Jurassic World (Spoiler Free Review)
The dinosaurs live! Raptors, the T-Rex & one pissed of Frankenstein dino created in a lab. The Park is open and while it does have flaws, I nevertheless enjoyed it.
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, Jake Johnson, Irrfahn Kahn, B.D. Wong & Judy Greer.
Run Time: 124 min.
US Release: 11 June 2015
UK Release: 11 June 2015
German Release: 12 June 2015 I was really nervous walking into the theatre late Wednesday, as I was not sure what I would get served but when I came out of the screening, I wasn’t either blown away nor disappointed. What I had was a feeling of satisfaction for being well entertained. Now let me tell you straight away, Jurassic World is not Jurassic Park! So don’t go in expecting a second JP because that is simply not possible. It has its flaws and it does not come close to the first one, but it is a good sequel to the franchise and miles better than the second sequel. This blockbuster is directed by Colin Trevorrow and stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy and Jacke Johnson, as well as a returning BD Wong to the franchsie. Personally, I think Trevorrow managed to shoot a good movie, worth of the Jurassic title and I did enjoy the crap out of Chris Pratt's character. The plot is pretty straightforward; InGen, under new ownership, finally manages to realise John Hammond's dream of a dinosaur theme park on Isla Nublar. After ten years and declining visitors, however, the board assignes the science department to comine up with a new, genetically modified, scary and monstrous attraction. That new Franken-lizard is called Indominous-Rex and is super intelligent. It tricks the keepers into letting it out into the wild and so the horror starts anew. The only man capable of stopping this beast, is raptor coach and alpha male Owen (Pratt). The script is alright but does not add anything new to the well known series. While the core plot is a solid and fun survival adventure, reminiscent of the first Jurassic Park, there are too many side-plots that overshadow the main story and derail too quickly from it. I will come to those narratives when talking about the characters, without revealing anything that might spoil the film. What I do recommend, though, is to stay away from the second global trailer, as it gives too much away! Now, one of the biggest issues Jurassic World has, is that it follows, what is perceived today as the modern blockbuster action trend. What I mean by that, is that these films have an over-reliance in humour, which drags this movie a little bit down. The first Jurassic Park has comedic relief but it comes naturally through the personality of the characters. In Jurassic World half of the comedy feels forced, and although I was happy with the slightly different approach to the franchise, I did wish for the story to have a little bit more brains. One of the positive aspects of this flick is its slow build up to the action. It is nice how the narrative increases the tension slowly, not tiring the audience with immediate sequential action scenes. That approach resembles that of the first two movies, directed by Steven Spielberg. It also includes it’s fair share of nods to the first film, including a beautiful fan-service scene where the audience gets to see the broken down main building, of Jurassic Park. The biggest connection to the other pictures, though, must be the return of Dr. Wu and yet, the lack of backstory that explains how In Gen regained control of Isla Nublar and managed to build a controlled Park, is disappointing. One of the scenes I was curious for, as it had me partially worried, is the interaction between the raptors and Chris Pratt, but that is handled extremely good. Most importantly, it managed to make absolute sense, when explaining how Owen “controls” those animals, from a wildlife expert’s point of view. It is like keeping wild lions or tigers in check. As I said before, the trailer gives a lot away but thankfully there is a revelation -although it is not that hard to decipher early on- that it doesn't spoil. Another positive aspect is how this movie redeems the disappointing fight between the Spinosaurus and the T-Rex, form Jurassic Park III, by giving two monstrous beasts the chance to fight it out over a longer period of time and it is very entertaining! I was sitting on the edge of my seat while watching two carnivorous dinosaurs clawing and biting at each other. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard have great chemistry on screen. Their characters are the most interesting of the whole bunch, as well as being the most likable. Especially Chris Pratt who plays an ex-military man, with immense knowledge and experience of wild animals. He reminded me a little bit of Dr. Alan Grant, with Dr. Ian Malcolm’s savvy humour. Clair (Dallas Howard) makes one of the best developments in the film. Her character starts of as a cold and unemotional park executive. She does not understand humans and she especially does not understand animals. That changes along the course of the story, as she needs to step up to save lives. Although the two brothers are the trigger that causes the change in Dallas Howard’s character, the backstory and their amount of screen time is completely redundant and simply takes away time from the main events. Vincent D’Onofrio’s character is extremely disappointing! He is one of the most expendable characters in this blockbuster, his character does not really contribute to the film and the plan to use raptors as trained operatives and weapons is absolutely ridiculous! Most disappointing, however, is the character development of BD Wong’s Dr. Wu and the lack of screen time for Omar Sy, which is a squandered chance. Sy is a brilliant french actor and I would have wished to see him in this film longer. If you read my Jurassic World Trailer Talk, I did mention that I wasn't sure about this movie and the over-extensive use of computer generated imagery. Sadly, this blockbuster does exactly that! Quite a large percentage of the CGI used, does look good. There are a few scenes where it is blatantly obvious but for most of the time it looks brilliant. It is simply sad that the makers of this film did not find the right balance between animatronics and computer imagery. I did mention in my Jurassic Park review, that the animatronics in that flick still hold up today and gives the dinosaurs that realistic look. In Jurassic Park III they relied a little too much on CGI, which makes the movie look dated by today's standards and that is what I worry will happen with Jurassic World. The score is one of the best parts of this picture. I loved Michael Giacchino’s composition, and the inclusion of William’s original score. I got excited when it started of slow, building-up for the scene where Ty Simpkins opens the terrace doors and the audience gets to see a full functioning park as Hammond envisioned it long ago. Although it does not manage to revive the old nostalgic feelings, it still is a strong score!
Verdict: Jurassic World is a fun summer blockbuster and a good sequel to the dinosaur franchise. It has some character and story flaws, but manages to entertain at a high level. It doesn't manage to recreate that awe and wonder, which Spielberg achieved with his first Jurassic Park but it is beautiful to look at and contains strong performances by Chris Prat, Omar Sy and Bryce Dallas Howard. The extensive use of computer imagery might cause this flick to look dated in a couple of years, yet for now it contains good looking dinosaurs and fantastic lizard battles. Jurassic World is my third favourite JP picture, right after the first two, directed by Spielberg. I will give it a 7.5 out of 10.
If you are interested in my previous reviews, please scroll down to the links for my Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III reviews.