By Gary Murray
Starring Chris Pratt, Dallas Bryce Howard and a bunch of dinosaurs
Written by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Running time 124 min
MPAA Rating PG-13
Selig Film Rating FULL PRICE
Jurassic Park was one of the biggest hits of all time. It was the box office champion that was a blockbuster among blockbusters. Some consider it one of the best action films ever made. It spawned two sequels that were successful but that was many years ago. Jurassic World is the re-boot of the franchise.
The story takes place many years after the last adventure but is its own story. Jurassic World is a fully-functioning amusement park that takes in thousands of visitors. Every time they introduce a new dinosaur, attendance spikes. It is the job of Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to generate those spikes. In order to do so, her team is about to introduce a new dinosaur. It is a genetically modified creature that looks a whole like Godzilla.
She believes that the dinos are products to be exploited.
Claire has two nephews Gray ( Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) who are visiting the park. It is through their eyes that we get to see the attractions. The shows are a lot like the Sea World experience, with shows and petting zoos. There are rides that take people right among the roaming behemoths.
On the other side of the island, Owen (Chris Pratt) has been working with a group of raptors. He is the alpha male of the group, convincing the dinosaurs that he is in charge. When we first see him, he is training the creatures but he knows they are dangerous beasts.
He believes that the dinos are animals that need to be protected.
Owen works with Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio). He is a military guy who believes that the raptors can be used in military situations. He sees these beasts as the ultimate warriors, hunting down terrorists and saving lives. He just needs a crisis to prove his theory.
The screenplay takes off when Owen is asked by Claire to approve the new dinosaur. It seems that Claire and Owen went on a disastrous date but are still attracted to each other. When Owen goes to see the dinosaur, the beast seems to have gotten out of the cage. It is the start of a massive failure at the park. But unlike the first film, this failure has thousands of potential victims.
To be honest, this film is a set-up for dinosaurs rampaging through the masses. It is an excuse to see beasts eat people. On that level, Jurassic World works in spades.
Chris Pratt is proving that he knows how to pick the right projects. He has become a mega-star in just a few years. It has been a meteoric rise to the top and it looks as if he can do no wrong. There is this charm in his acting that makes one just love everything he does.
Bryce Dallas Howard is our damsel in distress in this little drama, a woman in heels who is on the run. There is not much for her to do other than panic and scuttle but she does so with a certain charm.
The special effects are some of the best one would see on a motion picture. There is not a moment where one does not doubt that these dinosaurs are actually living, breathing creatures. The scene where the raptors are on the hunt is a thrilling bit of cinema. It makes one want to actually visit the park.
Jurassic World is not Jurassic Park but it is still a fun sequel. There are those who will be mad that it is not as good as the first film and others will think it is an equal to it. I realize that one cannot re-invent the wheel but you can still take it for a spin. In the end, Jurassic World is fun adventure that delivers on a basic level.