Can you really believe it has been 22 years since the original Jurassic Park film graced our screens? Well apart from making me feel REALLY old, it also made me realise how much I have missed this universe. Adding Chris Pratt and bringing Steven Spielberg back into the mix made me feel like this could be the right mix to bring the franchise back. After months of teasers of teasers, trailers and clips, the movie is FINALLY here and Joss Wheedon’s fears about the movie being 70’s sexist are laid to rest with a truly kick ass feminist hero who saves the day.
Jurassic World is intended as a direct sequel from the first film, thankfully ignoring the first two! Jurassic World is now a fully functional theme park on Isla Nublar, and are gearing up to introduce their first dinosaur hybrid the Indominous Rex. When the dinosaur escapes from its isolated enclosure, the park must be evacuated with the help of park director Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and dino expert Owen (Chris Pratt) while also finding her two nephews Gray and Zach (Ty Sympkins & Nick Robinson), who are trapped inside the park.
It was difficult to assess this movie from an unbiased point of view, I have been a constant lover and ambassador of this franchise from the start and even forgave the horror of Jurassic Park 3, in hopes the franchise would flourish into something new and reminiscent of the first film, and director Colin Trevorrow delivers exactly that in this direct sequel to the first film (his words!)
The real issue is with the large amount of footage that has been shown before the film, they tend to show most of the action parts of the film, giving the impression that this is non stop from the start of the film, so if you are heading into this with that expectation, you may leave disappointed. As in the first film, the film actually holds its main two lead actors through Gray and Zach, and we get to see the park and all its attractions through their eyes. This technique reeks of Spielberg and the score soaring over the top of this over-blown and absolutely gorgeous cinematography is a visual feast that deserves to be seen on the big screen.
Being introduced to the Indominous Rex so early in the movie, I was concerned that we wouldn’t get to see the “good dinosaurs” and how they would operate in a theme park environment. The petting zoo is one of my favourite scenes of this movie and is handled so beautifully both pre and post catastrophe, it is one of the many highlights of the film. Fans of the original film will swoon with the many references, set pieces, objects and verbal nods that are splashed unapologetically throughout Jurassic World. It is given the respect and adoration that it deserves and uses this a piece to fuel the story forward and try and show the past from the present and how much things haven’t really changed.
Secretly I was hoping for a sneaky Sam Neil or Jeff Goldblum surprise cameo, but alas none were found, fortunately the new characters bring a sense of new world to the film and with Zach & Gray standing out as the two male leads, it really is all about Claire and her attempt to control the uncontrollable and the lengths she will go to, to save lives once all hell breaks loose. There is a fantastic scene with Claire running in heels to save the day and kicking girl power butt in a feminine and strong way that is so refreshing from the masculine women heroes that litter blockbusters lately. While Owen, everyone assumes is the hero of the piece, is kind of the back character here, he serves as an information point for the dinos. and basically looks after the kids while Claire kicks ass, the complete opposite of what the trailer would have you believe.
Visually nothing has changed, this film is as stunning and detailed as the first, the environments are lush and inviting and the cinematography makes you feel like you are inside the park experiencing the events. One thing they managed to get right was the balance between humour and absolute terror, I found myself clinging to the bottom of my chair in a few spots and the feeling of suspense and tension that the first film prides itself on is also used effectively here.
Overall Jurassic World is the hyped up monster that it advertises, it uses a fairly typical plot combined with outstanding visuals, spellbinding cinematography and actors who know the genre and bring their A-game to deliver this summer’s hottest blockbuster. Fortunately there is a lot of substance here and if anything can bring the Jurassic franchise back from extinction, this film is the perfect trigger to bring a new generation into the world of dinosaurs.
**If you are planning on taking little children/kids to see this film, I would advise to maybe do a screening first or talk to some other parents who have seen it, the action scenes are quite intense and could be disturbing as there is a lot of graphic blood splatters and the scenes can be quite intense.
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