While Jurassic World can’t match the originals innovation, it still provides the audience with an entertaining and thrilling film that brings freshness back to the series after two subpar follow-ups.
By Michael Menendez
Welcome to Jurassic World, a fully functional dinosaur theme park that is running smoothly 22 years after the original parks plans were put on hold after a couple safety issues. In this park, we have rides for all ages, ranging from a Tyrannosaurus Rex Exhibit to a dinosaur petting zoo. But, as happens with all theme parks (especially in a world where dinosaurs are as common as dogs), the park needs something bold to reel in the new wave of people.
This leads to genetically modifying dinosaurs, something that the park, now run by InGen, will regret doing later on in the film. With the parks newly “designed” dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, trouble is just around the corner (not only in this film, but we’ll get to that later). The whole movie centers on two brothers whose aunt (Bryce Dallas Howard) runs the park, and how their visit to Isla Nubar (home to Jurassic World) goes horribly wrong.
Throughout the film, we are given a look at where this franchise would like to go next, seeing newly A-list star Chris Pratt train raptors to have respect for him (as he does them). Genetically designing a dinosaur- with genes that give the audience a number of good surprises- bad things are bound to happen when you “play god” – as perfectly exemplified by the original classic.
At its most questionable moments, Jurassic World is still a very entertaining movie that easily surpasses both the previous sequels in not only quality but level of fun to be had. Chris Pratt offers a (expectedly) likable lead, even though his chemistry with Bryce Dallas Howard is pretty one-sided. As for the rest of the cast, they’re mostly filler to bring the story arc from one point to the next. The real stars of the film, though, are of course the dinosaurs.
They, by no means, disappoint. Whereas the last two films in the series felt stale, Jurassic World breathes new life into a franchise that will provide thrills in the form of the prehistoric to a new generation (much as the plot of the film tried to do for its theme park).
With VFX looking more real every day, this film jumps on the opportunity to provide exhilarating set pieces that really do make it believable that a park of such magnitude could exist (along with all the marketing that comes with a theme park, tastefully joked about in the film). With that being said, this film does a great job of not forgetting its roots, with plenty of nods to the original that provide it with a great sense of nostalgia, something that seems lost in most of Hollywood’s big tent poles today.
The effects are great, the action is riveting, and the story does just enough justice to the original to recommend to people that aren’t accustomed to this franchise. With a new direction on the film from indie director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) in his first big-budget film, there is a sense of not knowing what to do with what he was given, given that his last film was made for around $750,000 and Jurassic World an estimated $150 million. Still, though, he implements his touch for human interaction- a driving force in his previous work- whereas directed by someone else may have not been able to elevate the relatively thin characters to at least somewhat substantial.
Early marketing left people curious about how the raptors would be brought into play in this film, and this writer can’t say that the final product can escape the shadow of silliness entirely. With the raptors, though, we do get one of the most entertaining scenes in the film, so it’s give and take. Which can be said for the film as a whole, really.
All in all, this film is an easy recommendation to anyone who is awed by the sight of dinosaurs and wants to have a good time at the movies, albeit a rather thin script that seems to serve as more of an opening to a new franchise rather than a standalone film about dinos. Oh, and, if you were disappointed by the appearance of the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the previous two films, this one leaves nothing wanted in that department.
More teeth, I believe they put it. More teeth.
Michael Menendez is a student at the University of Central Florida, where he majors in journalism.