he first Jurassic Park movie is nothing short of a landfall film. Not only did it show audiences the most scientifically accurate portrayal of dinosaurs ever on the big screen, it also showcased the potential that computer generated images (CGI) had within the movie industry. Not surprisingly, with a movie that set the bar this high, its sequels were never truly able to live up to Jurassic Park’s legacy, at least until now, with the advent of Jurassic World.


Jurassic World takes place twenty years after the end of the first movie, where the InGen Company has finally managed to create a viable, working, dinosaur theme park (named Jurassic World) on the same Island as the original movie. The film follows the adventure of Zach, and Grey Mitchell (played by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins respectfully). Their parents send them to Jurassic World on a vacation so that they can spend time with their aunt, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is Jurassic World’s operations manager. In order to boost attendance rates at the park, InGen decides to create a whole new dinosaur called the Indominus Rex, a vicious carnivore that manages to outclass even the Tyrannosaurus Rex in size, speed, intelligence, and power. When the Indominus manages to escape its enclosure and begin a rampage through the park, Clare must team up with Jurassic World’s Velociraptor trainer, Owen Grady (played by Chris Pratt), in order to rescue her nephews who are lost in the park.


One of the major strengths of this movie is its protagonists. Clare is presented as a work-a-holic, no nonsense businesses women; someone who is able to keep Jurassic World running at peak efficiency, but, who seems more concerned with taking care of the needs of the park’s investors, than those of her nephews or the animals. Her character arc is handled with a surprising amount of subtly, thanks to both the well written scenes, and the great acting of Howard. Owen on the other hand is very much the opposite of Clare, he’s ex-navy, an animal lover, and a survivalist. His quick thinking, survival skills, and funny attitude (not to mention his ability to control a pack of raptors) makes him an extremely likable character who fits perfectly into the role of an action hero, and foil/love interest to Clare, with Pratt’s great acting allowing these traits to shine through. The brothers aren’t bad either; while Grey, the youngest brother, is given the complex character of a child who is trying to enjoy himself despite family issues that worry him, his elder brother Zach first appears to be the typical girl crazy teenage character bore that we’ve seen too many time before, and who only comes into his own much later in the movie. However both Robinson, and especially Simpkins, play their parts well and showcase impressive acting skills.








 The movie’s other characters are more of a mixed bag in terms of quality. Those, like the park’s owner Simon Masrani (Iffan Khan) and two of the park’s technical operators, Vivian (Laura Lapkus) and Cruthers (Jake Johnson), are likeable characters who bring enough laughs or drama to satisfy. Others like chief geneticist Henry Wu (B.D. Wong), and head of InGen security Vic Hawkins (Vincent D’Onofrio) fall into tired, worn out rolls (the amoral scientist who pushes science too far, and the man who wants to weaponize that which he can’t control, respectively), that only serve to drag the movie down. Despite this, however, none of these characters are portrayed badly, as all actors turn in satisfactory performances, it’s just that some of them had very little to work with.


 Whereas the first Jurassic Park movie had a wonderful sense of discovery and adventure, Jurassic World feels more like an action movie. This, however, isn’t a bad thing at all, as elements like genetic cloning and hybridization, attempts to use the dinosaurs as weapons, private military contractors, and huge action scenes, allows Jurassic World to survive in a movie industry dominated by other films that use those same tropes. That’s not to say that this movie has lost what made the first one great, far from it, as it still showcases the same sense of wonder and majesty that made Jurassic Park so memorable, it simply does so while also being a top notch, modern, summer action move. It is also a more intelligent film than the trailers made it seem, as it was able to effectively explain away most (but not all) of the problems I had with the film, like why the Indominus seemed to be killing for sport and not food.  However, that is not to say that the plot is not without its flaws; as the movie’s few plot holes and clichés, like the aforementioned characters, only hurt the movies seriousness and intelligence. Not to mention that some might see the higher focus on action, and loss of scientific accuracy, as forgetting what was great about the first film, or make Jurassic World seem too derivative of other summer blockbusters. Additionally, it must be pointed out, that while this movie shares many plot elements with the first film (failed dinosaur theme park, dinosaurs on the loose, kids trapped in the park, etc) these elements are presented in such a way that makes them seem fresh, and not at all derivative of the original.


 However, one element that audiences would be glad to see taken from the first film is Jurassic Park’s bar setting cinematography and CGI. The battles that the characters have with the various dinosaurs in the movie (especially the Indominus) are extremely well shot and choreographed, allowing for crisp and clear visuals that are able to effectively portray the size, power, and terror of the animals, while using cleaver camera angles and shots to keep the film from being too gory. The CGI is top notch as well, as each dinosaur is beautifully brought to life with stunning attention to detail, and easily lives up to the legacy set by the first film. Special mention has to go to the Indominus Rex; her design, movement, actions, and abilities are all combined into an honestly terrifying animal who steals the show as the main ‘antagonist’, much like the original T-Rex did back in 1993.


 This is a film with its own fair share of problems. Superficially, it is similar in many aspects to the original Jurassic Park, and some may argue that it’s lack of focus on scientific accuracy, or its action movie trappings, are entirely missing the point on what a Jurassic Park movie should be. Beyond this, many of the characters of the movie felt much too clichéd to be taken seriously, and some of the plot elements presented felt a little too far-fetched to be believed, even for movie logic. And yet, Jurassic World’s well presented action scenes, its likable characters, and its breathtaking special effects, outweigh these problems, and make it more than deserving of my ‘must see’ recommendation.


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JUNE 12, 2015



By Adam Facey on June 23, 2015

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