By Zach Nichols
It’s been more than 20 years since Jurassic Park exploded on scene and Steven Spielberg captivated our hearts and minds with his original tale that dominated the box office. In a manner that is very fitting, what’s old is new again. Jurassic Park is back with its fourth outing and it has dominated the box office in a way that hasn’t been seen since the dinosaurs dominated the Earth itself.
(SPOILERS TO FOLLOW)
Jurassic World picks up 20-some odd years since the original and never makes any mention of the other two films. The park is up and running and has been for some time. Hammond’s dream has come true and it doesn’t take long for everything to go wrong, just like how he would have done it.
The film does a fantastic job of immediately immersing you into the world of the Park and the characters but spares no expense of delving deeper to make you care about either. The park’s employees begin as stereotypes as plain as day. You can define any of them by appearance alone. However over time, especially Bryce Dallas Howard’s character is given room to grow and change and become more than she was once. Beginning as an office-addicted suit with no time for family, she grows to become a heroine in her own right, and one very well worth rooting for in the final moments of the film. The park’s obvious heroic outdoors man, Chris Pratt, consistently wins the audience over with his uncanny sense of humor and consistent classic good guy mentality, while all the time retaining a bit of an everyman who is just one step ahead of us.
The action starts early and never lets up. This is by far and above the most action heavy of all the franchise. The animals are bigger and badder and far more humans are sacrificed to the dinner plates of the island’s beasts than in previous films, but never does it seem gratuitous. The film finds a way to take the time before the death and carnage long enough for you to invest in the person. The greatest compliment I can say for this film, is that I genuinely didn’t want many of the victims to be sacrificed the way they were. I had wish they had lived. Without spoiling the ending too much, there was no bigger way I could see the film ending than with the handicap match of an Indominus Rex vs a T-Rex and a Velociraptor.
The cinematography is beautiful. The island feels alive and the chaos feels more engaging in 3d viewing where the rampage feels more apparent with the beasts coming closer to you.
The only complaint I make is similar to that of the theme that inspired the film. The director has stated that he was inspired by a visual he had of a child, in front of a T-Rex, far too distracted by his phone in his hand to being in captured in the wonder and awe of what stood before him. Sadly this film too has lost its sense of childlike wonderment that makes the original feel so special. There is no mystery or awe to be had. The film begins, engages, entertains then ends, but it lacks that one quality that made the first film feel so special.
Jurassic World: 8 out of 10