jurassic park | jurassic world | colin trevorrow | sequel | rick jaffa | amanda silver | derek connolly | chris pratt | bryce dallas howard | ty simpkins | action | adventure | sci-fi | united states | giant monsters | animal attack | based on | novel | michael crichton | Canada
Film: Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Ty Simpkins
This one is a movie that I caught in the theater. I believe I would have been living on my own in Parma that first time I saw it. There was a second watch when I picked it up on DVD. I’ve now given it a third watch thanks to my wife, Jaime, when she randomly put it on. This isn’t a horror film. I do pull it in as I look at these as almost kaiju films. We also have dinosaur mayhem as they attack people as well.
Synopsis: a new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.
We start at the house of a family. The mother is Karen (Judy Greer) and the father is Scott (Andy Buckley). They have two sons. The younger one loves dinosaurs and is a genius, Gray (Ty Simpkins). His older brother is Zach (Nick Robinson). He has a girlfriend that he is not too distraught to leave behind. They are going to stay with their aunt for a week as she runs the newer park from the synopsis, Jurassic World.
Their aunt is Clarie Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). She is emotionless and all about the numbers. She meets with her boss, Masrani (Irrfan Khan). He is a billionaire that took the park over from Dr. Hammond. He cares about the public having a great time, but also wants the dinosaurs to be happy. This is an interesting concept. Claire takes him to see the new dinosaur they have created for the park. It is white and scary. It is a hybrid that was genetically created, named Indominus Rex. An easy part of it is the Tyrannosaur Rex. It also has a horrible attitude from being raised in captivity. It is also aggressive as it killed its sibling.
We then get introduced to our star. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) has trained a pack of Velociraptors to listen to him. We also see that they are still wild animals when a new member of the staff is almost killed. Owen jumped in and saved him, in the nick of time. Owen speaks with Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) who sees a military application to having beasts like this. Pratt also works alongside Barry (Omar Sy) in their training.
Gray and Zach arrive at the park. They met with an assistant to their aunt. She is Zara (Katie McGrath). She isn’t great and much like her boss, is on her phone a lot. They do end up running into Claire, who tells them that she is too busy to spend time with them. They feel it and it bothers them. The two slip away from Zara and decide to have fun.
Things take a turn when Owen is brought to the Indominus Rex pen. He asks questions and Claire shares what information she can. They can’t find it inside of the pen though. When they go inside, they learn a terrible secret about it. It is inside with them. This new creature gets out and wreaks havoc on the park. Claire needs to find her nephews before it is too late. It also takes everything to get everyone off the island. It doesn’t help when this dinosaur has lived in captivity and is now free. It doesn’t seem to be killing for food but trying to find its place in the food chain.
That is where I’ll leave my recap and introduction to the characters. Where I want to start is to say that I love this series and I felt this film was a solid ‘requel’. I love that the first since it is epic to see the dinosaurs, but I love that a mere 22 years later, it is now old news. This keeps in line with how the world has moved on and this new version of the park needs bigger and scarier things to keep getting customers. That leads them to genetically modifying them to do this.
I am going to stick to this idea. I’ll also bring back up that this isn’t a horror movie. Since I include things like Godzilla films or other kaiju stuff, that is why I’m doing this review. There are elements here though. There is a mad scientist element where we have Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) who created Indominus Rex. I like that he was a minor character in the original and has turned bad to make money. Even a commentary there on capitalism. There is a darker plot with him that I thought fit. Now we also have this new dinosaur wreaking havoc across the park. It is releasing other dinosaurs in its wake, which also attack the human guests. With the scope of the attacks and them even being quite brutal, I thought there was enough there for me cover it as horror adjacent.
Next, I want to explore the ‘requel’ aspects. There are going to stretches here. Gray and Zach would be the two teens that come to the park. Originally, they were the grandchildren of Dr. Hammond. Here they are Claire’s nephews. Masrani would be the modern Dr. Hammond. Claire almost comes off as the insurance guy. She does get a character arch though that is generic. Owen would be a variation on Dr. Grant. Moving away from these characters, the T-Rex and the Raptors were the villains originally. We need something bigger as this is a sequel. I do like that the T-Rex maintains that anti-hero status. Raptors also slide in there, as they are recognizable dinosaurs. We also get others here to ramp everything up.
Sticking with elements here, I think I’ll go to filmmaking. This isn’t as impressive due to the original’s existence. This goes CGI with the dinosaurs and it is fine. They threw a lot of money at it. You must know coming in that this is going to be a CGI-fest. The cinematography is good. There are similar shots and sequences that are homage to a requel. They also use elements of the original soundtrack while doing their own thing. This is made well enough so I won’t harp too much.
Other than that, let’s finish out with acting. Pratt is good here. He has that look and charisma to be the hero. This isn’t too far out of the realm of his role in Guardians of the Galaxy. I like Howard in his soulless role. She is given a redemption though that is fitting for a movie like this. I can appreciate how she plays this. Simpkins and Robinson are good as her nephews. I like the smaller roles from Greer and Buckley. Khan does well as this rich guy that we are supposed to like. I have my issues there. I’ll also credit Jake Johnson, Sy, Lauren Lapkus and McGrath in their roles. D’Onofrio plays a great villain and I also like Wong here. The acting is fine across the board with no issues.
In conclusion, this is a solid requel in my opinion. This is taking what the original did and building on. We are ramping up the tension by having the park open. We also introduce other real dinosaurs and even a genetic hybrid that is scarier than the villains of the first. The acting is solid. Their characters work in the framework of the story. I’d say this is made well enough. This is a CGI-fest, but it looks good. The rest of the filmmaking was solid as well. I think if you like the series, this one is fine. It doesn’t stand out but they do similar things here, just a bit different.
My Rating: 7 out of 10