The Park Is Open And Business is A Booming In “Jurassic World”
By Scott Kurland
Film: Jurassic World
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, and Irrfan Khan
Director: Colin Trevorrow
With a lot of these classic franchises like “Back To The Future”, “Star Wars”, and “Indiana Jones” I was not able to see them in their original theater runs. I of course remember seeing VHS copies of them, my copy of “Back To The Future” nearly wore out. Of all of these record breaking movies I saw none of them in the theaters....until 1993, that was the year “Jurassic Park” came out. “Jurassic Park” was the first time I sat in a theater at the age of 8 and I was blown away. This film had everything, action, dinosaurs, JEFF GOLDBLUM *Grrrr*. This week’s film marks the long awaited release of “Jurassic World” a sequel/reboot years in the making. Yet, with all the waiting does the film hold up? Lets find out shall we?
Taking place twenty years after the events of the first “Jurassic Park”, “Jurassic World” sees the park finally being open. With the ability to see Dinosaurs up close and touch them the park seems to be thriving. However, park owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) enlists a team of geneticists (D.B. Wong from the original film) and a PR executive Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to create a scary new attraction. What they do is create a killing machine that escapes and causes nothing but trouble for the park. Now it’s up to Claire and a Raptor trainer named Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to save the park.
Like “Mad Max: Fury Road”, “Jurassic World” was a clever way to reinvent a film series. Like “Mad Max”, this film acknowledges the previous film. We even get a few jokes that this Park will never be as good as the original.I like when films do this, it is a very meta film technique and their way of say “Yeah, I know we’ll never be as good, but we got some cool stuff in store.” They do indeed have some very cool stuff in this film especially the cast.
Chris Pratt is such a hot commodity in films, he might be one of the great actors we have. Just look at his resume, he was in “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, that’s a given but what about his other roles. Pratt was stellar in “Moneyball”, for seven years he made us laugh on “Parks and Rec,” and words can’t describe what a chameleon he became in “Zero Dark Thirty”. Before this film came out people were very willing to claim that Pratt was once again playing the same role from “Guardians of The Galaxy”. Spoiler alert, he wasn’t. He was actually playing more of a reserved Indiana Jones type role *hint hint Hollywood greenlight Indy 5 with Pratt.* Pratt’s Owen is smart and incredibly realistic as an animal trainer. This is just more proof that Chris Pratt is the new Harrison Ford, and we either better welcome him or get off his damn plane.
This film is full of so many great actors. Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, but my favorite role besides Owen was a character named Lowery. The highly underrated Jake Johnson plays Lowery, a man who is the technical eyes and ears of Jurassic World. You may ask why is he so great? Well, it is very simple, Lowery is us fanboys. He loved the first “Jurassic Park”, he collects old memorabilia from the original park. Yet he is a hybrid of two of the greatest characters from the first film, he’s part Samuel L. Jackson and part Jeff Goldblum. Johnson is one of those actors who has been in a lot of films and TV shows, but he is always likable and different. Lowery is incredibly likable and different. He alone is worth the price of an admission ticket.
“Jurassic World” is a great summer movie for two reasons. The first being the pairs of writers. Group one, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver who reinvented “Planet of The Apes”. Group two, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly who wrote “Safety Not Guaranteed” . Jaffa and Silver set up the danger, Trevorrow and Connolly make these characters realistic and likable. It was a strong play on Universal’s part to hire blockbuster writers and pair them with independent writers. The end result is something great. A lot of people have complained about the dialog, claims that it is too simplistic or “high school centric” have been made. That’s why I liked it, yes, the dialog is basic but you need to realize the dialog isn’t just for the 18-40 year olds. 6-13 year olds see this film and need explanations that even they can understand. For that the writers did their job.
I really liked “Jurassic World”, the fact that Trevorrow pulled a Spielberg and blended CGI with animatronics speaks volumes. The visuals in this film are gorgeous, even though the amusement park is fictional I would swear that it was real. Also the sound design was so carefully crafted, you could hear a dinosaur coming miles away. Even though I liked this film a lot there were some plot problems. We get two plot points from “Jurassic Park”. One is that an outside company wants to use the raptors for another company’s profit. That is what Wayne “Newman” Knight did in the first film. The second is Claire’s nephews are forced on her because their parents are divorcing. Once again we saw that before. These are small flaws in an otherwise fun popcorn flick.
“Jurassic World” is a fun summer action film for anyone who is nostalgic for the original film. It might not be for everyone, children will be frightened by the main Dinosaur. Teenagers and twenty somethings who don’t remember the great dino craze of 1993 might think this film isn’t anything to write home about. Yet, for everyone else this film will put a huge smile on your face. What they do with the source material is something spectacular. This is a must see film.
REVIEW RATING: B+