Jurassic World Opens on Last Friday June 12, 2015
Directed by Colin Trevorrow; written by Mr. Trevorrow, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly, based on a story by Mr. Jaffa and Ms. Silver and the characters created by Michael Crichton; director of photography, John Schwartzman; edited by Kevin Stitt; music by Michael Giacchino; production design by Edward Verreaux; costumes by Daniel Orlandi; produced by Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley; released by Universal Pictures. Running time: 2 hours 4 minutes.
WITH: Chris Pratt (Owen), Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire), Vincent D’Onofrio (Hoskins), Ty Simpkins (Gray), Nick Robinson (Zach), Omar Sy (Barry), B D Wong (Dr. Wu) and Irrfan Khan (Masrani).
Jurassic World Review:
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly.
Jurassic World is telling a good story is the driving imperative in “Jurassic World,” which takes place on an island turned luxury resort where thousands enjoy a very special kind of eco-tourism. There, the usual suspects convene, including a pair of bland young brothers (Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins), avatars for the sought-after demographic; the usual odd-couple cuties (Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt); and some standard-issue villainy that exists to feed the dinosaurs and our bloodlust.
It’s a measure of how dumbed-down this movie is that while the three heroes in “Jurassic Park” were scientists, Mr. Pratt plays Owen, an indeterminate animal expert, and Ms. Howard plays Claire, a corporate stooge whose idiocy is partly telegraphed by her towering heels.
The heels come across as a joke, or at least that’s how the filmmakers attempt to skew them, with Owen telling Claire that they’re “ridiculous.” That Claire can actually run from dinosaurs, over cement and through mud, without breaking a heel off or twisting her ankle like a film-noir dame, is played as a kind of triumph. Of course it’s a hollow one and it’s representative of how the filmmakers like to point out the very clichés (genre, gender, whatever) they embrace, as if merely acknowledging them were a critical move. By the time Claire is shooting a gun, still in heels, you may find yourself humming that old fake-feminist jingle: “I can bring home the bacon/ Fry it up in a pan/ And never let you forget you’re a man.” That Owen is the hero ensures that you’ll never forget, either.
Many of the other humans in Jurassic World are variations on archetypes from the original film: Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) is the eccentric wealthy entrepreneur, who here takes the form of Jurassic World owner Simon Masrani; Jake Johnson (New Girl) is Lowery Cruthers, the park’s quirky but likable tech operator; and Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil) is Jurassic World head of security Vic Hoskins, the park employee whose ulterior motives put everyone else’s lives in jeopardy. All of these actors turn in fine performances and leave their stamps on these character tropes, yet aren’t very memorable (as a result of either subpar script material and/or additional scenes of development being cut).
The subplots in Jurassic World revolving around Claire’s relationship with her sister Karen (Judy Greer), as well as the dynamic between Claire’s nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), are a key element of the heroine’s arc; still, the scenes between them that don’t involve getting chased by dinosaurs aren’t very impactful, though again, the characters are perfectly easy to root for. Lastly, the story thread featuring the character played by Omar Sy (as Owen’s co-worker) and especially the thread with B.D. Wong’s Dr. Wu aren’t fully explored, possibly because they’re meant to serve as setup for a Jurassic World sequel (one that, to be fair, is probably going to happen).
Jurassic World is a big, shiny, and entertaining roller coaster ride, though the ‘World’ is more interesting than the people. The film succeeds at revitalizing the Jurassic Park movie franchise and delivers on its promise of a fun blockbuster adventure with good humor, scares, thrills, and more than its fair share of awe-inspiring dinosaurs. However (and this comes as no surprise) it just doesn’t recapture the “magic” of Steven Spielberg’s original installment.
To those who’ve never seen CGI dinosaurs on the big screen before (especially youngsters) Jurassic World should be an agreeable piece of summer movie escapism. As for longtime fans of the Jurassic Park franchise, it’d be a stretch to call any of these sequels “necessary” viewing at this stage – but this new installment will deliver your fix of dinosaurs running wild on the big screen.
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What are you waiting for now? Go to see the Jurassic World and start your dinosaur journey!