Review: Jurassic World is The Aliens To Jurassic Park’s Alien
Title: Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Screenwriter: Rick Jaffa (screenplay), Amanda Silver (screenplay), Colin Trevorrow (screenplay), Derek Connolly (screenplay), Rick Jaffa (story), Amanda Silver (story), and Michael Crichton (characters)
Principal Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Irrfan Khan, and Nick Robinson
Summary: Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly.
I’m going to say that while I am a huge fan of Jurassic Park I don’t think it’s perfect and the sequels don’t really hold up. That being said, though, I do appreciate them for what they are and what they have done for movies over the last two decades. I wasn’t surprised when they announced Jurassic World but I was surprised by the trailers. I didn’t think for a second that it would be any good, but I tried to keep myself from being too excited. There isn’t anything that can kill your enjoyment of a movie more than hype. I tried to go in with cautious optimism at best.
Jurassic World is completely ridiculous but it was crafted with such love that you can’t help but get swept up in the goofy action.
I’ve had several people try to get me to explain to them why I liked Jurassic World and the best way I can explain it is this; Jurassic World is the Aliens to Jurassic Park’s Alien. They are both good movies but the sequel makes everything bigger and bloodier. It also means that it’s impossible to really top the original because the original is so influential but, in this case, I feel like Jurassic World knew this. This is a movie that was made by fans and normally fans don’t know how to handle their preferred work, but in this case I really think this was the only way to go. Much like what Jurassic World is doing when they make a new dinosaur to make more money Jurassic World could have been just as cynically made. While I do think the nostalgia boom has helped with the creation of this movie only a fan could crafted a film with this much love.
The story is very silly but the movie also seems to know this as well and wants to assure us about this by making its action scenes extremely engaging. There really isn’t any other explanation for why they gave the Indominous Rex (named such because it was supposed to be scary) some of the characteristics they did. I’d say the movie was taking a page from the superhero genre and just creating a super villain with Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and her new nephew’s Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) as the human sidekicks to Owen (Chris Pratt) and his crew of semi trained raptors. I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say that the final scene is the thing that only fans could dream up and the audience at my screening nearly cheered.
The movie isn’t perfect by any stretch of the world. I’m fairly sure that Owen doesn’t have a single fault and really is only there to the boast the “let nature be nature” feeling of the movie. It seems to come down pretty hard on science which is a shame considering, as it is said at one point in the movie, nothing about Jurassic World is natural. Vincent D’Onofrio is also on hand as a secondary villain Hoskins and he seems a bit wasted after we saw such a good turn from him in Daredevil. I also kept getting distracted by the fact that they never let Bryce Dallas Howard ditch her kitten heels despite running for her life. The two kids aren’t there for much more than to be in peril and maybe even bait. They kick off a plot point by being stupid, not quite to the degree of a “flashlight and T-Rex” from the original, but still very dumb. The movie isn’t as scary as the original either, and there isn’t any equivalent to the kitchen scene in terms of tension.
Jurassic World could have been a terrible movie and gotten by on brand recognition, but the filmmakers decided to appeal to the fans the series has been cultivating since Jurassic Park came out in 1994. While it is not as good as the original, and might be a little too silly, Jurassic World is still a great time at the theater and absolutely worth checking out.