By Adam Sturrock
Jurrasic World (2015)
Director: Collin Trevorrow
Writer: Rick Jaffa, Colin Trevorrow, Amanda Silver, Derek Conolly, Michael Crichton (original literature)
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, B.D Wong, Ty Simpkins, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan
Length: 124 mins
Hidden behind a sheath of vines, crumbled roads and trees, lies the weathered and dilapidated childhood of millions of children. The red banner that once spelled out John Hammond’s hopes for a park a million years in the making is largely torn and doomed to history, but the dream lives on; ressurrected.
Jurrasic World: both the park and the film, is like a modern Disneyland with teeth. Charming, wondrous but at times, frightening.
Visitors flock to the old setting of Isla Nublar via boat to go on the Gyrospheres (a hamster wheel-style park explorer), to visit the dinosaur petting zoos and the Mosasaurus aquarium (think Shamu). But with teens and adults wanting “bigger, scarier, more teeth” from the new dinosaurs, the geneticists on the island are forced to splice together a frankenstein’s monster of a creature to boost attendances, and if you are even slightly aware of the previous films in the saga, you know that bad stuff is going to happen.
The original film set the standard for realistic creatures at the time, blending both physical effects and CGI to great effect. And this time, the special effects have continued to wow audiences with its jaw dropping realism, but even in the days of advanced computer editing and CGI, probably one of the more touching moments of the film belonged to a hark back to the days of animatronics. I’ll touch on nostalgia later. While a lot of work has gone into making the monsters on film feel like living, breathing creatures, I can’t help but feel that the actors are talking to a green drumstick at times, with some blank staring at what they think is the dinos eyes breaking my suspension of disbelief.
Jurassic World is in many ways a complete reboot of the saga, with many of the messier moments from the previous films eradicated. The glaring problem with the film is that while it really tries to be a Spielberg film, it’s actually lacking a lot of what made his films great. It cheekily features a scene in which the newly added Mosasaurus gobbles up a shark, suggesting that JW will eat up the legacy of the jaws, but this film is absent of the characterization that made Steven’s films so loved. While you could say that Steven also made summer blockbusters that revolved around a central concept (an alien, a massive shark), he took the time to give us reasons to like the people in peril.
I really couldn’t care for the majority of the cast, with the exception of Chris Pratt and Dallas BH’s characters. While the film tries to direct some sympathy to the two young kids, Zach (Robinson) and Gray (Mitchell), I often felt that their moments detracted from the pacing of the film and they irritated me due to their shoddy and ill-thought out decisions. Even the motivation of the main antagonist wasn’t quite fully formed, it left me scratching my head why they would put out a half baked script, hoping that the action would hypnotise us so much, that we would forget that the plot has t-rex sized holes.
This film will take a massive chomp out of its competition this summer, with an exhilarating final act that really gets you on the edge of your seat but don’t expect an exception to the norm with regards to its plot.