June 11, 2015

Jurassic World Review


            If you were a child during the 1990s than Jurassic Park and its admittedly inferior sequels were a major part of your childhood.  Everyone loves dinosaurs, and these films have been the best depictions of dinosaurs we have ever seen on film.  After years of being stuck in development hell, we have finally gotten a third sequel to the 1993 classic in the form of Jurassic World.  Jurassic World is rough around the edges.  The visual effects, which were the main highlight when the series began, are not particularly well used, and some of the characters are paper thin in terms of characterization.  However, director Colin Trevorrow and company have found a way to deliver fan service in a way that not only services the plot but also makes the film memorable on its own right.

            Jurassic World picks up 22 years after the original film as a new park called Jurassic World has been built on the foundations of the old Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar.  The driven manager of the park, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard bringing a lot more charm than this role deserved), decides to create a genetically modified dinosaur known as the Indominus Rex with input from the park’s geneticist unit.  Unfortunately, the much smarter than anticipated I-Rex tricks the park staff and escapes to cause mass havoc on the park.

            Considering this is an effects heavy film it was an odd choice to have Colin Trevorrow direct the film.  Trevorrow had no experience directing blockbusters and the credits of the film make it clear that it was Brad Bird who helped get Trevorrow this job.  Bird is a great director, but he has always had trouble integrating CGI into his films.  Trevorrow struggles just as much on this film in that department.  Fortunately, the CGI is not bad enough to truly take away from the film, and Trevorrow makes up for it by being just as good as Bird in delivering awe-inspiring set pieces.  Credit also has to be given to Trevorrow and his crafts artists for the incredible world building that is put on display in this film.  This is the dinosaur theme park you have been waiting forever for since you first heard the words Jurassic Park.

            While the film does take a bit to set itself up, the action just never stops when it gets going so you never really have time to think about the plot consistencies or the cast of characters that features very few standouts (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard at least have enough charisma to make their characters tolerable).  Trevorrow also clearly knows exactly what the audience wants and makes sure to include an homage or two to the original film in practically every other scene.  The doses of nostalgia only get heavier as we get to the final scenes as the film delivers a sequence that is fan service to such an over the top degree that you can’t help but admire the audacity of it.


            Jurassic World will have you feeling like a kid again in a very good way.

8.5/10

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