Director: Colin Trevorrow
Runtime: 124 minutes
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onorio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, BD Wong, et al…
Plot (taken from IMDb): A new theme park is built on the original site of Jurassic Park. Everything is going well until the park’s newest attraction – a genetically modified giant stealth killing machine – escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.
The Jurassic Park franchise has struggled to recapture the imagination, fun and tension of the original, but does Jurassic World? Almost. Jurassic World is a fun film, erring on great, but it’s missing Spielberg’s directorial touch.
There are elements from each film in Jurassic World, but mostly it feels similar to the original film, and this is no bad thing. Unlike the older films, Jurassic World features an open theme-park, which when all things go wrong, makes for disaster on a much larger scale. The focus on four characters however, helps to keep the scope of the film down, to a small, manageable plot. The film follows two plots for the most part, with teens Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) going for a holiday to Jurassic World (a new theme-park built on the site of the original, and failed Jurassic Park), in order to spend time with their auntie, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is a high-up at the theme-park.
We are treated to a very Spielbergian opening, filled with blatant shots and lines foreshadowing the danger the two boys are heading into. When the two boys arrive at the park, we are given an almost recreated shot of “welcome to Jurassic Park”, that really sets the nostalgia flowing. Indeed, Jurassic World is a very nostalgic film, designed to play on the emotions of those who grew up with the original film, whilst selling the phenomenon to a new generation. Let me tell you this, they did a very good job. The other plot of the start of the film involves us discovering that a new dinosaur, created at the park, is perhaps a little too dangerous.
This is where Chris Pratt comes in as Owen, a dinosaur trainer of sorts. Basically, he comes in and voices his concerns over the new dino, but is told “screw you; we need that thing for sweet dough”. And thus, the moment comes where he can say “I told you so”. There is an interesting sub-plot in here about the trials of making kids wanting to go to a theme-park, with the suggestion being that kids are bored of dinosaurs. This acts as something of a nod to the fact that Jurassic World is a reboot, trying to make dinosaurs cool for kids again; it’s a nice touch.
Again, the crafting and themes of the film are very reminiscent of the original film, but escalated. We are treated to some tense scenes, tender moments and a lot of dinosaurs. A lot of dinosaurs means a lot of CGI, and luckily, the effects in the film are very good. There are moments where the film’s set pieces and CGI seem overly ridiculous, but to be honest, in the throes of the film, you’ll be having too much fun to notice. This goes for any of the film’s flaws, which never surmount to anything particularly notable anyway.
Indeed, the worst thing I can say about Jurassic World is that at just over two hours long, it feels a little too long. Some smaller plots never seem fully-realised by the end of the film either, but again, you’ll be having too much fun to care. Most everything about Jurassic World is handled well, including the acting, which is surprisingly good, if a little corny. What else is surprisingly good is the cinematography, which stands above its peers and is second only to the original film. In fact, that is the main issue with Jurassic World; it is second-best compared to Jurassic Park.
On a technical level, Jurassic World is very similar to Park, but in trying to reminisce about it, World reminds you that what you’re watching isn’t as good as the original film. It is the sequel we always wanted, but I don’t think they could ever better the original. There are moments during the film where you are left thinking whether they tried too hard to recreate the feeling of the original film. While Trevorrow did an admirable job with Jurassic World it lacks some of the charm of the original, which was surely down to Spielberg’s direction. I’d argue however that this film is close to the original in quality, just not as original – and that’s no big issue.
A fun, well made blockbuster for the whole family to enjoy. While it outstays its welcome just a little bit, Jurassic World is the best dinosaur movie since Jurassic Park. With great acting, special effects, cinematography and a fun plot, this film is easily recommendable, just not as good as the original. It is missing Spielberg’s directorial touch, but with Colin Trevorrow, the franchise is in great hands.
More dinosaurs than you can shake a stick at.