14 years since Jurassic Park III and, this year, we return to Steven Spielberg's world, or his park... which in a sense is his world because it's now Jurassic World? But it's not his, it's Colin Trevorrow's? But he started it? But that was the park? But this is the park? Ah, who cares. It's dinosaurs going beserk, that's all that matters.
Set 22 years after the events of 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World picks up with John Hammond's dream dinosaur themed park fully realised and functioning on the original island of Isla Nublar, this time named 'Jurassic World'. With Hammomd having entrusted his dream in Irfan Khan's Simon Masrani, he selects out the finest to run the park and appoints Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire as the operations manager.
After having successfully been opened for 10 years, attendance starts to slowly slip so geneticist Dr. Wu (a returning B.D Wong), in an attempt to garner more visitors than ever, has been genetically engineering a new dinosaur - known as the Indominus Rex; bigger and more fearsome than even the T-Rex. However, things go awry when the hybrid goes missing and begins wreaking havoc upon the park. To make things worst, 'Jurassic World' is packed with visitors - 2 of which are Claire's nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zack (Nick Robinson).
Elsewhere on the island, Chris Pratt's ex-military Owen Grady is busy training the deadly, carnivorous Velociraptors the park houses. Trying to keep only to himself, away from society and aside from all the commotion of 'Jurassic World', he is called upon by Claire to help tack down the hybrid, as well as her nephews who have suddenly become unreachable too. Misrani, however, is content on keeping the park running and, all the whilst, head of security Vic (Vincent D'Onofrio) wants to use more muscle power and brute force to capture the Indominus.
When Spielberg released Jurassic Park, back in 1993, it was a game-changer for cinema. Seeing such real CG dinosaurs on the big screen was groundbreaking. The actual film itself was just as much so; thrilling, fun and magical. It was clear that no film in this franchise could ever match it. Of course, Jurassic World isn't breaking that trend and isn't as good as the original but it's still a big, ball-busting blockbuster nonetheless and, more so, is on a par with The Lost World. Really, it's about as close as we're going to get to the first film.
As soon as we open, there's a nostalgic feel to the first two films as we hear a voiceover from Richard Attenborogh, introducing the park. John Williams' score throws us back into Spielberg's world and just under a decade and a half of Jurassic Park-drought and anticipation explodes onto the screen, making us feel like excited little children again.
However, this time around, it's not Spielberg at the helm. It's Colin Trevorrow. But the last time we saw a Jurassic Park film, without the acclaimed director director, we got Jurassic Park 3 and that was... well... Jurassic Park 3; a mess. So, the pressure is on Trevorrow to not screw this one up - especially since it's only his second directorial feature, following on from his good but much smaller, in contrast, debut Safety Not Guranteed. Cherry picked by Spielberg himself though, the way Misrani's personally selected by Hammond in the film, he does not disappoint and takes over very well.
Trevorrow does a splendid job with the direction of Jurassic World. He really manages to create a nice, tense and suspenseful atmosphere. The scares and thrills aren't as high flying as Jurassic Park but they're certainly present. The film also takes on a much darker tone than any of the previous instalments, feeling more so like a monster movie than a Jurassic Park film at times. The action is high-flying too; less bloody but just as brutal.
One problem with the project though is that the plot is too clichéd and predictable. There's a line, towards the start of the film, delivered by Bryce Dallas Howard in which she mentions how dinosaurs are just no longer impressive. It's unfortunately true. The way the resort's visitors are getting bored of the once spectacular dinosaurs, we're in agreement. We've seen it all before - in prior franchise instalments but other similar films too, like Godzilla or Pacific Rim. Sure, it's entertaining to watch but it takes away a certain sense of credibility and energy. There's a lot of useless, underdeveloped subplots too which make things a little more convoluted than necessary - especially one involving Vincent D'Onofrio wanting to use Raptors as military weapons.
As far as the characters go, the dialogue can get a little cheesy. There's a lot of different people with many different roles to play and this means that, aside from our main protagonists, the development and depth of some of these characters is very poor. The acting is all fine though. Chris Pratt knocks it out of the park as our ass-kicking, raptor training hero. Full of charisma and quirky wit, he really brings a nice amount of comic relief to the role. Since everyone's comparing the two, yes those rumours of Pratt as Indiana Jones would be superb - his role as Owen carries a lot of similarities and he's great. Rest assured, the whole raptor training sequence is executed nicely too.
There's some seriously dazzling, veritable chemistry between him and Bryce Dallas Howard too, who's also on great form. She really takes charge as a prominent female lead and has a hugely important role in setting up the film's premise. She plays the organised, always professional, workaholic Claire who, of course, will learn to empathise more as the film proceeds with the whole arc involving her nephews Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson. Whilst a predictable storyline, it's really the emotional core of the film and makes for some heartfelt, touching moments.
The rest of the acting is pretty dull. D'Onofrio and Khan are talented actors but play such generic, stock characters that they don't really get the opportunity to show off their skills. As far as the two kids go, they represent the viewers - upon touring the park: soaked up by all the jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring attractions. The CG and visuals are stunning and breathtaking and so create a believable, wondrous, awe-inspiring feel (that the kids then go on to sell further), with Trevorrow using a good balance between some sleek use of animatronics - keeping the tradition of these films - and some seamless, gorgeous CGI effects.
Sure, Jurassic World has its fair share of problems. But, these are only minor tropes in a film so enthralling and glossy through its chaos. It's a long-awaiting breath of fresh, exuberant life into an astounding franchise that really collapsed after the mawkish, lacklustre Jurassic Park 3. This is a blockbuster and it's fun and, in IMAX, it's one of the most entertaining, fun cinematic experiences of the year - aside from Mad Max: Fury Road. The initial fears for the film are quickly put to rest as you strap in for the thrill ride of the Summer. It may even be the best entry in the series, since the iconic classic that started it all... just maybe.
Breathtakingly fun, massively entertaining and Pratt-esque stylish, Jurassic World is the Summer's thrill ride and the best Jurassic Park since Spielberg's original.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.