Jurassic World is a bombastic return of the franchise fourteen years after the previous sequel. It provides much, a lot more than expected, but can never match the original.
Set over twenty years since John Hammond’s theme park extravaganza Jurassic Park was utterly destroyed when the reborn dinosaur exhibits broke loose, Jurassic World follows a new organisation looking to rekindle the park’s magic. From what we can see, it has been a huge success; the Jurassic World theme park has been a hit for well over a decade and has grown with multiple exhibits.
But like with all corporations, they see the task of keeping audiences and investors excited an uphill battle, and they turn to genetic modification to breed a new dinosaur.
My feelings on Jurassic World have yo-yo’ed ever since the first trailer landed, at first I was excited: the tone was right, then I was increasingly worried; genetically modified dinosaurs, really? Among other things.
But in actuality, Jurassic World is perhaps one of the truest sequels to the original you could hope for. While 1997’s The Lost World and (worst of all) Jurassic Park 3 had a tendency to repeat the key scenarios of the first film (a small group of people trapped on an island of dinosaurs) this new installment actually tries to expand the idea and give us new meat to chew on.
Sure, this is Jurassic Park, there are similarities all over the shop. We are going to have peace descend into utter chaos; foreshadowing and any sense of build up are blatantly obvious except to those rare few who haven’t seen a Jurassic Park movie! There are plenty of moments that will have you scratch your head, or shake it, making this film not quite living up to its colossal predecessor. Avoidable moments too; our new Park’s head operator Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is seen running away from a T-Rex in high heels. Silly, but completely avoidable as they do refer to it earlier; Chris Pratt’s hunter/raptor trainer Owen scowls at her footwear. It isn’t something I personally care about, but I know, I know people will complain about it.
The storyline, unlike Jurassic Park 3‘s miserable excuse of a storyline, is a decent play off the first film. Claire has two nephew’s visiting the park on this doomed day, while Chris Pratt’s Owen deals with a man named Hoskins (played by Netflix/Marvel Daredevil‘s Vincent D’Onofrio) who wants to militarize the supposedly “trained” velociraptors. Thematically World has a lot of kinship with the original; we see perhaps what Jeff Goldblum’s Malcolm character feared the most; merchandise. This film’s mere existence is a play on this!
The sets are all reminiscent of the first film, as is the sound design, Chris Pratt’s character is convincing and carries the burden of the “training raptors” concept really well. The CGI is a bit too abundant and can be hit or miss, more animatronics would have been great, but you get used to it.
Perhaps the most endearing aspect is how fun it feels and how dark it can become. Dialogue is witty and very likable throughout, the two kids (while they could be described as one overly-mopey and one overly happy kid at first) they did actually grow on me. They had just enough character to make you like them.
The Park has changed, but the ideology and themes remain true. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it; it could have been much worse!
Additional Marshmallows: I just wish audiences wouldn’t be so gullible as to think “Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg” means this is the same quality as Jurassic Park. Director Colin Trevorrow does a great job, but the little bits of Spielberg whimsy just aren’t there.