Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Omar Sy, and B.D. Wong.
I frequently amaze myself at how much I love Jurassic Park. When it was released on Blu-Ray a few years ago, I was positively giddy when I re-watched it. It was a leap forward in visual effects, and Steven Spielberg was firing on all cylinders. But the sequels…meh. Feels like they couldn’t figure out anything more to do with the concepts but “dinosaurs on a rampage.” But those first trailers for Jurassic World had me hooked. We’ve reached an age where there’s a large degree of nostalgia for that first film, thus rekindling interest in a fourth film. Again, I was amazed at how excited I was getting for Jurassic World. Would they be able to recapture some of that ol’ Jurassic Park magic?
Learning from the mistakes of Jurassic Park, a fully functioning and incredibly profitable dinosaur zoo/theme park has risen from the ashes: Jurassic World. Jurassic World is getting ready to unveil their new attraction: the Indominous Rex, a Frankenstein-blend of the biggest, most fearsome predators, boasting more teeth and ferocity than the good ol’ T-Rex. Of course, this is a very bad idea as the Indominous Rex soon proves to be too smart and fearsome for captivity, and escapes. Leading the hunt is Owen Grady, a former Navy SEAL who now works with the velociraptors, and has actually been successful in training them. Helping him is Claire Dearing, the park’s manager, who is trying to keep things contained so as not to panic the 20,000 tourists on the island. Further complicating factors are Claire’s two nephews, who have wandered off into the park to explore on their own. Will Clair and Own find the boys in time? Can they stop in Indominous Rex? And what sinister plans does InGen have for genetically modified dinosaurs and trained velociraptors?
What I Liked
Finally! They take the concepts introduced in the first film and explore them a little more! The first and most obvious one, “What if the park actually opened?” The second one, since they filled in the gaps of the dinosaur DNA with frog DNA, how hard would it be to start mashing up all different kinds of DNA to create a Frankenstein-a-saurus? I love the line, “What we do here isn’t natural. If we had pure [dinosaur] DNA, they wouldn’t look anything like the things in the park!” A lovely acknowledgment to how, thanks to 20 more years of paleontological research, the dinosaurs in the franchise are now scientifically out-of-date. There’s some wonderful, nostalgic callbacks to the original film without the nostalgia overwhelming. The characters are pretty good. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard make a lovely couple in Owen and Claire. And we’ve got a guy on a motorcycle chasing down a pack of velociraptors…a scene I’ve been dying to see on the big screen since Michael Crichton first wrote it in The Lost World
What I Didn’t Like
Well…this is an old enough of a franchise that a formula is well-established, so it sticks to the Jurassic Park formula pretty closely.
This is the Jurassic Park sequel I’ve wanted since 1993. Loved it, loved it, loved it.