Jurassic World Movie Review
Some films are such an event that the memory of seeing them embeds itself for a lifetime. In the summer of 1993, I hadn’t quite hit high school and thus was unable to drive. But the whole family made the trip to the theater and I even brought a date, possibly my first. But who remembers those details when JURASSIC PARK is on the big screen? The film was a sight to behold and for my younger self, reinvigorated the summer blockbuster. The two sequels that followed were poor at best but still a joy because it continued this wonderful world of dinosaurs. Now, more than twenty years since Steven Spielberg brought Michael Crichton’s novel to life, we are welcomed… to JURASSIC WORLD.
It took a while, but the amusement park is up and running and boy is it cool. The spectacle alone of people enjoying a day at this state of the art zoo is worth the admission. A small window to watch the T-Rex feed, a spherical glass vehicle to let you drive freely through the herds of herbivore brachiosaurus, and then the Shamu of dinosaurs – the massive aquatic mosasaur who devours great white sharks as it splashes the audience – what fun! But if that all sounds too scary, they even have a petting zoo area for the little ones, featuring a saddle back ride on a baby triceratops. Unfortunately, a mysterious new dinosaur escapes and begins to run amuck, killing both dinosaurs and people alike.
Aiding the visual portion of the film, JURASSIC WORLD is covered with talented actors who perfectly play up whatever cornball role that is required from them. In food chain order: Irrfan Khan (LIFE OF PI) is the go-getter owner and almost pilot, Masrani. Bryce Dallas Howard (THE HELP) is business oriented, high-heel wearing Aunt Claire who manages the park. Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil) is Hoskins, the ridiculously over-the-top head of security with ulterior motives. BD Wong (JURASSIC PARK) is returning his original character as the lead genetic engineering scientist, Dr. Wu. Jake Johnson (New Girl) provides some of the best comic relief as vintage Jurassic Park T-shirt wearing Lowery, a technician in the control room. Ty Simpkins (IRON MAN 3) and Nick Robinson (THE KINGS OF SUMMER) are dinosaur-crazy Gray and girl-crazy Zach, Claire’s nephews who are still in middle school and high school respectively, visiting as guests of the park. Finally, the man of the hour, Chris Pratt (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) is Owen, the resident rogue cool dude and ex military staff member who has trained the velociraptors. Everyone is superb, but it’s Pratt who commands the screen (and the dinosaurs) with oodles of charisma and a hero mentality.
Director Colin Trevorrow (SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED) turns out to be well-equipped for the high production action-adventure film. Building characters and tension alike, he also manages to create a real sense of space and time, which helps emerge the audience into JURASSIC WORLD as a real place to visit. Spielberg returns as executive producer and composer Michael Giacchino (UP) uses tones of John Williams familiar score to lift the emotional intensity throughout the film, sometimes falling into generic sounds during the quieter scenes. The production design and special effects teams have really gone out of their way making the colorful world come to life in a most desirable fashion. If you can’t tell, I really want to go to Jurassic World, despite the possibility of being eaten by the attractions.
I have to admit, I was quite excited for my screening of this dino-adventure, and surprisingly, it completely met my expectations as a fun summer popcorn movie. JURASSIC WORLD is wildly silly but it is also wildly entertaining. I can’t remember the last time where I felt so involved in the action and scares as a group effort. Yes, scares. Much like its predecessor JURASSIC PARK and JAWS before that, JURASSIC WORLD has the light elements of an effective horror thriller, by creating characters we genuinely care about, keeping the main villain hidden for a good portion of the film, using well crafted jump out moments, and adding plenty of humor to ease the tension. In all accounts JURASSIC WORLD is exactly what it wants to be, embracing some of the more theatrical goofy elements. Depending on your opinion of this style of movie, will probably be an accurate pre-curser of your experience with JURASSIC WORLD. I for one had a blast and highly recommend it as guiltless summer pleasure.
Rarely do I say this, as I think 3D is an overrated feature to hike up prices on movie tickets, but GO SEE JURASSIC WORLD IN 3D. It has one of the best scenes in 3D that I have ever seen. While I’m sure the film is still enjoyable without it, I recommend seeing the highly entertaining summer blockbuster in 3D with a large audience so you can all experience the fun of giant dinosaur teeth snapping at your faces together.