Movie Review: Jurassic World

Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard

Warning: Spoilers!

You know the history. The first film was a breakthrough. The second was an okay but flawed sequel that didn’t live up to it’s predecessor. The third film was an unnecessary rehash of the first one that should never have been made – its not terrible, it’s not good, its just there.

But the fourth film? Jurassic World, with an entirely new cast (bar one minor returning character from the first film) recaptures the magic. It is definitely the best sequel. It might be my favourite of the lot. But i can assuredly say: it’s worth your money to go see it and decide for yourself. The plot isn’t original: humans create a dinosaur theme park, dinosaurs escape, all hell breaks lose. And there’s young kids in danger for the fourth damn time. But these kids are probably the least annoying of the ones included in the films. Where the movie surpasses the other sequels is how the plot is driven by two original ideas – the scientists engineering an entirely new dinosaur (the stupidly named but visually impressive Indominus Rex) and a trainer attempting to form a bond of trust with the Velociprators – who along with the T-rex have been these films go to monsters.

The trainer in question is Owen (Chris Pratt) a man who wisely respects the dinosaurs, especially the raptors, and acknowledges they are intelligent creatures. Pratt yet again proves his credentials as the leading man after his winning role in Guardians of the Galaxy, and is a very different kind of hero to the ones in previous films played by Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum – while he shares their understanding and fear of the dinos, he’s far more of an action hero than a scientist turned survivor. His opposite number is the park manager Claire, an all-business control freak who is more interested in the statistics of the theme park than its soul. Her nephews, Zach and Gray, predictably end up in danger and she ends up having to join forces with Owen to rescue them. Claire’s character arguably has the biggest journey in the film, and a scene when she and Owen mourn and comfort a dying Brontosaurus is one of the most touching moments, and one that opens her characters eyes. The kids act like cliches for the first hour or so, the younger, nerdy kid and his  laid back yet girl obsessed older brother – but once they get caught up in the dinosaur escape the two become far better characters, as a visible bond between them develops.

The supporting cast all serve their purpose and there’s no terrible performances, and there’s some great comedy moments in between the action sequences. The CGI is, predictably, a leap forward from the first three films, and both the island and the dinosaurs themselves look great. Michael Giacchino delivers a good soundtrack, which both adds something new and incorporates the original John Williams theme well. There’s several nods to the original film – John Hammond gets several mentions, InGen are back again, Dr. Wu (B.D. Wong) returns as the geneticist that appeared in the first film and in a sequence the fans will love, the two kids stumble across the original Jurassic Park centre in the middle of the forest while hiding from the Indominus Rex.

In a way, the film incorporates all the best parts of its three predecessors – the setting and plot of the first film, the military hunting dinosaurs (and getting totally out of their depth) from the second, and two dinosaurs having an extended fight from the third (in this case the Indominus facing off against a T-rex, which improves upon the Spinosauras/T-Rex fight from film three). Apart from the battle of the Rexes, two other sequences stand out – Owen on a motorcycle using the raptors to hunt the Indominus Rex, and when the flying pterosaurs attack the park.

Overall it might lack the originality of the first film, but it has the spectacle, the tension and the awesome moments you came to see. It isn’t perfect, but it was good enough that if there’s a fifth film, my expectations will be higher than they were before this one.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Next Movie Review will probably be Terminator: Genisys once it comes out in June. Before then, expect some more TV posts and some more Game Reviews – including the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight.

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