The famous park on Isla Nublar has been revamped and shipped off to an island off the coast of Costa Rica. This time round it’s been fully loaded with bigger rides, attractions, hotels and a whole host of more deadly prehistoric creatures, oh, and it’s now open to the public.
Adapted from Michael Crichton’s novel, the franchise was kicked off by Steven Spielberg with the beloved and hugely successful Jurassic Park, followed by two underwhelming sequels The Lost World and Jurassic Park III, directed by Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston, respectively. Now Colin Trevorrow, director of indie darling Safety Not Guaranteed, takes the helm as writer and director the summer smash Jurassic World, where once again, the dinosaurs break out of captivity and cause a whole lot of chaos.
Jurassic World is full of new characters; the dinosaurs feel much more fleshed out, like the four raptors we are introduced to with individual personalities and character traits. The people, on the other hand, are fairly one-dimensional and clichéd. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is somewhat a dinosaur himself, a real man’s man who fixes up his bike on his downtime, wears dirty clothes and doesn’t hide the fact that he’d like to fornicate with the prissy and uptight Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). If it weren’t for the fact that all the dinosaurs were female, one would have to accuse this film of being fairly sexist. Only four females are cast in speaking roles, there’s a worried mother whose screen time consists of her crying down a phone worrying about her children, a British nanny type figure whose very unlikeable who is violently killed, a desk jockey who cries when some mercenaries are killed trying to hunt a dinosaur (none of the 20 male characters in the room show much emotion at all) and Claire, the businesswoman who puts profit ahead of human safety, knows little about dinosaurs and she’s rude to male members of staff, but she becomes action hero when she removes her white power suit to reveal a tank top. In this day and age, can men not write more interesting roles for women to play? Oh, and don’t even get me started on the one black guy in the entire movie…
Jurassic World has a fairly straightforward story, two siblings; dinosaur obsessed Gray and grumpy teen Zach are sent to the island while their parents go through a divorce. They are left in the care of their aunt Claire; she is too busy to look after them and pawns them off on her assistant Zara, who quickly loses them. Meanwhile the new attraction; the Indominus Rex (a genetically engineered hybrid dinosaur) has escaped it’s enclosure and begins reeking havoc throughout the park, so Claire teams up with Owen to find her nephews and bring them back to safety.
Taking more of a back seat, but still looking over his franchise, executive-producer Steven Spielberg has had undeniable influence on this film, with some great throwbacks to the first installment (look out for a cameo from Mr DNA and a ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth’ banner).
When Jurassic World was announced, there was much skepticism about the project; luckily the writers had a sense of humour about this and created the role of Lowery Cruthers (Jake Johnson), who essentially plays the film’s critics. He wears a vintage Jurassic Park t-shirt that he bought off eBay and constantly gripes that Jurassic Park (the park not the film) is better than the modernized Jurassic World (again, the park not the film).
Every scene involving a dinosaur is pure popcorn movie gold, they provide genuine tense and goose bump inducing moments. Let’s be honest, seeing Chris Pratt ride a motorcycle alongside four Velociraptors or a Mosasaur eating a Great White Shark, it’s some of the most badass things you will see in a movie this summer. While the CG dinosaurs looked spectacular in this movie, we’ll have to wait and see if they stand the test of time as well as the famous animatronic T-Rex in the first installment.
Yes there were many flaws with characters in Jurassic World, but honestly, we’re here to see dinosaurs, not people. In spite of some bad writing and suffering from over advertising the film (the trailers pretty much show the entire story), this film was hugely enjoyable and a solid addition to the franchise. Also, hearing John Williams’ famous theme upon arrival to the park was one of the best nostalgia trips ever.
Dir: Colin Trevorrow
Scr: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connelly
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Kahn, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins
Prd: Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall
DOP: John Schwartzman
Music: Michael Giacchino
Run time: 124 mins
Jurassic World is in cinemas nationwide now.