by Sandra Kraisirideja
Jurassic World, starring fan favorite Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, is so highly anticipated that it will not matter what critics say about the movie. Audiences are going to see it and they will love it.
What it lacks in story and character development is more than made up for with spectacular visual effects and amazing action sequences. The dinosaurs are the real stars of this movie and it’s pretty incredible to see them on the big screen.
Directed by Colin Trevorrow, who also co-wrote the script with Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly, Jurassic World takes place 22 years after the events in Jurassic Park.
The park has re-opened and is thriving—with 20,000-plus visitors on any given day—but shareholder demands and the struggle to keep audiences engaged means ordinary dinosaurs aren’t enough. Bigger, scarier creatures are needed to keep attendance numbers up.
In Jurassic Park, Dr. John Hammond dreamed of creating a place where people could experience the thrill of walking among dinosaurs, but the reality of Jurassic World shows how a noble pursuit can be twisted into a crass, money-making enterprise where living creatures are turned into objects of entertainment.
The wonder and amazement that was apparent in Jurassic Park is absent in the new movie. In its place is a cynical view of the world, where profit and shareholder satisfaction is a top priority and where a private military contractor seeks to weaponize Velociraptors once it’s learned the creatures can take orders.
That’s right, the Velociraptors are the good guys in Jurassic World.
The new threat is a genetically engineered dinosaur called Indominus rex, who was manufactured to boost attendance numbers and soon threatens everyone on the island when she escapes her paddock.
Things go south quickly and parents should know Jurassic World is violent, bloodier and more explicit than the first. A lot of people get eaten, and this time the kills aren’t just suggested off-screen. Your five year old may not view dinosaurs in the same way after seeing this movie.
Trevorrow, who was handpicked by Steven Spielberg to take over the franchise, does a competent job in the director’s chair. It helps that he is supported by a top notch crew behind the scenes led by director of photography John Schwartzman, production designer Edward Verreaux, editor Kevin Stitt, costume designer Daniel Orlandi and Academy Award®-winning composer Michael Giacchino.
Jurassic World takes it time getting to the real action. A variety of storylines are established before all hell breaks loose. The first involves two brothers, Zach and Gray, played by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins, respectively, who are at the park to visit with their aunt Claire, played by Howard, who happens to be the park’s operations manager.
Clad in a pristine ivory suit and fierce angular bob, Claire is a classic career woman who hands off the care of her nephews to her assistant so she can continue working.
Then there’s ex-military expert Owen, played by Pratt, who has spent years on the island training the Velociraptors to follow his commands. Owen respects the creatures and values the bond he’s created with them, but he’s being pressured by an enterprising InGen agent, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, to weaponize the raptors for battle.
Finally there’s geneticist Henry Wu (BD Wong) who is responsible for creating Indominus rex, with the support of the park’s billionaire benefactor Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan). Both of these men believe they are acting in the best interest of mankind, but they both turn out to motivated by financial gain.
Putting aside its cynical view of the times and sluggish start, Jurassic World still delivers some dynamite thrills.