Jurassic World (2015)
Jurassic World (2015)

Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Running Time: 2 hrs. 4 min.

Release Date: June 12th, 2015 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Colin Trevorrow Actors: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, Judy Greer, Lauren Lapkus, Katie McGrath, Andy Buckley

 


 

“J

urassic World” is by no means devoid of thrills. In fact, several sequences of dinosaur carnage are expertly crafted and thoroughly entertaining, even if they’re repetitive of previous entries in the franchise. However, in its attempt to up the “wow” factor, “Jurassic World” removes several foundations upon which the terror inherent in wild animals resides. The more predictable, controllable, and relatable (or humanlike) a dinosaur becomes, the less it manages to scare; here, it’s as if they’re closer to domesticable dogs than instinctual, untamable beasts. And despite the film’s noble intentions of producing a new, reptilian juggernaut of unforeseen magnitude, the latest addition to the roster of monsters pales in comparison to the ferocious splendor of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Decades after the tragedy of Jurassic Park, the isolated island of Isla Nublar now hosts a fully functioning theme park entitled Jurassic World. But as the years pass and audiences clamor for ever more grandiose installments to the park’s already diverse assortment of prehistoric wildlife, CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) allows his scientists to concoct a genetic hybrid, dubbed “Indominus Rex,” that will tower over the previous king of the dinosaurs. When the hyper-intelligent beast inevitably escapes its confines, operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) must partner with Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to rescue her two nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) stranded in the reserve and find a way to stop the colossal creature’s disastrous rampage.

Big budget, blockbuster-styled dinosaur movies come along so infrequently that the novelty hasn’t quite worn off. Nevertheless, the lack of creativity in the new dinosaur designs themselves, along with a tired retread of previously examined themes, prevents “Jurassic World” from appearing as anything but a minor episode from a periodic series of prehistoric adventures – along the lines of a visually embellished, highly amplified Arthur Conan Doyle or Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. This fourth entry essentially rehashes the major components of the previous pictures – without changing any of them for the better (which would be a nearly impossible feat when compared to Spielberg’s 1993 masterpiece).

The original theme music by John Williams chimes in early on, threatening to be the grandest element of this new venture (Michael Giacchino composes the rest of the music). The motivation of declining park attendance, profits, and shareholder enthusiasm immediately crops up, goofily suggesting that either this slightly futuristic setting (the dinos are extreme science-fiction, but the park itself resembles Universal Studios, while the general technology is barely more advanced than current equipment) is inundated with dinosaur theme park competitors, or that people would ever tire of seeing such rare monsters (SeaWorld doesn’t have to invent new fish). Additionally, the recurring motif of control over Mother Nature is emphasized to the point of hilarity, especially as the berserk reptiles are destined to prisonbreak in the most formulaic of ways.

“These people – they never learn.” The characters are all equivalents of roles designed in prior “Jurassic Park” films, from the corporate suits to the alternatingly emotional and unbelievably brave children (taking a cue from Spielberg’s playbook that youthful viewpoints enhance the fear factor) to the game hunters to the control room technicians. An unexpectedly attractive personal assistant (Katie McGrath) is a slight deviation, along with far too many supporting players, each given lines and screentime that ultimately lead to dino snacking moments. This also lends to stagy family drama, mushy bonding, and loads of generic dialogue.

The additional concept of weaponizing dinosaurs – or training them for combat missions – just seems obnoxious, considering that the prime predicament always revolves around the critters slipping out of their pens. Strangely, dinos cooperating with humans (like King Kong or Godzilla) isn’t the most unbelievable part of the film – that belongs to a ride that puts the user in total control of the observation vehicle. No such idea exists in any non-dinosaur theme park, so having such freedoms in the most dangerous of all places is utterly ludicrous. It’s bad enough that characters regularly outrun charging behemoths or that phones and walkie-talkies never seem to connect, even when the cutting-edge scientific advancements behind-the-scenes of the park are so clearly progressive.

– The Massie Twins

  • 6/10