Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writers: Rick Jaffa (screenplay), Amanda Silver (screenplay)
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins
I may have mentioned this before, but I have a terrible habit of missing blockbuster films and not seeing them until years after their release. That’s exactly what happened with Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, which features a pacy, exciting, action packed story with some stunning visuals and just enough little nods to the originals to make it a satisfying experience. It also wets the appetite for the final instalment in Disney’s sequel Star Wars trilogy, to be directed by the same man. He’s certainly proved he can handle a massive franchise with this one.
The story pretty much follows the same premise of Jurassic Park, the 1992 classic from a certain Mr. Spielberg, with the only difference being they’ve built the enclosure walls a little higher this time and played god terribly by breeding a Frankenstein’s monster of a dinosaur instead of our good old friend, the faithful T-Rex. That’s pretty much where this one starts. It introduces the two brothers, Zach and Gray (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) as they’re sent off on a short vacation to the theme park by their soon to be divorced parents. The latter you presume hoping the experience will have the joint effect of providing some light respite from that reality and also a chance to spend time with their estranged aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who runs the park.
Of course, things don’t go quite to plan, as you’d expect in a Jurassic Park film. First of all, Claire is far too busy trying to appease investors and the wacky, almost hippy like, park owner Masrani (Irrfan Khan) to spend time with her nephews and secondly, there’s the small issue of the aforementioned hybrid dinosaur, the ‘Indominus Rex’, escaping from its secluded enclosure, high up in the ominously titled ‘Restricted zone’. This bid for freedom comes after Owen (Chris Pratt), a dinosaur whisperer of sorts, is sent up for a quick introduction to the parks newest attraction (he gets a tad closer than he’d like to I’m sure) and also to investigate the standard of the creatures home.
The creature of course, goes on a tear up, murdering poor herbivores left, right and centre, heading further and further south towards the thousands of park visitors. The two brothers, who by this point have ditched their English nanny/guide (how original) don’t wait quite so long to get in about the action. Barely making it inside the gyrospheres before the ride is shutdown, they take the incredibly dumb decision to go for a stroll about the restricted area, a decision made by the slightly perverted Zach (he was giving me those vibes with the weird stares), and run right into our monstrous Dino friend. Aside from this primary focus on the Indominus Rex, there’s also a second plot thread running, concurrently, with the fat, annoying Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), a man obsessed with using trained Velociraptors as a futuristic (prehistoric?) weapon.
I can’t discuss this film without praising Mr. Pratt. I’m running out of superlatives to explain my admiration for this man. He’s his usual, funny self in this film and proves once again that he’s more than capable of leading a blockbuster franchise with an excellent performance as Owen. He gave me Indiana Jones vibes (maybe that was down to the similar outfit) and I would’ve loved to have seen him play Han Solo, but Ehrenreich got that gig and I’ll have to respect Disney’s so far impeccable casting choices. I loved Bryce Dallas Howard too, she played off Pratt nicely, the pair had good chemistry together and should definitely be the two to lead any future films in the franchise forward. Credit to the two young actors Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins also, Zach’s oddly perverted stares aside, they were very decent.
The film has many cool action sequences throughout and these seem to build into a glorious crescendo as the finale nears closer. You’ve got Owens motorcycle ride beside the rapid moving Velociraptors; the fun scene with the Pterodactyl’s swooping down on the crowd, causing chaos (and also ending Misrani in the helicopter, which was telegraphed); that sequence of events with the English nanny getting ragdolled around in the air before meeting her watery grave and finally the incredible finale with Owen, Claire and the boys, which features an epic showdown between the T-Rex and Indominus Rex (or should that be Raptor by now?). There’s the downfall of Hoskins in there too, which was immensely satisfying to watch.
Major props Giacchino in this film, who does a fantastic job of blending John Williams classic theme and score with newer music, proving that he can do it successfully if he’s given enough time. I imagine this is what got him the gig with Rogue One after Alexandre Desplat was forced to pull out. I know that particular score received some heavy flak, but I actually enjoyed that too. He does do a far superior job here however.
I’d normally discuss whether I’d recommend this film or not, but it’s been two years since this thing released, I’m well in truly late to the party and I would imagine the overwhelming majority of people have already seen it. Still, if you haven’t and you were a fan of the originals then do yourself a favour and watch it. I actually still prefer Jurassic Park myself, I have fond memories of seeing that as young boy in the cinema, but this is an excellent action flick too and a nice return to the franchise.