Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Sympkins, Judy Greer, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jake Johnson
Running Time: 124 minutes
Release Date: June 12th
Audiences today are more optimistic than they were the last time a Jurassic Park movie was released. Since 2001’s Jurassic Park 3, eight years after the original, we’ve seen the failure of the Star Wars Prequels. We’ve watched the Avengers rise to immense popularity and seen Transformers fall by the wayside.
As far as cinematic audiences are concerned, Hollywood has learned what works, and has finally figured out how to make a blockbuster. Surely, this is why, in the anticipation of the fourth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, we are so willing to give it a chance. The cynics among us, however, defy the purpose of a sequel. With the first so perfect and with such value on each rewatch, what point is there in a return to a world that has already proved itself unfit for a theme park with live, frog-based dinosaurs?
Jurassic World answers this, and the answer, to quote Samuel L. Jackson’s Ray Arnold, is, “Hold on to your butts.”
Set twenty years after the first installment, Jurassic World is what happens after the failure of the prototype, where a succesful theme park has been built on cloned dinosaurs, and has become a popular tourist destination. The world has grown tired of the prehistoric beasts, however, so Ingen, those experts at being shady and playing god, have decided to combine them to build something new.
Many will be apprehensive, and will cite the use of practical effects in the original film as being far more effective than the CGI (“we only saw the dinosaurs for so many minutes”), but Jurassic World manages to accept this and refute it all at the same time. Refreshingly, it clearly deems Jurassic Park the masterpiece it is and doesn’t try to recreate it, instead taking the tools involved in making a movie in this franchise and using them in the most fun way possible. The CGI is more abundant than many would have called for, but it does its best to add life rather than being soulless, and when practical effects are used, they are welcome done well.
Everything that makes a Jurassic Park movie is here, from good to bad. The beginning ticks along like a paint by numbers starring incredibly naive scientists whose experiment is undoubtedly going to go rogue, but there is also a great appreciation for the intricacies of life and how, even in the most chaotic of times it uh, uh… finds a way. Though Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are likable leads, the plot never delves too far into the lives of any of the characters and by the end it’s clear that no one is missing out too much because of this. We’ll have to wait and see what this means for the inevitable sequels.
The best parts of the previous movies are utilised wonderfully in Jurassic World, resulting in a thrilling story, satisfying because, while the movie makes a point of appreciating the wonder of life, its aim is first and foremost to entertain. And without giving too much away, while it is true that only one member of the original cast is returning, make no mistake, the true stars of the show, be they beast or John Williams, are back. And it is brilliant.
Not the best of the franchise, but a truly worthy addition, and perhaps the Jurassic Park sequel we’ve been waiting for. It isn’t without its flaws but then, as this film itself explains, we didn’t ask for reality, we asked for more teeth. Jurassic World delivers.