attitudes.
Meanwhile ex-Hammond geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), the only cast member returning from the original film, cooks up a new hybrid dinosaur known as Indominus rex or Verizon Wireless Indominus rex; everything needs to have a corporate name.
There will be points in this film where Indominus rex will remind you of the alien in Predator. Of course this new Jurassic World attraction becomes a problem and is set free in the park to cause all kinds of havoc. She is hungry and sees the tourists as an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord.
You’ll recognize Vincent D’Onofrio, of Netflix’s Daredevil, as bad guy Vic Hoskins, a warmonger who looks at the Indominus rex and the velociraptors as a new military weapon. I like D’Onofrio and I think he can do a great job as a bad guy, but his character wasn’t that interesting and didn’t really provide much for stakes. I wish they had done a better job in giving Vince something more.
Meanwhile Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is asked to save Claire’s nephews and hunt down the hybrid dinosaur with his newly trained raptors. Yup, they can train raptors now to become lethal fighting machines and pets.
Overall the film is what you expect it to be. Sure it has some plot holes (like where did the pterodactyls go?) and the storyline is pretty simplistic, but this is not an art house flick or an Oscar contender.
Jurassic World is an amusement ride of dinosaur carnage and intense thrills. The CGI dinosaurs have never looked better and they definitely pop out on the screen. You’ll also recognize the soundtrack and will be humming John Williams’ classic Jurassic Park theme music but this time done by composer Michael Giacchino.
Speaking of nostalgia, there are moments where the original Jurassic Park ties into this new story which was a nice touch. For those of you who are fans of Orange is the New Black, you’ll also like the scenes between Jurassic World computer specialists played by Lauren Lapkus and Jake Johnson.
There are scenes that are also tributes to original director Stephen Spielberg, see if you can find the Easter eggs. You’ll immediately recognize the ode to Jaws.
Although the film isn’t incredibly violent, meaning you don’t really see people’s heads being bitten off, there are some very intense scenes that might not be suitable for young children. I have a seven-year-old who loved the original but is too young for this latest installment. In fact, I can guarantee you it will leave the small ones with nightmares. I’d suggest taking your older kids and leave the young ones at home. This is probably the scariest film of the series.
As I mentioned above, this film is a good time. It’s nothing more than a popcorn-chomping summertime flick that gives you what you need. Sure it would have been nice to have more character development as I’m not sure if Chris Pratt was utilized properly. I would have loved to see him in a more humorous hero roll; he was a tad too straight-laced for my liking.
I give Jurassic World 4 out of 5 raindrops. It’s definitely worth checking out on the big screen. If you were a fan of the original you’ll love Jurassic World.
In closing, I want to make something very clear. My job is to review films and it’s a fantastic gig. Not all of you are going to agree with my assessment on the art form. Please feel free to comment below or tweet at me, but keep it clean and keep it respectful. I would love to know why you disagree with me on some films or even why you do agree. Let’s talk movies.