The park is now open, and director Colin Trevorrow would like to take you to the fourth installment in the Jurassic franchise. Is this this next film enough to breathe new life into the films, or should it have stayed buried?
The films is focuses primarily on two different plots. The first is around Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, and her nephews, Zack and Gray, played by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins, respectively. Zack and Gray are going on vacation to see their aunt Claire on the newest theme park to bear the Jurassic name. Like many previous would-be parental figures in previous installments, she is very career driven woman who is about the numbers and doesn’t have the time to pay attention to her nephews.
Meanwhile, Owen, played by Chris Pratt, is a dinosaur trainer working with four raptors, training them much like any other animal. His supervisor Hoskins, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, wants to implement them in a military setting. Both of the plots converge when the main conflict emerges: the newly genetically bred species of super-intelligent, apex predator dinosaur, dubbed Indominous Rex, breaks free and begins terrorizing the park.
The biggest gripe about the film comes from fans of the original film; citing that this was practically a remake of the original. While there are a lot of similarities, those were more in place as an homage to the Jurassic Park than ripping off the original. Some of those similarities include character types, chase scenes, reveals of the predator dinosaurs, and even the back stories of some of the minor characters. While these are all true, the plot does not suffer from their inclusion, they are not too distracting, and those are either homages to the original, or just franchise similarities.
The CGI was superb, and it is apparent a lot of work went in to make sure that the dinosaurs blended into the scenery, and that the characters worked well with the models. Even the actors and actresses subtle reactions to the littlest movements of the computer generated models. When the raptor changes its glance, the characters react to it in a very natural way. Whether this speaks to the excellent level of acting in the film or the CGI is hard to tell, but chances are it’s both.
To say that this is a film without flaws, however, is a gross understatement. In the book, and even in the first movie, there was a significant effort to go into the science of how they were able to do what they have done. Here, not only are any changes on the genetic levels of the would-be dinosaurs completely glossed over, but the technological advancements made to the park to keep it safe and even the behaviors of the dinosaurs themselves goes largely unexplained.
The film’s acting was downright superb, and the visuals were absolutely stunning. The semantics and details of it left something to be desired, so whether or not this film is truly “good” hinges upon the plot, which at times leaves something to be desired. There are rumors of multiple writers coming and going over the course of the film, and it really shows. There are some legitimately interesting sub-plots and side stories that would seem to make almost an entirely entertaining sequel all on their own, that are typically shoe-horned in and have a resolution that stretches the meaning of the word.
Without the charisma of the film’s stars, one would be hard pressed to outright call Jurassic World a “good” movie, but there is not enough evidence to even consider calling it a bad one. Even the secondary characters are a joy to watch and listen to, and the visuals are expertly done and create a fully immersive environment.
However, if one were to stop and think about the finer details of the film, there would be holes large enough to drive a Jimmy Fallon narrated gyro sphere through, and yes that’s a thing. At the end of the day, the decision to see Jurassic World should hinge on your desired cinematic experience. If you want to see a makeshift scientific expose about the potential for genetic engineering and a completely original take on the potential events of Jurassic Park, then you should probably wait for the home video release.
If you want to see clever dialogue exchanged by charismatic characters who know to never take themselves too seriously that will keep you entertained for two hours, then this is the movie for you.