Jurassic World Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

Twenty three years, a film was released which would turn the world on end and set a new standard for what would be considered movie realism. The man behind the lens was Steven Spielberg and the film was Jurassic Park. Few movies are iconic as Jurassic Park. It was one of the first, and arguably the most realistic, portrayals of dinosaurs to ever be captured on film. What was once only imagined was now before the populace eyes – living, breathing dinosaurs walking and interacting. This ground-breaking film led to two sequels and finally, 23 years later, a fourth installment. Brought to us this time by Colin Trevorrow, the latest installment to the Jurassic series has finally arrived:  Jurassic World.

After the closing of Jurassic Park, the late John Hammond (Richard Attenborrough) sold the rights to one of the world’s richest men, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan). Simon then created, on Isla Nublar, a new dinosaur theme park: Jurassic World. With over 20000 guests a day, the attractions are a once in a lifetime spectacle. But, according to consumer polls, the populace wants to see more, which leads the biotech company, InGen, to create hybrid dinosaurs, with the most recent being Indominous Rex. The new breed resembles a T-Rex but has gene splicing from other dinosaurs and reptiles, which is classified information. The biggest problem is that it is smart, VERY smart. And once it finds out how to escape its enclosure, the park and all 20000 plus guests are at risk. It will be up to raptor whisperer Owen (Chris Pratt) and park operations manager, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), along with Owen’s raptors he’s developed a relationship with since birth, to hunt down the Indominous Rex and stop it before it destroys the park and everyone within it.

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From the moment Jurassic World begins, nostalgia kicks in and we feel we’re back in Jurassic Park. From the hatching of baby dinosaurs to being taken around on monorails or jeeps to experience the dinosaurs up close and personal, you know you’re in for something special. And, visually, the experience is very good. It isn’t quite at the level of the first, despite the CGI, but it is still very good. Where Jurassic World tends to suffer is in storytelling. If, during the course of the film, you allow yourself to come out of the experience and question what is actually happening or how certain things are the way they are, the experience can easily be ruined. This is one of those films where thinking about the science or focusing on plot holes will ruin the experience. Instead, you go into it, turning off your brain at the door, and just allow yourself to indulge in dinosaur goodness. Trevorrow absolutely loves his B-movie script with A movie magic, to the dismay of Spielberg. But what we get is the first, real, popcorn loving, summer blockbuster of the season.

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Comparing the characters in the original to the characters now, you definitely see a downgrade. Gone are the characters with different levels that we’re able to peel away, and what we have are some characters with a couple levels and others which are absolute cookie cutter stereotypes (some of which don’t work). Chris Pratt is his charming self as Owen. Hard to believe a human can tame and develop a relationship with a pack of raptors. But then we’ve never seen a person NOT become friends with a pack of raptors in present day, so who’s to judge? And while Pratt delivers the role up to par, it definitely doesn’t stand out as one of his more noteworthy. The same goes for Bryce Dallas Howard, although she does have a few more dramatic moments. Vincent D’Onofrio is more comical as the villain of the film, and by comical I mean unbelievable. And the two child leads (there are always children in peril at the heart of these movies), Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson, play their parts well enough, although a little too one note.

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Jurassic World is about as much fun as you will have at a movie, and comes in at a hair over two hours in length, making it just perfect for what it is. The action is ongoing and the threats are real enough for everyone involved. And, even though we all know nothing is going to happen to the main characters, there are times when we question if one or two of them may go the Game of Thrones route, and just be killed off to make us mad. Life is unfair like that sometimes. And, despite many plot holes and things that just do not make sense, if you stop and think, the film is still plenty of fun. Is it better than the film that started this series? Heavens no! Is it worth seeing? Absolutely!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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