Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jurassic World – Review

Jurassic World – Review

Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure sequel called “Jurassic World” which is largely based on the characters created by author Michael Crichton and was previously Directed by Steven Spielberg as “Jurassic Park”. That original 1993 film which was nominated for Best Picture was made for the small sum by today standards for $63 million and grossed $1,029 billion worldwide. Spielberg returns in this installment as Executive Producer; which mean he advised and wrote the checks for this $150 million dollar project.

The story picks up 22 years since the infamous T Rex went nuts causing the surviving characters to evacuate Jurassic Park. As you recall those who made it off the island in the helicopter all had somber – reflective looks on their faces that maybe collectively they learned a valuable lesson that no matter how well intentioned the idea (profitability) of bringing these extinct animals back to life, to quote the character Dr. Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) …… “Your scientist were so preoccupied with whether or not they could they never stop to think if they should”.

Well, apparently 22 years is enough time not to get greedy and stupid again as we see from the opening few minutes they did not heed Ian’s advice as “Jurassic World” is bigger, more technological advanced and has all the trapping of a new modern Disney World amusement park, only in this park the entertainment can and will eat you. But hey, what can go wrong this time with all of the new high tech devices, state of the art visual monitoring security, human para - military personnel security at the ready and safety protocols abound to account for every single contingency. Again, what could go wrong? Well something has to otherwise you don’t have a movie to go see.

The crux of this plot is arrogance and greed has take hold of common sense again as lead scientists have been developing new genetically cross matched dinosaurs with made up convoluted names not worth repeating. However, when you see their latest creation (and they make a point to revealing its existence early on in the film) the only thing that comes to mind is a T-Rex hybrid mixed strung out on caffeine, adrenaline and steroids. This new puppy want to eat and kill everything. And with that small revelation you can figure out the rest.  There are thousands of tourists on the island and this new monster managers to get loose. So, let the running, chasing, screaming and half eaten people scenes begin.

PROS: “Jurassic World” has one good thing going for. Its very fun to watch as the pace of this film is executed very well, so much so you don’t have time to ask probative subconscious questions through out as I tend to do. You are a part of this ride with lots of endless action scenes with some clearly designed to replicate itself from the 1993 original sequences as well Alien and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Also, Chris Pratt is the new hot guy in Hollywood and he has immediate on screen charm and charisma. For the most part he is the central reason the movies holds together as well as it does given the believability of the plot per se.  

CONS: Clichés abound. When you see a rumbling over weight security guard eating a cookie you know he will be eaten. When you have a pudgy corporate executive in the film who see’s nothing but greater opportunity to expand he will eventually do something stupid. As much as Chris Pratt was the glue to the film I could not but smirk a bit at him being some kind of “Raptor Whisperer”. And finally when you see a member of the parks senior management be the pilot lead on a helicopter assault with trained military personnel, well you get it again something bad will happen. Oh did I mentioned that they establish early in the film that he doesn’t fly a helicopter that well. Duh?

Finally, Bryce Dallas Howard plays a character named Claire Dearing who is the day to day manager of this multi-million dollar facility. I have her seen in other films and she always gives a solid performance. However, the writing of her character’s personality seem less grounded to the idea of her actually being capable of managing this kind of facility with all of it complexities and more like some self-involved semi smug “House Wife of Beverly Hills”. Though it didn’t happen it would not have surprised me in the middle of her being chased by a dinosaur she would stop to use her phone to make reservations next week at some five star restaurant.  

Conclusion: “Jurassic World” is more like the Fast and Furious franchise with just a tiny bit more of its story in tune with some element of reality. Just as long as you have countless reimagined dinosaurs to chase and eat and you don’t try to analyze things too much beyond that.

All in all, “Jurassic World” is very fun to watch, especially the last 40 minutes involving 4 Raptors. The film is visually stimulating and never has a real single boring moment throughout and after all with thousands of people on the island at one time there are far more innovative ways to kill them and they do to entertain you.

3 – 1/2 Stars

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