I can’t say I have much of a nostalgia bone for the Jurassic Park series of films. The only significant part they played in my childhood was the horrific T-Rex nightmares waiting for me in dreamland so I certainly do not look back on this series with fondness. The original Michael Crichton adaptation was undoubtedly a marvel of its time but its time was a lifetime ago form me and in the course of this film, it is noted that the world this film inhabits isn’t really awed by dinosaurs anymore. This is the meta-challenge shady corporate types and director Colin Trevorrow are presented with in Jurassic World.
The new Jurassic World is situated on the Costa Rican isle of Isla Nublar (the site of the first film’s chaos) where it has become the always sunny resort, with luxury hotels and a general Disney land type bundle of enjoyment and tourists journey over to have the time of their lives. There is this shot of a little boy riding an infant triceratops and there is literally heaven in his eyes. Apparently, this type of bliss isn’t really cutting it in the eyes of the corporation running things and they are looking for a bit of an x-factor to spice things up with money the obvious endgame. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is one of the corporate tentacles tasked with overseeing park operations for billionaire Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) who inherited Isla Nublar from the late visionary John Hammond and they, along with many others, were okay with the new breed of dinosaur spliced up by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu played by the ominously unctuous BD Wong, who reprises his role from Jurassic Park.
This new hybrid breed, the Indominus Rex, could be described as the love child of a Predator and a T-Rex with the combined lethalness and complement of a thirst for blood. Needless to say, things go horribly wrong and the vicious Indominus rex runs wild and embarks on a buoyant killing spree as we question whose sick mind deemed this killing machine the idea to take the Jurassic World resort to the next level – I guess its same reasons we paid to see this film screened. Jurassic World recycles a ton of things from the franchise and you can prep your checklist in your own time. But the more interesting riffs see Vincent D’Onofrio as the passive antagonistic military type who sees the use of dinosaurs as future of warfare – Imagine if we had them in Tora Bora he says with glee. We also get Chris Pratt as Owen Grady who trains and tries to tame velociraptors and I guess it’s fair to say he does make some headway although early on he seems more like raptors lunch and less like raptors master.
Pratt comes off as woefully unengaging here with little charm and zero character in a massive step down from Star Lord and the script does his fellow lead (Howard) no favours either. However to call them the leads of this film feels a tad disingenuous seeing as this film was never going to be judged by how rich it was in character although it’s no excuse and some of the dialogue is gut-wrenchingly horrid. This films main selling point was always going to be the world created and its ability to wow audiences on a detail and technical level. Advances in tech wizardry mean there is ample room to fully realise the wildest possible imaginations pertaining to a dinosaur themed resort as the experience is more enhanced with more intimate visuals and sequences with dinosaurs Spielberg could only dream of.
There is an odd authenticity to this CGI laden world which greatly elevates this film and Treverrow never shies away from keeping the film relatively bright and springy with snippets of welcome humour amidst rampaging prehistoric creatures – shout-outs to the man who grabs those two margaritas as a swarm of Pterodactyls beckons with Old Testament wrath. The film reaches a tantalizing peak in the final act when the hurdle of the Indominous rex presents itself and a ridiculously enjoyable Godzilla type romp ensues as unlikely tag teams grace audience.
This film is certainly not without its flaws from the cheap cynical anti-corporation shots to slews of two-dimensional characters to the non-existent storytelling amongst other numerous bewildering developments, however, Colin Treverrow does serve us a real thrill ride and an exhilarating dinosaur experience which you could argue is the whole point of the Jurassic World resort.