The box office behemoth that is Jurassic World is already a commercial success and a record breaking one at that, but is it a critical success? Yes, I think it is, Jurassic World is a faithful and solid addition to the Jurassic franchise and the best sequel yet. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the film is set in the same world as Jurassic Park and takes us back to Isla Nubar, 22 years after the events of the original film, John Hammond’s dream of a fully functional dinosaur theme park has come to fruition, the park draws visitors in droves and has seems to be running without fault.
Some of your favourite dinosaurs are back including the Stegosaurus, giant Brachiosaurus, Triceratops and of course the Velociraptors. However ratings have dipped and the Parks’ investors need an additional investment to spike interest – cue the Indominus Rex, a hybrid dinosaur created to be the new shiny thing for the par to raise interest, meanwhile two brothers, Zach and Gray go to the park on a week long trip away from their parents and arrive just at the worst time possible. Zach and Gray are also related to Claire, their aunt, (Bryce Dallas Howard), the hard working and uptight chief operator of the park, while Owen (Chris Pratt) is already on the Isla Nubar and has been working alongside Barry (Omar Sy) as they work to tame the Velociraptors.
The cast of the film is great first of all and everyone fits well into their roles, even the archetypal young excited brother and his older, jaded brother didn’t take away too much from the film and having them at the centre of the plot added a nice human element to the mayhem. Meanwhile Bryce Dallas Howard is brilliant as Claire, delivering a really believable performance as she tries to keep up appearances and stay afloat while things really fall apart and she does mange to for the most part. While Chris Pratt is fantastic as Owen and is a great leading man, seemingly a natural, his banter and Chris Pratt-esque humor also make his character a joy to watch, the side characters are good additions, Vincent D’Onofrio as Hoskins, the InGen employee that wants to weaponize raptors, his intentions are dubious at best but D’Onofrio delivers an enthusiastic, driven performance. And even Jake Johnson as Lowery is a decent character, while Irfan Khan as Simon Masrani brings his best Jeff Goldblum/Ian Malcolm impersonation and does a decent enough job, the character interactions were believable and didn’t feel overly cliché.
Though in saying that I would agree that a few characters did a feel one dimensional, Zach is the girl focused teenager that’s bored of the park, his younger brother is the opposite, Claire is the workaholic that wants to get everything right and so on. But the plot itself helps to elevate the film above its’ clichés, Jurassic World is an entertaining adventure and you really get the feel of the park being modern and well.. almost believable aside from the live dinosaurs. The feel of the original Jurassic Park is re-captured and the original score also partially returns and feels right at home we get grand sweeping shots of the island and the dinosaurs in all their glory, though they all take a backseat to the Indominus Rex for the most part, which was pretty terrifying. The Indominus of course is a huge part of the story and represents a whole off shoot of morals and ethics but in the film it was menacing, massive and cunning and there were point where I wondered how they were going to beat the thing and I think that’s a credit to the great writing. Owen and his affinity for the raptors was a nice side story and an interesting source of conflict, are animals just tools or can they be something more? It was great to see how
Jurassic World echoes moral questions from previous films but emphasises them with the Indominus, bringing back extinct animals for one is arguably wrong but keeping specific dinosaurs in isolation and messing around with DNA to create new dinosaurs, probably even worse.
The plot flowed well and the pacing was great, the film felt like it fit its’ runtime perfectly, the set pieces were great and full of great spectacle, the film is of course CG heavy but I think it looked great, the dinosaurs looked as good as some of the dinos in Jurassic Park which is crazy to say about a 22 year old film but hey, it’s a classic. And the conclusion and the Indominus’ end may feel a bit rushed but it was a satisfying conclusion, those theories about the T-Rex being brought out to fight were of course predictably true and it was awesome to watch.
And it was nice how Jurassic World
stands as a worthy sequel and also a nice homage to Jurassic Park, with clear references, re-visiting the atrium which was at the end of the film, bringing back the original T-Rex of course but even with all of that, it doesn’t feel cheesy at all. The end of the film stands as a homage and a statement with the old vs the new represented in that final fight but the overall message is clear, the Jurassic franchise is back, going strong… and there will always be a T-Rex at some point
. Great cast and equally great acting
. The feeling of Jurassic Park is effectively re-captured, film also looks great
. Some characters are a bit one dimensional