Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, B.D. Wong
Welcome back to Isla Nublar, where things always go right and you never have to worry about outrunning a bunch of wiley dinosaurs. Jurassic World is set 22 years after the events of the first movie, and InGen seems to have finally achieved the impossible, opening a fully functioning dinosaur theme park to the general public. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the park’s operations manager and has everything running as smoothly as one can with this kind of unpredictable venture, and looks sleek as hell while doing it.
Apparently regular dinosaurs have lost their flare, as the genetic scientists have been busy splicing together a big, bad new dinosaur called Indominus Rex, which is designed to be bigger than a T-Rex. What could go wrong? Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) the park CEO and owner wants to have Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) inspect the Indominus Rex’s enclosure before this section of the park is open to the public. Owen has a lot of experience with dangerous predators as he trains the park’s Velociraptors, and has over time gotten them to accept him as their alpha. He warns Claire that their new attraction could potentially be very aggressive and lethal as she hasn’t been socialized, and hasn’t been allowed to hunt for her food. Now add into the mix Claire’s two nephews that have come to visit, plus thousands of other excited tourists and you’ve got trouble. Jeff Goldblum had it right way back in 1993 when he said ‘Life, uh, finds a way’. That it does Jeff, and things inevitably get out of control fast.
This made me feel very nostalgic as there were so many little callbacks to the first movie, but I won’t go into detail with that because it’s so fun to pick them out for yourself. There are a lot of interesting ideas raised, one being that nature is an impressive force that really doesn’t take well to being tampered with or controlled. The park’s owners and management refer to the dinosaurs as ‘assets’ which is a way to distance themselves from the very present danger I suppose, but it also shows the lack of understanding and respect that they have for these creatures. It’s not until Claire comes face to face with a dying Apatosaurus that she really understands what they have unleashed here.
I often find in movies that I become detached and uninterested when there is a lot of CGI, so I was a little worried that the dinosaurs were going to look fake and silly, but the effects were excellent. The sound design was also really awesome because the other thing you need to make the dinosaurs really terrifying is the sounds they make, and that new dinosaur has one mean roar. The park itself still had elements of the original Jurassic Park, but it’s taken to the next level. It was really cool to see the different exhibits and displays they had come up with for each dinosaur.
There were also some really great action sequences that kept you on the edge of your seat, and half hiding your face behind the popcorn. But don’t worry, in amongst all the action and adventure there was also the cheeky sense of fun that you need with a movie like this. When chaos first breaks there is a man that before running for his life, picks up his two margaritas and hobbles away with his loot. I would probably be doing the same thing, theme park beverages are crazy expensive.
Chris Pratt was a charming and lets be honest, damn fine, leading man. There’s just something so appealing about a guy who’s the leader of a raptor gang, you know? Owen Grady was a slightly cocky character, but he cared about the animals and was fiercely against the idea of exploiting them to be used as weapons, which is an idea another InGen employee is really pushing for.
Nick Robinson and Ty Mitchell were also great in their part as Claire’s nephews, their relationship was rocky to begin with but they quickly forgot all past grievances when they were working together to stay alive. Also just a quick round of applause for Bryce Dallas Howard; she managed to run around the park and through the jungle without breaking an ankle in those dang heels, pretty impressive.
You get what you paid for with this one – a big budget dino movie with just the right mixture of scares and fun.