Jurassic World had a lot of weight on its shoulders. Jurassic Park, many would say, is one of the pinnacles of greatest blockbusters. The sequels following each failed to capture all the magic that the first one had. In an industry where a lot of movies seem to go for popular features or genres, dinosaurs are surprisingly one that’s hardly touched. We can get dozens of movies about superheroes, vampires, zombies, spies… So Jurassic World had to deliver on not just the expectations for its franchise, but for its entire genre, all under the direction of a man with little credit to his name, Colin Trevorrow.
The movie takes place 22 years after the disaster that shut the park down in Jurassic Park. Now enough time has passed for the establishment of Jurassic World on Isla Nublar, fulfilling the dream that John Hammond had longed for. We get to see most of the movie from the point of few of two brothers, being sent to the island to be cared for by their aunt, Claire, who runs it. The youngest brother, Gray, is completely enthralled by all things dinosaurs and the older brother, Zach, seems to just be interested in looking for the cutest girl in his field of few.
The nephew’s visit coincides with a feature their aunt Claire is working on getting ready for reveal in a matter of weeks; A genetically modified dinosaur. Meanwhile, Chris Pratt’s character, Owen, is working with a squad of raptors. InGEN is very much alive, but has evolved into a military contractor. The face we see representing InGEN is Vincent D’Onofrio character, Hoskins, who is not shy to talk about his plans for the dinosaurs. Plans that are a bit outlandish, and hard to understand why he supports them so much, especially as Owen witnesses time and time again how (un)controllable dinosaurs are. The only face from the first film to make it into the movie is BD Wong, playing Dr. Henry Wu again.
The advancements in technology and science were well utilized in this film. It seems to be treating genetic manipulation as a gun in the hand of children (man). To quote Ian Malcom, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should,” because nothing bad would happen if they ever learned from their past mistakes. The movie sticks close to the philosophies shared in Jurassic Park, but with a more modern, up-to-date understanding of the science and the dangers possible.
There are a lot of references to the first movie. And John Williams iconic music elevates every scene it’s playing in. The dinosaurs look beautiful and the chaos that ensued felt tense. I was surprised by how gory the movie came off, be it dinosaur-on-dinosaur or dinosaur-on-man. It showed how far they were willing to go and that they were seriously committed to showing why dinosaurs are something to be feared. Hoskins plans for InGEN were a little muddy, and Dr. Wu didn’t have much to do, but that doesn’t take away much from the movie. Chris Pratt does well when he’s on screen and it was awesome to see him riding alongside raptors.
Jurassic World seems to be the park that John Hammond always envisioned, and delivered on a lot of expectations. There are several likable characters, be it the man in the operation room with dinosaur toys all over his desk and a Jurassic Park shirt or the previous owner before Claire who was very enthusiastic and showed great admiration for John Hammond and his ideas. I think this movie will succeed in pleasing anyone looking for a good summer blockbuster, a movie about dinosaurs, and a movie following the original Jurassic Park.
(4 out of 5)