Movie Review: Jurassic World


RELEASE DATE: June 12, 2015 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX)
STUDIO: Universal Pictures
DIRECTOR: Colin Trevorrow
STARRING: Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, Chris Pratt, Ty Simpkins, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Katie McGrath, Lauren Lapkus, Andy Buckley
GENRE: Action, Sci-Fi, Horror, Adventure

1993 was a magical year that brought me one of my favorite films of all time. It combined all of my childhood fantasies about dinosaurs and made them come to life. It was both frightening and wondrous. I loved it and watched it on VHS over and over again. The follow ups to the Jurassic Park were lackluster examples of the law of diminishing returns (and some terrible writing). 14 years after the Jurassic Park 3 muck up we are introduced to Jurassic World.

The lessons of the past are apparently on the people that inhabit this world as they have realized Dr. Hammond’s vision and opened the park rechristened as Jurassic World. With the public unaware of the previous murderfests involving a park of that nature Jurassic World goes on to enjoy 10 years of profitability. But, with the general public growing complacent with all the giant dinosaurs running around and money not rolling in as fast as before, the big wigs needed something to spark sales. That thing comes in the form of Indominus Rex, a hybrid dinosaur mixed with the DNA of various animals in order to make it a scarier, more vicious killer. And in typical movie fashion, when people play God things get all sorts of screwed up. The highly intelligent killing machine gets loose and rapidly approaches a park of over 20,000 people.

The premise of the movie runs close to the original in that it involves someones hubris leading to the creation of life long extinct and the eventual deadly consequences of that. The thing is that this time it’s done on a far larger level. The park is actually completed with corporate sponsors and everything. Hell, even Jimmy Fallon does the safety warning on one of the rides. The park has Sea Worldesque attractions featuring things that would well… kill a killer whale. The famous Chris Pratt riding with a pack of raptors scene is kind of awesome looking but it’s not just thrown in there for wow factor it’s done within the story and thoroughly explained why it is able to happen before hand. That speaks to the writing of this film. They explain many key points before a pay off (save for why InGen is now the way it is and one or two other things). The stuff they skimp on isn’t enough to ruin anything for the viewer although I would like to have seen what the Indominus Rex was completely mixed with (perhaps a plot device for another sequel ?) Chris Pratt as Owen is a smart ass who can also kick a butt or two. This role suits him as he is accustomed to being that guy. Bryce Dallas Howard is Claire. She does a good job as the far to focused on her career woman and not that in to it aunt taking care of her two nephews at the theme park before all hell breaks loose. She’s the person who the events change the most. Vincent D’Onofrio plays the greedy corporate a-hole, Hoskins. There’s not much to say on him as a character because he’s fairly one dimensional.

One of the best parts of the film, to me anyway, is that it’s character driven. The two leads of Claire and Owen continuously show more of themselves through the harrowing situations they encounter. There is sexual tension from the beginning and eventually leads to the conclusion as far as their relationship is concerned everyone can see coming a mile away. But, the fact that you sit and wait to see how the characters deal with the situation of being stalked by a creature is a testament to the actors, director, and writers. The true genius of the film is the monster in the darkness. It’s handled with a Godzilla like reverence. It’s not shown in all it’s glory until a little later in the film and by then you learn a lot about Indominus Rex. It’s hunting habits a bit about how intelligent it is and can become and it makes the danger even more real for the human side of the movie. Whenever you see it on screen you just know it’s about to kick the crap out of someone and something and that is a rush.

I remember the original and just falling in love with everything about it. I sat and watched this film and did the same. It has flaws (which my jaded film critic mind couldn’t ignore at first) but, it holds up against the feelings I have for Jurassic Park. It’s definitely going to make a lot of money at the cinemas but it should sate the fanboys of the series as well.