Jurassic World – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Jurassic_World_Teaser_PosterJurassic World – 3.5/5 – Blockbusters; greatness that comes from the spectacle combined in the imagination.  The summer season is filled with many of these kinds of film.  With only a few originals, most are sequels to previous films; sometimes unnecessary ones.  There are times when a sequel comes along that bring a great combination of the imagination, nostalgia and blockbuster appeal.  Jurassic World (a sequel to the original Jurassic Park), is a film that has been 22 years in the making.  In short, Jurassic World is a monumental feat that overcomes the distain of the previous sequels and delivers the true sequel that all fans have been waiting for.

Premise:  The park is finally open.  After 10 years, corporate mandate for a new attraction.  What is suppose to spark new interest, becomes a dire situation for everyone.  With nowhere to run, will they be able to make it off the island alive.

There is a huge cast in this film.  You can reference the full cast at the IMDB page.  In the main roles, you have:

Chris Pratt as Owen

Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire

Vincent D’Onofrio as Hoskins

Ty Simpkins as Gray

Nick Robinson as Zach

Irrfan Khan as Simon Masrani

Overall, the full cast do an alright job in giving you serviceable characters for the ‘lack thereof’ of character development.  The strongest of this bunch are Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard).   The reason they are the strongest because they grasp the purpose of their roles instead of coming off too gimmicky.  The charm of their characters comes from their dynamic in the film.  You see the complexion of smarts, wit and charm from the Ex-Military/Dino Trainer Owen complimented by the analytical, suave but somewhat cartoonish Park Runner Claire.  With ‘most’ the human focus on these two, it helps add to the tension built from the unrelenting attack of the hybrid dinosaur.  You feel as if you are present in the danger that is happening, grasping the same feeling as if you’re one of them.  Pratt provides that witty dialogue, giving a great ‘leading’ commanding presence on screen with his character’s ‘common sense’ approach in what is going on; even when everyone ignores all the warnings.   Howard does a good job in providing some semblance of a human character, but (as mentioned) she doesn’t deliver completely.  Her character comes off cartoonish at times.  With the rest of the cast that have been mentioned above, they are your typical archetypes found in any general disaster/monster flick.  The oblivious aspect of them breaks the profound nature of what each try to act across on screen.  Even with the lacking coming off with that passé feeling, it doesn’t completely drown out the experience.  The rest of the cast play second nature to the main cast, as well as the dinosaurs.   The rest of the ‘human’ casts are basically the ‘bait’ for the dinosaurs to pick off.  Even when most of the human cast comes across mundane, the real character depth comes within the dinosaurs themselves.  Reliant on a mix of practical, CGI and motion capture, you are enraptured with the emotions of each scene that you get to have with the dinosaurs.  You see that depth in their actions as well as their eyes.  This captures that ‘essence’ that was lost in the previous sequels.

The direction is straight forward.  The obvious thing that you come to face is this is a film that takes place 22 years after the original.  With this new tale, we come into the frame of the ’22 years’ after the first park.  Now, the vision of John Hammond has been realized.  The film picks up following the two kids (Gray and Zach); as they go to the park to visit their Aunt (Claire).  The park is open, and has been operational for 10 years.  We come to see that the ‘aura’ of the spectacle of dinosaurs has wane on the public; coming across as being typical ‘zoo’ attractions.  Because of this, a corporate mandate is made to the park runners to create a new attraction.  They decide to develop a bigger, more dangerous dinosaur called the Indominous Rex.  After this introduction of the plot points and all the main players in the film, it isn’t long before we are let loose on ‘bleak scenario’; the attraction breaking loose and havoc coming across the park.  This is where the direction takes us into the spectacle of what ‘Jurassic Park’ was back in the early 90s.  The essence of what that first film was comes out when the new dinosaurs breaks containment.  That raw tension of ‘helplessness’ is brought upon in a visceral way; where every action taken is inevitability going to be a dire situation.  You will be stuck on the edge of your seat.  Everything is moved up another notch in this sequel, with either park security forces, guest or other people working for the park getting picked off one by one.  The nature of the helplessness found in each ‘human’ character comes from the consistent pace and strong ‘ominous’ tone.  The director never lets up the pedal, as you’re heart is pumping and adrenaline is riding high.  This is a good thing, because it helps drown out the ‘bloated’ nature of two other side stories.  Once we get into the second act, you are introduced to the two kids ‘supposed’ family drama along with the ‘arrogant’ military force angle.  You see a ‘forced’ connection of how they have a hand in what is causing havoc in the park.  It is all force fed to the audience, causing any real ‘human’ character dynamic to come across cheesy, mundane and otherwise irritating.  The innocence is left to the wayside, and should have been developed more since it was ‘forced’ into the film.  Even with the stagnant of storytelling of these side stories, the film does a great job in focusing on an important aspect of the film; the dinosaurs.  The flaws do not take away from the thrill from the havoc caused by this Indominous Rex.  After the first acts ‘introductory’ segments and the second acts ‘forced’ story elements, the film leads into the third act.  After a certain ‘accident’; the film shifts gears, and moves into the traditional monster/disaster genre territory.  That thought of this might come across as generalization, but this shift doesn’t take away from the obvious thrills.  The film actually gets more added entertainment, as irony of the situations comes into play.  The irony is the beauty of the terror caused by the dinosaurs.  As all hell breaks loose, danger is inevitable.  That danger adds a dynamic of riveted tension, which is welcome and amazing.  This film ‘knows’ what it is and adds more color to its palate.  We all comes to head, everything comes down to ‘outsmarting’ the smarts of this hybrid dinosaur.  With the final act and climax, the ‘common sense’ nature of Owen combined with the dynamic of the ‘park smarts’ of Claire, we come into a final confrontation that is homage to the first film, but also original to that homage.  The ultimate ‘fight’ that occurs will amuse, entertaining and provide an intensity that will break the imagination.  Once the epilogue comes, you’re both in awe how well the film captures the ‘essences’ of the first while also breathing new life in its revision tale.

The visuals of the film are mesmerizing.  From the initial ‘panorama’ capture of the park, to the overall landscapes, you are drawn into this world as if you’re a child at Disney World.  From the creation of the park to the mix of CGI, practical effects of dinosaurs, it all feels real.  The added element of ‘claustrophobia’ is also (ironically) brought upon well within the cinematography.  There lighting, quick angle looks and single shot lens focus paces the tension into a riveting sensation.  The camera traps you into the imaginative of being real; where you feel as if you’re running through the luscious landscapes or theme park.  The score is repurposed from the original, but that doesn’t hinder the enjoyment.  Hearing that soaring orchestra play when entering to the park returns you to something lost.  With that, combined with the ‘loudness’ when there is real terror to be had adds another great factor the experience.

Jurassic World, while not being a complete home run, does a great job in providing a worthy sequel while also putting forth a new spin on the tale of the original.  From the great lead in Chris Pratt, to the dinosaurs and ‘overall’ action pack sequences, you will not be disappointed.  If you’re a fan of the first film and have been looking for a return to form, this is a film for you.  This film is a great experience for anyone that wants a fun experience at the theater, so check it out.

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