Let’s make one thing clear: I’m a big fan of Jurassic Park, or JPark as I like to call it. And not just the movie, I love both the book and soundtrack. So when I first heard Jurassic World (aka JWorld) was coming out, I couldn’t wait. And after watching it…how do I put it into words? It is, more or less, the sequel to JPark fans have been waiting for.
First, as many people have pointed out, the star of the film (besides its bipedal, bone-crushing leader) is really the park itself. JWorld’s amazing advertising campaign made us believe, via an extremely detailed park website, that this was a place that could exist in our world. And it looks like it could. Everything is situated similar to John Hammond’s original ideas and everything, from the dinosaur pens to the main building, looks terrific. However, ILM’s mostly excellent visual effects do show their…computer origins, you could say, on the dinos themselves every so often. While animatronics are utilized and look wonderful, they’re not in the movie enough. However, that’s not to say all the CG dinosaurs look terrible, the Mosasaur and Indominus Rex, for example, look fantastic as do most of the others.
Our story is decent enough, but at times falters short of its potential throughout most of the film’s runtime. It centers around two brothers, whose aunt, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), happens to be the park manager (lucky). She is overseeing the opening of their “newest attraction”, aka Indominus I’m-going-to-eat-everyone Rex (good performance). Oh, and her boss, Simon Masarani (Ifrahnn Kahn), happens to be visiting the park on this same day. Helping her (albeit grudgingly) is Owen (Chris Pratt), a Velociraptor trainer who’s managed to train a foursome of Raptors to take commands from him. Of course, we all know what happens next. Indominus escapes and starts killing humans and dinos alike, cue instant chaos.
What follows is a movie that provides plenty of jump scares (even more than the first film) and a lot of callbacks to its predecessor, some obvious and others not as much. Director Colin Trevorrow has both good and poor moments behind the camera, while the acting is up to snuff (particularly Dallas Howard as Claire). However, franchise fans, do not worry. Why? The ending. And that’s all I’m going to say.
Sound-wise, the dinos all have distinct roars and growls, and each sounds authentic. Michael Gichannio comes on to score in John Williams’ and Don Davis’ shadows, and does an outstanding job, creating his own unique themes while using Williams’ classics at all the right times. So far, he is having a wonderful year as composer.
Overall, if you liked the first film, there should be enough here to keep you interested. If you’re just looking for an action movie to fill up two hours, then you may want to reconsider. Dinosaur fans should enjoy it as well as fans of the Michael Chriton books. The franchise is back- with a roar.
DIRECTOR: Colin Trevorrow
STARS: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, and Iffrahn Kahn
STUDIO: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Pictures