TL;DR – Not as good as the original, but unlike the other squeals, it nails what a Jurassic Park squeal should be like, in tone, if not always in execution.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Wow, it’s been a long time coming but we actually have a good sequel to the original Jurassic Park. The original Jurassic Park was a masterpiece and some of Spielberg’s best work, The Lost World was a movie with some really good parts (Raptors coming in the tall grass) but between these good parts was some real rubbish, and the less said about the plot hole inducing stupidity that is the tacked on final act the better, Jurassic Park III was a much better film than The Lost World but it rehashed a lot of the same ground. So given its rocky track record, I was wondering if this film would be any good, and while it is not as good as the first film (that could just be my rose-tinted glasses talking but probably not) it is a good film in its own right.
While it does not explicitly say, you get the feeling that this is more of a reboot (the last 2 films have been swept away with only the 1st counting) and this is probably for the best as it gives the film a strong link to the best of the franchise. The basic premise of the film is they finally got the park working and it is a big hit, but as it is hella expensive to feed, contain etc all these dinosaurs they need something fresh to bring the people into the Park and of course it takes about 20 minutes of walking the plot around till it shows us how monumentally stupid that idea was.
When it comes to the casting it is a bit of mixed bag, we have Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson as brothers Gary and Zach, and while I don’t want to look old, but they are so, so annoying until it is you realise why they are that way and then they become much more bearable as the film goes on. Bryce Dallas Howard who plays there Aunty Claire the Manager of the park, there is a lot of talk as to whether her character is sexist or not, overall I would say it’s not sexist, it’s just lazy. The whole work focused alpha personality that mellows when children are thrust under their care is a very old trope you see it everything from Despicable Me to Mary Poppins to the Original Jurassic Park, where Dr Grant goes from openly hostile to making dad jokes in ½ an hour and frankly Howard hands down gets the best/ most kick ass scene in the whole film. Chris ‘He’s so hot right now’ Pratt as a renegade Raptor wrangler and resident bad ass, and resident love interest, resident moral compass and resident I can train Raptors I have the coolest job in Film guy. As well as the leads, it’s nice to see B.D. Wong pop up again, Irrfan Khan was frankly a really likeable head of the organisation, and well Vincent D’Onofrio after this and the recent Daredevil (see review) you can play complex bad guys very well.
When it comes to the overall movie, it works, the action is really good, but this is not one of those movies where the animals eat people off screen, in fact, there is one death which was truly terrifying for me, like overly horrific, and that might just be that it hits every one of my fears in one horrifying moment, but I have talked to others and they also agree with me here. The dinosaurs are the stars of the show and there is a good blend of CGI and Models depending on which is needed at the time. There is a lot of controversy as to the depiction of the dinosaurs, firstly they actually deal with this in the film also, it was kind of stuck in the memory of the first Jurassic Park (the T-Rex in this film is literally the same one from the first film). Though I don’t know if the genetically enhanced dino the Indominus rex works as well as they had hoped. In the end, I am a dinosaur man and I love all of them. Also while most of the ‘humorous’ moments worked, there was a couple that fell painfully flat. Though the climax of the film is worth any of the small problems with the film.
So, in the end, Jurassic World is a good film, it is not as good as the first and does take some lazy ways out with the writing but it is well worth the price of admission and the moment you hear that familiar theme you’ll be hooked.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed By – Colin Trevorrow
Screenplay by – Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow
Story By – Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Starring – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B.D. Wong & Irrfan Khan
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Ireland: 12A; UK: 12A; USA: PG-13